'I was really naughty at school. I made life very difficult for my teachers. Eventually after being excluded multiple times, they had enough of me and kicked me out.'
Ebonie Norris knows she was a teacher’s nightmare. She ended up going to four different senior schools, including one for children with behavioural problems, and failing to sit her GCSEs.
The 16 year old from Bath looks back with regret.
'I do feel sorry for my teachers,' she says. 'I understand now that they have a lot of pressure on them. If I could go back and apologise to every single one of them I would. But I do feel they could have listened to me more and given me more support.'
Ebonie’s experience features in a booklet which she and a group of friends have produced with the help of Fixers.
It’s called School: The Hidden Picture, and features the real life school stories of four young people. It covers issues such as bullying, behavioural problems and the need for better teacher training.
It’s aimed mostly at young people having difficulties at school and has a common theme: that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
It was mentoring that turned Ebonie’s life around.
'My mentor helped me become more motivated for the future,' she said. 'She gave me time to focus on myself. She helped me get back into education, helped me get to college.
'She would listen to how I felt and just be there, to talk to. I would tell her what was wrong and she would come up with a solution for it.'
Ebonie has just finished a year at college studying art and design. She is going to sit her GCSEs next year and wants to be a fashion designer.
'I want to tell others that me and my friends have first hand experience of feeling hopeless, confused and scared at school,' she says. 'But we have not let this affect our futures.'
To read the booklet click on the image below.
This project has been supported by the Blagrave Trust.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.