When it comes to apologies and excuses, young people can learn much from leading figures in public life.
Like Nick Buckles, chief executive of the G4S company which has made a horlicks of the Olympics security contract.
Hauled before the Commons select committee on home affairs, he was asked by a member: "Mr Buckles, it's a humiliating shambles isn't it." To which he replied: "I cannot disagree with you."
Buckles looked extremely uncomfortable on this parliamentary naughty step. He couldn't wait to say sorry, give a big hug to Supernanny (aka Home Secretary Theresa May), and go off to collect his company's £57m management fee.
Consider similar scenarios:
n Called up before the head teacher for playing truant, the pupil should say: "I will be fully transparent here. I accept 100% responsibility for my no-show. This was due to favourable ambient temperatures under my duvet compared to extremely cold weather outside."
n Asked to explain why he told his primary one teacher to "calm down, dear" a budding David Cameron might say: "If I offended anyone I am hugely sorry. That is not what I wanted to do. It was a light-hearted reference."
n The Jeremy Hunt defence might come in useful. Mr Hunt is the Westminster Culture Secretary who was accused of inappropriate links with Rupert Murdoch over BSkyB. A student implicated, for instance, in some ill-advised emailed comments on a teacher, can lay the blame at the door of his special advisor.
He had considered expelling himself but had decided "with a heavy heart" that his "brilliant, diligent, and honourable" spin doctor (Bunter of the Fifth Remove) should be sacked instead.
n Pupils returning late after stopping for a lunchtime pie at Gregg's should heed precedent at the Scottish Parliament. Give a full and frank apology. Say: "I completely lost track of time. I apologise for showing such disrespect, not only to my teacher, but the whole staff and my fellow pupils. I take this as a salutary lesson which I will reflect on."
n IF caught diverting lunch money to other purposes while blagging sandwiches from smaller children, use the Jimmy Carr excuse: "I now realise it was a terrible error of judgment to use this lunch avoidance scheme. It was a big boy who told me to do it and ran away."
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