I began as a boy from a home broken by divorce and raised within the deprivation of one of the UKs poorest areas, where half the adult population has a primary school level of numeracy. Now I have a PhD from a Russell Group university and teach chemistry in a top independent school - I might be considered a poster boy for the importance of education to social mobility.
Creativity should be celebrated within schools. Creative people invent, problem-solve, discuss and communicate in fresh, exciting ways, we don't want this to be lost during school. Whatever the industry whether it's medical, science, engineering, academic research, technology, business, entrepreneurial; they all require creative thinkers to progress.
Apprenticeships are attracting a huge amounts of interest from across the political spectrum. We've come a long way from the days when Tony Blair is said to have joked that political interest in vocational education was such that he could make a declaration of war in a speech about skills and no-one would ever notice.
Methods of studying for students have changed very little for many years - though The Internet has given us access to a wealth of unfiltered information, traditionally the university experience has revolved around sitting in lectures, sitting in the library, cramming revision in, re-writing notes and highlighting textbooks.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.
The Ministry estimates the total damage to the country's education system at US$313.2 (£204.7) million, mainly to infrastructure. Demolition and debris removal, construction of temporary learning centres, child-friendly spaces, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, plus school repair costs total US$32.5 (£21.24)million.
Gay people exist - young and old, male and female, rich and poor, black and white. So do gay parents and the straight parents and grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles and cousins of gay children. Should we exclude all of them in the name of faiths that claim to be peaceful, non-judgemental, forgiving and supportive?
Election year is always a time to reflect on where we are as a country and on the things that really matter to us. What do we care about? And what can be done to make things better. As a sportsman and now as a father, I have always believed passionately in the power of sport to improve the lives of young people. I know from my own personal experience and from the achievements of the thousands of youngsters I have encountered throughout my professional tennis career, that sport has transformative qualities.
Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that what I have done is state the glaringly obvious for people who have been teaching for a long time, and I apologise if that is the case. I'm new to teaching, however, and I'm pretty horrified. It's a job I want to do, I see it as more of a vocation, and I've been told I'm very good at it, 'outstanding', in fact.
Whilst education cannot directly and of itself address the underlying causes of economic/social inequality and injustice, it can offer young people a chance to fulfil their potential, to open eyes and minds to opportunities without limit, and to prepare them for a balanced life as confident and active citizens.