Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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School pupils at the Bridge Learning Campus answer questions in a classroom at the school on February 24, 2010

Better-off parents excel at playing the state-school system. It’s right to give others a chance to do so

The middle classes might grumble, but a bit of re-prioritising wouldn’t go amiss

Why has Miliband not developed more of an international presence?

Labour's Love Lost US-style: Ed Miliband needs a global touch

Given the situation in Ukraine, there must have been some doubt over whether Ed Miliband's carefully planned, high stakes meeting with Barack Obama in Washington tomorrow would still go ahead. In international diplomacy, choreography is everything, and the "brush-by" has taken weeks to organise. But the very nature of diplomacy means foreign crises routinely throw the choreography off course. With the US president preoccupied with the West's response to Russia over the MH17 atrocity, it may seem odd that he would still find time to see a Labour leader who struggles to convince the nation he is the Prime Minister in waiting, as our poll today underlines. Yet despite what many voters (and MPs) feel in their guts – that Miliband won't be in Downing Street next May – there is still a high probability that he will. So it would be odd for Obama not to see him, regardless of the urge to diary-clear to deal with Ukraine.

Danielle Calvert, MBDA mechanical engineering apprentice, from Royston, Hertfordshire

Putting more women in 'male' apprenticeships could bridge the gender pay gap

Some 83 per cent of apprentices in health and social care are female, 91 per cent in childcare, and 93 per cent in hairdressing

David Cameron at a recent event

Questions arise over hospitality enjoyed by two top ministers ahead of Cabinet reshuffle

Michael Gove and Theresa May were entertained separately in the Royal Box at Covent Garden
Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in The Honourable Woman

Women wait for the call: This week's reshuffle is David Cameron's chance to act on his one-third pledge

The PM is expected to promote many women MPs, but is likely to fall short of the target because, it is claimed, not all of the female backbenchers are 'good enough'
Nick Clegg

Lib Dems distance themselves from Coalition partners with separate minister reshuffle

The moves are part of a concerted effort for a 'conscious uncoupling' from the Tories

‘Being polite’ has its place. But shouldn’t the Editor of Tatler really be telling girls to prioritise hard work?

Rules for the privately educated are different from those that apply to those of us who went to comprehensives

Andy Coulson outside the Old Bailey

Tony Blair's denial of moderation in the Middle East

This is not a great time for journalism or to be a journalist. As Andy Coulson spends his first weekend in jail for phone hacking – or, as I see it, cheating at journalism – those of us reporters who act legally still have our liberty curtailed. Google was once a reservoir of everything on the internet – an apparently bottomless lagoon of facts, some of it important, some utterly irrelevant. But complete, nonetheless. Now it has been dredged by the EU ruling on the right to be forgotten, we are left with a censored version of history. It stinks.

Tory donor Adrian Beecroft

Millions of taxpayers' cash spent on venture capital fund run by Tory donor

Adrian Beecroft is the latest member of the Conservatives' Leader's Group to face questions
Fears over antibiotic usage leading to lethal infections will be discussed at G8 meeting

Not patients’ fault if antibiotics have lost power

Doctors have been dishing them out far too much, and now we're paying for it

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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape