Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen MBE

Interior designer and Dragons' Den star


1. What was your school like?

My first school was an all girls school in Central London. It was quite bizarre, I remember it being dark all the time with a black gloss dining room! I was bullied so bad there that eventually I moved and the second school was much better and definitely brighter which I think may have helped lift moods.

2. What is your favourite memory from school?

My favourite memory of school were my teachers in Music, Art and History. Their classes were the only good memories I have of school to be honest.  

3. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?

I was always bullied at school and it made my life hellish, the only way I over came the first spout from school was to change schools which I eventually did do and that did help however it didn’t stop bullying all together. I found an all girls school quite hard to cope with but I put my head down, worked hard and worked towards a goal – getting my education and leaving! The fact I was dyslexic always made it hard and more challenging but I got there in the end and it was a great feeling.

4. What was your favourite school subject?

Music and art and design and sport 

5. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays? 

If I was honest. I never did look forward to going back after the holidays. It was a tough time but if I had advice for young people that are struggling I would say perseverance was a great encouraging attribute to have – it is what got me where I am today.

School in general was a place I always worried about, as soon as I would walk through the door I would be watching the clock waiting till the final bell of the day to go home again. Not sure if I ever did overcome this I just learnt to deal with it, keep my head down, do my work and the hope the day would go faster than the day before.

6. What was your favourite school meal?

Rice Pudding!

7. If you had to go back to school again what would you change? 

I think stricter guidelines needed to be in place. Bullying should not be allowed at any level in school and children's parents should have been allowed to take action as it’s unacceptable especially when children have disabilities. In my day, it was almost brushed under the carpet so I am so glad that it is being brought to everyone’s attention on such a global span.

9. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues? 

Honesty with your parents is key, they can’t help you if you don’t talk about what scares you. Work through your issues with the people you trust and the people that will make a difference like parents and teachers. If that doesn’t work be sure to work hard, get what you want from it and then be able to turn round in ten years time and realize it was all worth it! 

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