At age 14 I had already been fixed period excluded 100 times. My year leader felt it was time for a chat. “You really are breathing valuable oxygen someone else could be using” she said. Well, I knew she didn’t like me but this was a whole new level for our relationship! She said I would amount to nothing. So, my mind was made up. I decided that I would not return to such a toxic place.

I lived with a violent step dad and an oblivious mother so not going to school for 2 years, going nightclubbing and sleeping in the field up the road went unnoticed! I met the man of my dreams at 15 – an abusive drug addict and alcoholic. It was a slight improvement on my situation. I stayed with him for 11 years and had 2 children. When he attacked my 4-year-old it was time to leave. I ran…I hid…. for 8 years.

In that time, I decided I would become the person I was meant to be: ambitious, kind, nurturing and happy. I had two children and one had autism, but life was amazing. I studied GCSEs, A Levels, a degree, a PGCE, a NPQH and a NPQEL. I’m now an executive headteacher. I am a teacher who cares. If only my teacher had asked ‘are you ok?’ Maybe I would have met my potential earlier.

Never assume, just ask.

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