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.
Did any of you see the flurry of news stories following a recent survey of parents, in which 87% indicated that they thought schools should focus on building a child's character and not on their academic ability alone? The results of the survey certainly made interesting reading. But they also got me thinking about what it is that schools can do to build character in their pupils.
As a scholarship student, I take issue with the fact that many regard independent schools like mine as elitist intuitions, reserved only for the privileged few. Although it might be fair to say that there a cluster of independent schools that are openly elitist, in my experience to say all schools are the same is a sweeping generalisation.
Summer learning loss is a well-known phenomenon in many schools. So much so that from 2015, the government is planning to introduce measures to give every state school the power to set their own term times - a freedom currently available to free schools and academies. The change could see a four week summer holiday introduced in many schools, with a longer gap between other terms.
Sitting on the train, contemplating how to spend my Euro Millions winnings ahead of 2013's biggest jackpot of £157m this week, my usual pre-draw euphoria was replaced by an unfamiliar and frightening realisation: that not only my dream purchases, but even some things I take for granted, could be at risk if I didn't win.
Like any successful business, independent schools need to understand and deliver what their customers - fee-paying parents - want in order to stay ahead in the education marketplace. The survey results appear to substantiate that with advanced strategic planning many schools are successfully achieving this.
In the wake of London's Olympic Games, debate was raging in the media and through online social network channels about figures published by the Sutton Trust, which revealed that over half of Team GB's winning rowers went to fee-paying schools and our athletes were five times more likely to win medals if they were educated in an independent school.