Catching the 5.57am train from Darlington to King’s Cross is never going to be my favourite place to be on a freezing winter’s morning.
But after surviving the journey south – fuelled by several cups of East Coast Main Line’s coffee – I spent a thoroughly enjoyable and educational day at the Institute of Physics at Portland Place.
And before you start thinking I was there to hear high brow policy makers discuss the latest curriculum changes to science lessons, or watch physicists unveil some revolutionary transport system….. I wasn’t.
Although I’m sure I’d have enjoyed it just as much!
I was one of around 150 people who gathered at the Institute’s Rutherford Theatre to rub shoulders with a group of national education journalists.
Highly-respected reporters such as the FT’s Chris Cook and The Telegraph’s Graeme Paton were there, as was David Marley from Times Education Supplement, Emily Drabble from The Guardian and Liz Lightfoot, whose distinguished career includes time spent as education editor at the The Telegraph, parliamentary reporter for the Press Association and education reporter for the Mail on Sunday.
The gathered throng included a range of educationalists from across the country, from well-known independent schools – such as Roedean – to those representing state schools and ambitious universities.
Also present were a small group of PR people like me, keen to renew contact with some of the journalists who wield the power, that small group of people who decide which education stories make it into national press, and those which are forever consigned to the great email recycling bin.
A good day, and one which should prove incredibly useful in the weeks and months to come.