Recent news that youth unemployment has fallen to its lowest figure in five years is welcome. However, when it comes to choosing a career, having the chance to pursue your passions or follow your dreams sadly remains far too often a privilege of wealth or family background.
Let's start with one heretical thought: competition is disastrous in our education system and should be abandoned as a guiding principle. Instead what we need is cooperation - an informal co-operative of pupils, teachers, parents, communities working together to help achieve the best possible outcome for each pupil.
'You're so gay' used to be the worst thing to be called. Thankfully, a lot has changed since I was a kid at school. The acceptance of the gay community has greatly improved but using 'gay' as a slagging for someone still persists. Recently, I got asked if I was gay by a few different people and it got me thinking...
Pastoral support is an important part of school life. Those providing it shouldn't have an agenda to evangelise. "Holy loitering" shouldn't be acceptable behaviour in schools, and the Church of England's missionary work certainly shouldn't be coming out of school budgets.
Shakespeare is wonderful. Seamus Heaney, a revelation. But if we want to share and teach literature that will inspire progression and self-belief no matter what? I can think of no better work than I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
The little one was too young to notice but my three year-old picked up on my grump that night. 'Why are you so sad?' he asked when I couldn't muster the funny voices I usually bring to his bedtime story. 'I entered a competition and didn't win,'
So a well-known Sunday Colour Supplement has issued some good advice, this weekend, on how normal women can emulate 'expensive' beauty using products and procedures in their price-range.
Gambia itself was a great country but nothing will ever compare to my day with the kids. It was so good it actually turned into two days where I dragged my darling boyfriend back with me for another day of chaos armed with a few boxes of text books, chalk and a couple of footballs...
How I hate the phrase "driving up standards". Every time I hear it, I see primary-age schoolchildren, bent low and sweating over heavy oars, struggling to propel the great ship of education towards some distant, hazy destination that their elders and betters have deemed they must aim for.
The most interesting people I met were the children. Most were too busy having fun to notice or realise that they were in a place of learning, while others paid close attention but still enjoyed what was being taught. Perhaps it was due to the efforts of the Outstanding Ofsted rated school that realised this.
The suggestion that young people can only engage with 'accessible texts' such as Caitlin Moran's Twitter feed and Russell Brand's testimony on drug use to a House of Commons committee is inexcusably patronising.
As a teacher I can say that the prospect of a spontaneous Ofsted visit is a scary and intimidating thought. Even after only 18 months in teaching, the idea of a 15-minute judgement period leaves me feeling vexed with Ofsted who, to my mind, are the bad guy, the anathema in education.
Sadly many people don't use their curiosity. They have it, but it has become obsolete. We are born with this feature, that's why when we're children, our hunger for information is insatiable, we don't even care what the story is, we just want to be stimulated. That is how our brains grow and how, as more and more neurons connect, we become smarter.
A passing idea to keep my mind occupied snowballed into something bigger and I now run one of the most popular Psychology A level blogs on the internet. If I have learnt anything in the last year or so, it is that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and you're will is such that you wont take no for an answer, even from yourself.
If left undetected dyslexia can cause difficulties with learning, and in extreme cases children are often labeled as 'stupid' or 'lazy'. This can lead to further problems of feelings of isolation and low self-esteem. The consequences of such neglect would be hugely damaging to students with dyslexia.
Monogamous relationships. Casual relationships. Homosexual relationships. The ship has sailed, my friends, and it's about time the government caught up with our level of social advancement, and changed the course of sex education.