A student told by her previous school that she would never pass her GCSEs because of her dyslexia has won a place at one of the UK’s top art universities (David Jones/PA)
PA Wire/PA Images - David Jones
A student told by her previous school that she would never pass her GCSEs has won a place at one of the UK’s top art universities.
Ella McEwan had been told that continuing her education was futile due to her severe dyslexia but she will now study at the University of the Arts London Chelsea College of Art and Design.
The 18-year-old achieved three D*s – the equivalent of three A*s at A-level – in her BTEC art and design course at Millfield College in Somerset.
The university told her she had submitted the best portfolio they had seen this year.
Ella McEwan is heading to one of the UK’s top art universities after studying at Millfield School (Millfield School/PA)
Miss McEwan, from Monmouth in Wales, joined the school in Year 9 and has benefited from additional support to help with her disability.
“The teachers go out of their way to support you. The department has given me the confidence to be comfortable being myself and with my dyslexia, as there is still quite a stigma surrounding learning differences,” she said.
“They have also helped put me forward for activities such as speaking on webinars about my personal experience as a dyslexic, to suggesting to take the BTEC art and design course at sixth form. I have loved every minute of it.”
The teenager addressed the school’s teaching body during inset training last year, giving them an honest account about what it is like to be dyslexic and how they can adapt their teaching to help students.
Dyslexia should never be viewed as a disability that will hold someone back, it is a superpower that those individuals can harness as they see things in a different way that others may not
Gavin Horgan, headmaster, Millfield College
Headmaster Gavin Horgan said: “Ella is the perfect example of someone who has overcome adversity to achieve their dreams.
“Her story is a remarkable one of hard work, resilience and determination.
“Dyslexia should never be viewed as a disability that will hold someone back, it is a superpower that those individuals can harness as they see things in a different way that others may not.
“The UK education system should be championing dyslexic thinking skills and adapting teaching methods that would ultimately help every child in the classroom, not writing them off at an early age.
“To see Ella go on to study at one of the UK’s top art universities is fantastic and hugely deserved.”