There has been a lot of press coverage recently for independent school Heads speaking out against private tutors. The language is coded in terms of an industry of hangers-on, opportunists, as if tutoring firms were simply taking advantage of middle-class foibles, creating extra work, distraction and pressure for their pupils.
If you are an intelligent person, you form your own opinion when you read the news. You understand that certain papers have certain agendas and you interpret articles accordingly. You take things with a pinch of salt. But not until I joined the recent trade delegation to China, did I realise just how politicised - and hence inaccurate - news becomes.
It's important to point out that this is a huge generalisation and, of course, there were/are exceptions to the rule. However, I think, overall, the gap is not an educational one - or level of smartness even - but rather one of attitude. As long as that factor remains, the UK hasn't got a hope in hell of climbing the table, never mind becoming number one.
In the last few days, with the spotlight shining on Britain's relationship with China, there have been only warm words from David Cameron about "a dialogue of mutual respect and understanding". As Mr Cameron was still in the country, Tibetan nomad Kunchok Tseten set himself alight in protest against China's rule...