Getting in to a medical school to study medicine is not easy. Most medical schools and universities require a minimum of three As at A level, usually specifying science subjects.
And once you're in, the work really starts. Most medical students will study for a minimum of five years. Then there are years of training and experience as a junior doctor. If you want to become a GP, there will be three more years' training in General Practice. It can take around ten years to become a fully qualified GP.
It is on these people - highly educated, highly motivated, dedicated and hard-working - that the Health Secretary seeks to impose a new contract of employment. This despite their deep disquiet about the provisions implicit in the details.
We wonder what impact this is having on the school students now only weeks away from their A levels, with aspirations to qualify as doctors in our NHS and to serve our community?
The last thing we need is to demotivate our own doctors-to-be. So, let us reassure you - we value your hard work, we need your commitment and we urge you to maintain your vocation.
Bernadette John, our Director of Special Educational Needs, despairs at yet another pointless idea from The Department of Education. The school admissions system is, apparently, now taking the blame for the lack of social mobility which is blighting opportunities and depriving the nation of much-needed talent.
One criticism of grammar schools is that they take a disproportionate number of children from privileged backgrounds. A far smaller number of grammar school pupils receive the pupil premium than pupils in comprehensive schools.
Buttle UK is a charity which supports disadvantaged children. One of its more imaginative and bolder initiatives has been to fund places at boarding schools for children who are thought likely to benefit from the opportunities this would provide. The project has been sensitively designed so as not to create divisions between children and their own families and social milieu.
The initial furore over National Offer Day is over - although, of course, the next one - Primary School Offer Day - is only six weeks away and we'll have to go through the whole miserable experience again. We, at The Good Schools Guide, along with everyone else, get worked up on behalf of children who are not allocated their first choice school or, far more worrying, children who get offered none of their six choices. It isn't good enough and shouldn't be happening.
Viewers tuning in for the Downton slot on Sunday night will have got something of a jolt – instead of cosy escapism, they were confronted by a brutal tale of death row executions and family betrayals (Undercover, BBC1).
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