So it ought to be with some relief and encouragement that readers find comfort this week from our exclusive coverage of the Scottish Qualifications Authority's annual awards (p12-13). It is at least one note- worthy feature of the occasion that an organisation which only a few years ago was proclaimed a failure can now be associated, unremarkably, with success.
These awards are not the only show in town, of course, but they do reveal the sheer range of achievement from those who battle against the odds to the academic high-flyers, from individuals to institutions, from schools to lifelong learning.
The fact that some who took part are doing commendably should not be taken for granted. Who would have imagined even a few years ago, for example, that two schools which share common ground only in the sense that they are both based in Edinburgh St George's School for Girls, which is in the leafy suburbs, and Wester Hailes Education Centre, which is not could be active collaborators? It will be interesting to see whether these links become more extensive as the charities regulator breathes down the neck of the private schools to see how open and "charitable" they really are.
But that is such a negative thought, and the mood in this space this week is intended to be one of celebration. Who knows what next week might bring.