During the last three or four weeks it's seemed like every time I've turned on the TV or my computer, I've found someone banging on about how rubbish our schools are - or alternatively about how wonderful private schools are - or how every other country's schools are better than ours. I'm sure many of the readers on this site have heard them or read them, and I won't get personal by naming the people who wrote or said them.
(Although having said that - Joanna Lumley - do you really think that outburst will do any more than Patsy or Edina did to improve the nation's morals ?)
Thing is though - this image of 'broken education' doesn't quite gel with my way of thinking. During that time I've been backwards and forwards to my own children's school - Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard - I've been picking my daughter up after her Science Trip to Disneyland Paris, picking my son up after his Spanish Language trip to Seville; and this week taking them both to and from rehearsals for the school production - my son playing electric guitar in the orchestra, my daughter playing an "80's style geek" - singing, dancing, and acting in a musical production.
All this against a backdrop of preparation for GCSE's for both of them (My 14 year old daughter already has one GCSE) - for which the teachers are predicting grades of no lower than B for my daughter, and no lower than A for my son.
It's not long since my son was away camping with the school all weekend for his Duke of Edinburgh award - my daughter will be doing this later in the year. Another highlight was my son commuting to Camden in London to complete his work experience week with an independent Theatre - which has led in part to his ambition to study English literature at University - and there's every reason to believe that he will.
It's all a far cry from the supposedly elite Grammar school that I attended - which I detested ( it's perhaps only fair to point out that despite my criticisms of it, my old school did help me along the road to a first class honours degree )
My own children by contrast really rather enjoy school.
It's an even further cry though from the bleak picture of a desperate state education system which seems to be painted so often by much of the mainstream media, and their stooges.
Earlier this week I visited a London special school in preparation for a job application - Part of the visit also involved being shown around a comprehensive school as well - one co-located with the special school and working closely in partnership with it (something you won't find too often in private schools).
The special school was excellent, but I was bowled over by the mainstream secondary school - the artwork on display was fabulous - the sports facilities tremendous - the library a hive of industry where I felt afraid to speak lest I disturbed those hard at work. It was no Potemkin Village either (although some of the pupils there were learning Russian and Chinese) - I was shown round by two year 10 girls who were quite happy to tell me the bad as well as the good - although they couldn't think of much. Everything about it said to me - "This is a good school".
Later that day I sat in the car waiting to pick up my kids from their latest rehearsal at their own school. I was impatient - it was past 6.00 - but I realised the school was still busy - people coming and going, parents arriving for evening classes or Zumba sessions.
I reflected on the last few weeks as I sat there. I came to the conclusion that the talk of the demise of our schools is very much exaggerated.
So if anyone thinks that what the doom mongers are saying is true, just ring up some schools and ask to go and look round, or talk to some teenagers, or parents, or teachers.
You may find that you're pleasantly surprised.