The following day I went into Bluecoat School in nearby Coventry, and spent some time with their creative writing club and a few English classes. I loved hearing about what the students are reading - lots of dystopian Young Adult fiction, from the sound of it - and seeing their enthusiasm for stories. Questions ranged from the curious and incisive to the brilliantly surreal; year 9 asked my opinion on everything from seagulls to Spider-Man.
I was a keen painter, mediocre musician and a secretive, passionate scribbler throughout my school years and I'm alarmed by the creeping marginalisation of the arts in secondary schools. Kudos to the dedicated teachers I met at Bluecoat who continue to bring the subject alive for their students, despite all the pressures they face.