The inaugural issue of Archant London’s parents@schoolreport – an online addition to our quarterly School Report magazine – is out now! Brimming with expert advice for London parents, from why character building is more important than exam results to whether we should be testing children at all, and why it’s all about STEM subjects right now. Here’s a letter from the Editor, Mark Kebble, to whet your appetite…

If an alien landed in the UK tomorrow – I’d suggest they avoid the London rush hour – what would they make of education in this country? If they happened to read any of our daily newspapers, then they would presume our children are in the worst situation possible, facing years of anguish and disruption before their career even starts (and then, if said alien wasn’t already depressed, doom and gloom over Brexit would suggest they face many more years of heartache too).

However, as we wait with bated breathe for Justine Greening to inform us all about her ambitions for education, I argue things are not that bad at all. Given the many inspiring Heads, teachers and establishments I have had the privilege of meeting and visiting over the past decade, I actually wish I was back at school myself. It was why it was a no-brainer for us to create this special e-edition, to give us all the opportunity here at Archant London to showcase some of the finest things in education right now.

We certainly start as we mean to go on. I had the honour of interviewing Tony Little in person four years ago when he was still in post at Eton and I will never forget that hour spent in his esteemed company (even if I did feel like a naughty, nervous schoolboy waiting outside his office beforehand). You’d think, having presided over one of the most illustrious private schools in the UK, that he wouldn’t veer too far from the well trodden independent path, but he argues that every child deserves the opportunity to shine in private education. Vivienne Durham also has her say, suggesting where you live is no guarantee to experience the best in education.

As I have already alluded to, there are many people out there who seem to believe that our children have never had it so bad. From wellbeing issues, to a crisis in the teaching sector, fear and doubt reign – or does it? We take a closer look at both issues. And celebrating how diverse education has become, inside you will also read more about the global attraction for UK schools, how debating remains a key part of the curriculum, what the National Youth Theatre has achieved in 60 years, and why circademics is the new in thing career-wise. Those pupils certainly are taking off.