Worry less about fiddling with the system and realise that improvement comes through hard work, doing the basics well and an ethos of ambition
Whilst working as a researcher and speechwriter in Parliament last year, a staffer from the Chinese Embassy asked me why the British media continually talked down students' achievements. I was shocked to find that the indignation we display towards young people in this country is reported around the world
It's a stressful time of year for thousands of students getting their A level results and with rises in tuition fees, media claims that applications are down and places are few, it can be a confusing one too.
I know that clearing can be a worrying time for students who don't get the A-level grades they were hoping for when they are published on Thursday - but my message is very clear: keep calm, and don't panic.
Being a state school boy who became the first British born Pakistani to play professional cricket in the is country, I know the importance of luck; that is being lucky enough to have a sports mad teacher spot you in the playground.
Two presidential portraits hang in the office of Simon Mutai, the deputy-head teacher of Muricho primary school. One shows Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya's former president; the other his successor Mwai Kibaki, the current head of state. In a way the two images symbolise the problem now facing Kenyan schools.
Having trashed teaching qualification (QTS) by telling academies that they could appoint teachers without QTS qualifications, Michael Gove is at it again, this time telling teachers how to teach mathematics. Whatever next? Andrew Lansley telling doctors how to treat patients?
With over a billion pairs of eyes looking on, our country impressed the world. London's transport swiftly and safely carried over a million people around the capital each day. 70,000 volunteers greeted Olympic visitors with enthusiasm and kindness. The British capital, and the British people, came alive in a way not seen in recent history.
Picture, if you will, the scene in every school in the United Kingdom this Autumn. One day, suddenly, a large package is delivered. Inside? A leather-bound volume embossed on the side with 'A gift to schools from the Prime Minister'. The title? 'My Summer at the Olympics' by David Cameron. But of course that will not happen, I hope, but there does appear to be some debate going on about education.
A bright young Olympic cyclist was being interviewed about her relentless training regime and when asked if she missed going out with friends she replied "why would I want to go out and get drunk when I get to go to the Olympics?" Should this be on a poster?
The decision by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, that Academies can appoint teachers without formal teaching qualification (QTS), was characterized by the Department of Education as no big deal, and that most teachers will continue to have QTS qualification.
Devaluing QTS at this time will only serve to hammer home what many people have thought for a long time - anyone can do it, and so they do. Anyone who remembers the government call for parents to fill in for teachers on strike will understand just how ridiculous the notion is.
When someone recently told me a local secondary school used a dildo to demonstrate how to put on a condom during their PSHE (personal, social and health education) class, my jaw hit the floor with incredulity.
There needs to be a louder public conversation about the ways in which the media perpetuates political myths about children and young people... And children in schools are constantly blamed for failings in the schooling system.
Something quite remarkable has happened at Google and it seems to have passed by largely unnoticed.
New reality: get good marks that few think are credible, go to university, accumulate student debt, compete against global peers, work an average 43 hour week, rent, raise a family if you can afford it, zig-zag for 45 years through dozens of companies, retire with whatever you have managed to save, live to 81.