For too long, a stigma clouded apprenticeships. But now that stigma has gone. A degree is no longer the only route that the ambitious and capable can take on their way to fulfilling their potential. Apprenticeships are a wholly viable option. A-Level leavers must make the choice that is right for them as individuals.
If you missed your grades on Thursday, remember to be open-minded and stay positive. I had not considered Greenwich University despite the fact that they offered the ITMB course that I wanted to study and I have had the most amazing three years. I haven't looked back, you have to take the opportunities and challenges life throws at you and turn them in to positives.
So I've heard that this week is the dreaded week when students find out whether or not they got the A-level grades they were after. Scarier than Halloween? Maybe. Sure I think education is super-important, and hopefully the effort you put into your studies will wow the crowd and get you where you want to go. But now I think it's time to tell you a little story about my total complete lack of academic will power. It's this underlying lack of interest in all of the pencils, books, teachers, dirty looks... all of this led me to write a song called School's Out. Maybe you've heard it...
The riots may be long gone, but the aftermath still dominated the front-pages this week, as the nation wrung its collective conscience and pondered whether harsh sentences that made an example of the guilty would dissuade copy-cat activities in the future. For thousands of sixth-form students, however, the only stats worth knowing were the percentages of those successfully making the grades necessary to secure them their first choice of university. With student fees set to rocket next year, unsurprisingly record numbers of would-be undergraduates were fighting for one of the coveted uni places - or just fighting to get a connection to the UCAS website, which crashed under the collective weight of the clearing scrabble.
A great many young people will be collecting their A-level results today and regardless of what they find they should be proud of getting through what is a stressful and nervous time. Tens of thousands who have worked hard and achieved their grades should be congratulated on their achievements and not belittled.