Susan Elkin

Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. Her book Unlocking the Reader in Every Child is published by Ransom. She is Education and Training Editor at The Stage.

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Let's wait to see the new English literature GCSE syllabus before complaining

Exam boards select from a huge and rich repository of excellent possibilities and change their syllabuses from time to time

There's too much Hitler - and too many Henrys - in our schooling system

The varied options of a new A-level ought to be welcomed

It doesn't matter if children call teachers ‘Miss’ and ‘Sir’ at school

Young people simply conform to the culture of the school they’re in without giving it any conscious thought

Children in nappies shouldn't be allowed in schools

The only reason five year-olds aren't potty trained is laziness, and it's the nappy manufacturers who are benefiting

Teachers deserve time off without abuse from pupils on social media

We have to teach young people that social networks mustn’t be misused

Young adult book reviews: War's hell, but childbirth and the future are scary too

In the second of our Easter specials, Susan Elkin looks at holiday reading for young adults, from dystopia to the Somme

Our lazy and ignorant overuse of a handful of words: Discuss swear words in school and diminish their shock value

A mother who complained about a school play containing 400 swear words was subjected to more foul language from teachers who disagreed on Mumsnet

Book review: The Madness Of July by James Naughtie

It is the 1970s and we’re at the height of the Cold War when an American, Joe Manson, unaccountably arrives in London and dies in a House of Commons storeroom – although, with the connivance of Special Branch, the coroner and the public are given a different version of his demise. Somehow, Manson seems to be linked to Will Flemyng, a foreign office minister with a long, supplementary career in benign espionage. The cause of Manson’s death is a self-administered drugs overdose, obviously – except that there are powerful reasons why it can’t be.

Why we need to teach sexting in schools

Children rarely understand the full meaning of the words or images they're using

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'