Looking back, what I remember vividly is the dedication and enthusiasm of those who taught me. The practical skills I learnt from this vocational training have stayed with me for life and provided a solid foundation for my career as a garden designer. I have extremely happy, fond memories of this time - much better memories than those in the classroom not really interested in what I was being taught.
The summer term at secondary school means one thing to pupils in Years 11 to 13: exams. Until recently pupils were entered for either GCSE or A-...
Many of you have finished your exams for the year and the rest will be finishing soon. And that means your immediate future, while you wait for your results, is a unique period of around six weeks where everything can feel very uncertain. But while it's a nerve-wracking time, it's also a period of opportunity.
I hate to think I'm forcing our daughter's pastimes or interests (pushy mum alert!) BUT when we live on the edge of miles of beautiful Chiltern countryside I refuse to ignore the opportunities our natural environment presents: For educational purposes, yes of course, but overall for good old fashioned fun!
Sex and relationship education is for now and fertility education is for the future. Conception and contraception are two sides of the same coin. We need to empower our young people with education on fertility, so that they can stand a better chance of falling pregnant when they choose to. Education empowers.
It is not just teachers who are bearing the brunt of a system led by league tables and Ofsted results. The same pressures are felt by pupils. We now have a generation of young people who are anxious, stressed and disaffected... We are testing children within an inch of their lives and the vibrancy and love of learning that should be at the centre of the curriculum is all but lost.
This is what charities and other campaigners for social mobility have been saying for years, so it's great to hear top employers finally making the same case. After all, they can show the improvements hiring people for their talents not backgrounds makes to the bottom line - and that's something any business can understand.