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Sir Richard Branson Says Dyslexia Should Be Considered A Sign Of Potential

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Sir Richard Branson Says Dyslexia Should Be Considered A Sign Of Potential

Sir Richard Branson has said dyslexia should be seen as a 'sign of potential', as he attempts to remove stigma around the learning difficulty.

Branson, who famously dropped out of school at 16, wrote an article for the Sunday Times in which he spoke about being treated as 'lazy and dumb' by teachers.

Credit: PA

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The billionaire wrote: "I'd probably fail school exams if I took them today. My spelling, punctuation and grammar isn't great. I struggled to learn.

"I never quite mastered my times tables, and remembering and regurgitating lots of facts and figures, and getting them on paper quickly for exams, was a nightmare.

"This isn't how we're expected to perform in the real world and it's a crazy way of measuring children as successes or failures. These tests don't measure the skills of reasoning and exploration we need for the world today, the same skills that have helped me build Virgin.

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Credit: PA

"But dyslexics naturally excel at this way of thinking, and we should value and nurture this fact - not see children as failures because they don't fit into the exam 'tick box'."

Before pointing out that Apple founder Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein were thought to have had the condition, he added that the reason dyslexics seems to do well in life is because 'we tend to simplify things'.

He wrote also wrote that his own dyslexia had given him a 'massive advantage' as it helped him to 'think creatively and laterally'.

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Steve Jobs also had dyslexia. Credit PA

Despite this, Richard thinks the education system is failing dyslexic kids, writing: "Dyslexics worldwide are still not getting the support they need. In some areas of the UK, 100% of dyslexic children are failing their SATs. And by failing at education, they are presented with challenges in other areas of life.

"For example, there is a strong correlation between drug dependency and dyslexia, and a connection between dyslexia and teenage suicide."

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According to statistics from Dyslexia Action, around 10 percent of the UK population have dyslexia.

Sir Richard penned the article to coincide with his new charity Made By Dyslexia, which launches today with the aim of helping the world to better understand and support dyslexia.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs

Claire Reid
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