Education professionals in England sometimes gaze longingly across their western border at the land of rising standards without league tables; the nation that reduced testing; ministers who work with local authorities and teachers, not against them; and inspections in which Chris Woodhead and naming and shaming played no part. Funding may be a different story. But somehow the grass always seems greener.
Parents might have been expected to see things differently, however, since many of the approaches followed in England were intended to boost their consumer power. David Bell, England's chief inspector, certainly thinks Welsh parents have been let down (page 1).
However, a survey of Welsh parents commissioned by TES Cymru suggests a remarkably high level of satisfaction with their children's education. A huge 80 per cent say their child's teacher is doing a good job. Almost a third call it "excellent".
A strong vote of thanks, then, for the efforts of Welsh teachers. Welsh education isn't without its problems of course. But this bodes well for tackling them the Welsh way - together.