A DYSLEXIC teenager who was turned away from 30 schools has started his dream course at university.
Jack Harley-Walsh first made headlines when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity at the age of ten.
A year later he faced the even bigger obstacle of getting into a school, with 30 secondaries across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey saying no due to Jack’s high levels of special needs.
The 18 year-old has dyslexia and dyscalculia, a combination that makes reading, writing and numeracy based learning particularly difficult, and at 11 years-old little potential of a long career in education.
After winning a place at St David’s College in North Wales however, the south Ascot resident excelled.
The school’s specialist techniques and dyslexia focused teaching helped Jack to a strong set of GCSEs in 2015.
At the time he told The News: “I just wanted the results to make me feel proud of myself and for my teachers to be rewarded. I’ve now got a big smile and lots of goosebumps.”
“It’s been tough living away from home to get this education but it is what I needed if I wanted to become an engineer and fly for the RAF.”
Two years later and Jack’s ambitions are still very much alive after he scooped a B in design and technology A Level, distinctions in science and production design BTECS and a place at Swansea University to study automotive design.
“It is a tremendous achievement for him and his teachers,” explained mum Sue Walsh.
“To do his GCSEs was extraordinary. To get his A Levels and get to university is totally phenomenal.”
“He has ruined the family tradition though, because none of us went to university.”
In October 2015 Jack was featured in an ITV documentary in which he opened his GCSE results on camera.
He said: “I was the educational train wreck, no school wanted me, no teacher could teach me, even I didn’t want to be me. I just couldn’t learn the way most schools taught.”
“I know how lucky I am to have this much support from school so I don’t use dyslexia as an excuse I work with it and I have learned to have belief in myself.”
“I want to encourage other kids to feel the same.”
Source: Milo Boyd – Daily Post UK