Diary of a busy practitioner, juggling work and family somewhere in England

I'm deliberately writing this now and not at the end of August because I'm not that mean, but I want to say a word or two about what I see happen on social media every year after exam results come out. Certain celebrities tweet to say that they did well in life without good grades. I'm really happy for them.


Bearing in mind what they all have in common, I think what they are trying to say is that if you want to be an old white male arse on the telly then don't worry about your exams. I once accidentally went to a Countryside Alliance rally with a vegetarian and saw one of these particular highly-paid TV persons peacocking about in a ridiculous stetson and I'm not really over it yet. (To clarify, it wasn't just taking the vegetarian that was the accident. The vegetarian booked our tickets. Going there at all was an accident. Lovely picnic though.)

What if you don't want to be an old white male arse? What if - maybe- you aren't white or male? What if you are white and male but not an arse? The point is that you have to go with the odds. The odds of being successful are going to be greater if you work hard and do well at school. Maybe now is the time of year to be reminding our young people that working hard will get you everywhere, and that you shouldn't be belittled by people acting like qualifications aren't important.

I know sometimes it doesn't work out. You might have genuine difficulties with exams, or not have a family who are able to support and encourage you to work hard. That's a different thing altogether, and I have seen a number of friends who struggled at school doing really well in the workplace where other qualities - like being personable or able to think creatively - mean a lot more than they do in the exam room.

I worked hard throughout my schooling. I didn't smoke in the toilets. I didn't stay up late on school nights. I did my homework - every bit of it, every week. That hard work led to good GCSE results, that led to good A level results, that led to entry to a good university and a good job. I am proud of everything on my CV, and it shows not only that I worked hard at school, but that I am a hard worker full stop. That, really, is what matters and what good exam results show. Diligence, respect for the education system, and drive will always be rewarded.


*Some facts and identities have been altered in the above article