Putteridge comes out tops with disabled broadcaster

Mik Scarlet (left) with Toby Friedner and Dr Chetna Kang
Mik Scarlet (left) with Toby Friedner and Dr Chetna Kang

Award-winning broadcaster Mik Scarlet was the first disabled pupil to attend Putteridge High School in the late 1970s.

So when he was asked to take part in a BBC 3CR programme about forthcoming changes in special education provision, he thought it only natural to go back to his alma mater.

Mik, 48, explained: “It was hard enough when my parents fought to get me allowed into a mainstream school, but nowadays it’s a minefield.

“I really believe that as many disabled children as possible should attend ‘normal’ mainstream schools.

“It’s the only way to build a society that accepts disability as part of life.

“I know that my experiences at Putteridge helped me become the person I am today. I soon learned that my disability didn’t make me less than anyone else – just different,”
Mik returned to his old school – which he calls “a centre of excellence for ensuring disabled children get the best possible education” – to interview staff and pupils for a special edition of Shrink Wrapped, the BBC 3CR mental health and disability magazine show, which aired on Sunday (July 27).

He joined regular presenters Toby Friedner and consultant psychiatrist Dr Chetna Kang and has been commissioned to make an hour-long follow up documentary.