Shrink Wrap this weekend on BBC3CR

The face for radio?

A face for radio?

This Sunday I am appearing on the BBC 3 Counties radio show Shrink Wrap, chatting about my experiences of education. The show is all about Inclusive Education and SEN provision, so I went off to Putteridge High School, my old high, to chat with the students and staff about what it is like to go to a mainstream school if you have an impairment. I was the first disabled kid to attend Putteridge and I know how much it set me up to be the man I am today. The biggest thing I gained from my time at school is the knowledge that just because I have an impairment doesn’t mean I am any less than anyone else, just different. One thing’s for sure… I like being different!

Mikat BBC3CR with Chetna and Toby

In The Studio – Mik at BBC3CR with Chetna and Toby

It is a rather serious subject, and as I sat in the studio listening to Chetna Kang and Toby Friedner, the programs regular hosts, chat with experts about SEN provision and the forthcoming changes on how it works I felt very sorry for parents of disabled kids today. In the program I chat with my Mum to find out what it was like for her way back when I was tiny, but it’s nothing to the hops parents have to jump through now. Typically when it was my turn to join in the atmosphere cheers up to the max, but even though I do like a bit of humour I do hope my key message comes through. I truly believe that we need to work towards an education system that allows everyone to attend the same school, with the chance to study to whatever the child#s ability level is and that allows children to grow up understanding that disability is just part of life. Let’s hope that it happens one day eh?

To hear the show, either tune in to BBC3CR on 95.5FM or 103.8FM or listen via i-Player.

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Lets Get Busy!

What a busy bee I have been recently. It started with a great couple of days playing music and recording vocals for a project run by Drake Music. I spent two days with some great people, including the amazing John Kelly, and can’t wait to hear the results. We took the old jazz track Chinatown, My Chinatown and bent it right out of shape. It’s now too cool for school!

Outside Drake Music - Let the Creativity Flow!

Let the Creativity Flow!

Talking of school, after having my love of music rekindled it was off to my old school to record for an  BBC3CR documentary I’m making on Inclusive Education.  I spent a day chatting with the students, interviewing the staff and then I was called to the head teacher’s office. Luckily now I’m an adult I wasn’t in trouble, so instead we had a nice chat about how mixing disabled and non-disabled students together in a school helps everyone concerned. I know this as I was the first disabled student at my school and now it’s a center of excellence for the area. All because of me of course…. NOT! I’m amazed I didn’t put Mr Price off the idea. He was the head teacher back in my day who introduced the concept of inclusive ed to Bedfordshire. The program should be going out on Sunday July 27th. Keep you posted when I know more!

Mik Outside His Old High School

Like a scene from Grange Hill? “You boy…. come here!”

Tomorrow I’m off to the opening of the Imperial Was Museum’s grand opening of the WW! galleries and the new atrium. I worked on the access and can’t wait to see how it turned out. So good for a few free drinkies I hope.

Then on Friday it’s off to fight the good fight on Assisted Dying. I’m joining the lobby outside the House of Lords while they debate the new bill. To be honest it’s going to be scary as both the pro and anti groups will be there…. fight! To wind down after the day in the evening it’s off to Kew Gardens for Kew The Music, with Jools Holland and Marc Almond. Lots of singing at the top of my voice while eating sandwiches and drinking elderflower cordial. End the week on my idea of culture! (But no rest for the wicked as over the weekend I have to edit my radio doc…. eeek!)

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How Was School – Latest Huffington Column

My latest column has gone live on the Huffington Post.

In 2012 I was involved with an oral history project called “How Was School?” acting as an interviewer and this piece came out of the stories I recorded. It explores my experience of being schooled in the mainstream and how I feel that this played a major part in my personality. I am a Patron of the campaigning group Alliance for Inclusive Education, who as well as being the driving force behind the project work tirelessly to demonstrate why inclusive education should be the right of all children. I won’t say too much more, as I want you to read my column and check out the projects website to hear some of the recordings.

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