Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle has revealed she was bullied at school and beaten by teachers who were ignorant about children with learning disabilities.

The Scottish singer, who achieved global recognition for her first audition for the ITV1 talent show, said she was hit with a belt every day by teachers and taunted by classmates.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror in her first interview since finishing her debut album, I Dreamed A Dream, Susan, 48, said: “You’re looking at someone who would get the belt every day. ‘Will you Shut up, Susan!’ – whack!”

She continued: “I was often left behind at school because of one thing or another. I was a slow learner. I’m just a wee bit slower at picking things up than other people. So you get left behind in a system that just wants to rush on, you know? That was what I felt was happening to me.”

She added: “There was discipline for the sake of discipline back then. But it’s all very different now. I think teachers are taught to understand children with learning disabilities a lot better.”

Referring to her experiences of being bullied at school, she said: “There’s nothing worse than another person having power over you by bullying you and you not knowing how to get rid of that thing.”

The church worker from Blackburn, West Lothian, became an unlikely international superstar after her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream wowed the audience and judges on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year.

Shortly after being beaten in the final of the show by dance troupe Diversity, Susan was taken to the Priory Clinic in central London suffering from exhaustion.

But the singer has bounced back, with her new album, released next week, already expected to be the most pre-ordered of all time – global sales are thought to be in excess of 100,000.

Susan is due to appear on The X Factor this weekend.