Unfortunately, some of the negative assumptions about apprenticeships stem from older generations, parents and schools whose perceptions are based on the way that apprenticeships were in the past, before the National Apprenticeship Service was launched to support learners and help them to earn official qualifications.
I'm extremely blessed to be the mother of a wonderful, exuberant and thriving two-year-old and (in common with mothers everywhere) I'm doing the best I can for my daughter to ensure she has a happy childhood, and a safe and secure future. Sometimes that's OK, but often the journalist will prod, looking for an angle, "How do you deal with the negative view of older parents?"
The real betrayal of Britain's poorest and most vulnerable people was Labour's support for this toxic policy. With 13 honourable exceptions who all deserve praise for actually doing what they were elected to do, Labour MPs acquiescently lined up behind the welfare cap. If an antelope feeds its calf to a lion, that's pretty shocking.
Some say that the antidote to those very understandable and human difficulties is the willingness to love, forgive and to let go of the past. All too easily can we get stuck in the past, concede control and power of our lives to what has or could have been. With that frame of mind, perspective on life, and heavy heart it is difficult to move on.
Whilst the ability to access a wealth of information online should provide peace of mind for mums-to-be, the array of different sources available, all too often offering conflicting information, means that the internet may well be more of a hindrance than a help in this case, and bad advice is of particular concern when people are reading up on matters related to health.
I've spoken at length about the importance of contextualised learning. As parents, we have a clear role to play in helping our children put theory into practice. It shouldn't fall solely on the shoulders of teachers. However, it still makes me question whether schools are doing enough on their side to prepare children for their futures.
I know Tom is not yet 6 but he has only ever been invited to one birthday party and we have never held one for him. This may change as he gets older and I always feel guilty about this although it is irrational. We do celebrate in other ways though, last year we went to his favourite farm. I am not sure where we will go this year, maybe the farm again.
Since graduating, I have followed my parents in working exclusively within state education, although unlike them I don't do the really difficult and important job of teaching. Every day I believe more and more (and from a high start-point) in the tremendous value of what the college I work at does, and of the wider system.