A Smestow student is heading to one of the best universities in the world to follow her dream of becoming a barrister.

Megan Hartley has been offered a place at Queen’s University in Belfast, which is in the top one per cent of universities in the world.

She will study Law, and plans to qualify as a barrister after university to pursue her ambition of working in criminal and family law.

Megan said she was delighted to be going to such a prestigious university.

She said: “I am studying for BTECs at Smestow rather than A-Levels, and a lot of people seem to think that if you do BTECs you can’t achieve as much.  But a major reason I have got the offer to Queen’s is the Extended Health and Social Care Diploma which is giving me real knowledge of legislation and working with children and young people.  I was surprised and delighted to get the offer as Queen’s is such a well-respected university, so I am determined to keep working hard to make sure I get the grades I need.”

“After university I would like to complete my BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course) which will mean I would be a qualified barrister.  I would love to work in criminal and family law as they interest me the most, but I know I’d definitely love to be a barrister.”

Dan Boden, Sixth Form Curriculum Team Leader at Smestow School, said everyone was really pleased for Megan.

“It’s a fantastic achievement which just goes to show that studying Health and Social Care can lead to all sorts of opportunities – it’s not just about caring for children.”

“Megan has worked really hard, and has undertaken a variety of work experience roles alongside her academic work at specialist schools, care settings and family centres.  This experience has helped Megan to understand the kind of support families may need, and the issues that members of the community with disabilities face on a day to day basis, which will stand her in very good stead for her future studies.”