When I was at school there were not many options for the youngster who was just paddling along. The brightest pupils were encouraged towards passing the 11+, the rest of us did our best! It didn’t worry me at the time. I was already lined up for a job after school – my mother was personal secretary to the MD of an important local firm and I had a Saturday and holiday job with them which offered permanency. Mum taught me office skills which I confidently carried with me througout life. The typing has stood me in very good stead at every stage. These days you need to know where you want to be in life much earlier – all the school choices have to be made when 14 or 15 for a career that’s supposed to take you through to your 70s. This is where really good careers guidance is essential at school and university to enable the right paths are followed.