We have a natural distaste for confidence, a distrust of feeling good in this way. We fear that confidence is actually over confidence and not healthy. It seems safer to struggle a bit in order to be sure that we are not committing the deadly sins of arrogance and laziness.
The UK produces fantastic yearly GCSE results and I don't believe, the Pisa study reflects our students' ability. It's the system that needs to change (and connect with ordinary enterprise communities, who could give a diverse view), and exactly how, we could improve and prepare our next generation of 15-year-olds educational achievements.
There has been a lot of press coverage recently for independent school Heads speaking out against private tutors. The language is coded in terms of an industry of hangers-on, opportunists, as if tutoring firms were simply taking advantage of middle-class foibles, creating extra work, distraction and pressure for their pupils.
When comparing UK students to students in Asian countries such as China and Singapore, we can see these leading countries place huge importance on the value of education, which is just not replicated to the same degree in the UK.
Stonewall is investing time, energy and money into normalising homosexuality amongst young people, particularly in schools. One of the key tenets of their initiative is to 'set the meaning straight' with regards to the word 'gay.' We can debate the evolution of language over a pint at the union to our heart's content...
It was heartening to see so many messages of support for Tom and sadly not surprising to read the various comments of hate that the faceless Twitter cowards immediately started shooting into the ether.I am thrilled for Tom that he has found love, long may it continue; he should be proud of who he is as an individual and for his achievements. I hope that in the coming days weeks and months we can all make his choice of partner the least interesting element of his life...
The relationship between sex and reproduction, and respect for one's body and for consent, cannot reasonably be considered contentious topics and therefore avoided. What is more, we're hearing from charities like TeenBoundaries, whose work strives to plug the current gaps in sex education, that a lack of basic information on sex is sending young people to pornography for the answers.
I don't use either of the degrees in my everyday work, and I remember hardly any of the information I studied so hard, and even less of it is ever useful. However, my year 12 marks got me into uni, and those two degrees still get me all sorts of unrelated jobs, along with a highly embellished resume.
Education is a process of providing structured information. It is accessible to every child for free in the developed world, so much so that it's almost taken for granted. The developing worlds are still striving to gain easily attainable education systems like ours, because education is seen as a platform whereby children can greaten themselves.
What groups that call for tackling the use of such words constantly fail to realise is that, over the course of time, language changes. Just as gay used to mean someone filled with joy or happiness, it has changed to refer to homosexuals and to describe something in a negative way. Language evolves with society.
The Church of England's clear intention here is to ramp up the evangelisation, not only in Church schools, but also in non-faith schools. They realise that the indoctrination of children, however subtle in its execution, is absolutely critical to its survival.
The challenge now is for schools, universities, business and Government join us in making sure that the potential engineers of the future are informed, without prejudice, of all the opportunities available to them. We need to work together to provide the advice and support all young people need to make informed decisions at an early age.
Just 5 weeks ago I wrote about how hard it was to watch them struggling each day. Since then they have moved with unexpected ease from a 9 - 1.30pm day (summer hours) to a 9 - 4.30pm day. Even the 5 year old who had only ever been to playschool in Ireland until 12.30 has been thrown in the deep end. But they have coped admirably.
What are the long-term ramifications for young people of an education that stifles creativity? It's a question there has been a great deal of debate around recently - just how important is creativity in UK education and does the national curriculum as it currently stands supports it?
With the start of the university year and the surging presence of Young Green groups up and down the country, and speaking at events for the Youth Parliament and Woodcraft Folk, I've been spending a lot of time with young people. And an impressive lot they are - engaged, committed, determined. But what I've been hearing from them is how tough every aspect of life is for them and their peers, how institutions and services meant to be equipping them for life aren't delivering, and how economic pressures bear down on them from every angle.
Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly. No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils' education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers. It is the failure and unreasonableness of the secretary of state...