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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School uniform is an unnecessary expense driving some parents into debt

The fact that parents on the poverty line are having to spend up to two thirds of their income on clothing for their children is scandalous and immoral

10 things I'd ban from the modern world

The things that make our lives noisier, lazier, and a whole lot more selfish

5:2 is just the latest: Britain’s diet industry is worth £2 billion, so why do we buy into it?

Advertisers have us in thrall with their tantalising promises and scary understanding of exactly how to manipulate our insecurities

Children's summer reading: Writing for teenagers

Tense in future, past and presents

Instead of expensive gifts for teachers, how about parents thank them? It means more, and it's free

Why have we got ourselves into the silly position of thinking that every teacher has to be bought a present at the end of every school year?

Has your child racked up a sky-high iPad bill? Parents, take some responsibility

Only an irresponsible parent allows unlimited iPad access. Children are not allowed to put items in supermarket trolleys without permission - the principle is identical.

Crystal reminds us that the plays of Shakespeare are scripts to be learnt and spoken aloud, not novels to be read in isolation

Review: Springboard Shakespeare: King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, By Ben Crystal

A guide to Shakespeare’s work that should be in every theatre

Unions are sure to fight Gove's term time plans

They can always be relied upon to stand against change

A message to anyone involved in education: stop underestimating children

If it weren’t so tragic, it would be almost laughable that Gove has to keep stating that we need to stretch the brightest children

Researchers estimate that 40 per cent of the 300 cot death cases in the UK each year could be prevented if parents only brought children into their beds for comfort and feeding, but not sleeping.

Cot Death: Doctors and scientists should be clear when official advice changes

They told us that a child on its back could choke on its own vomit and die - scary stuff, so we did as we were told, even though babies have slept on their backs for millennia

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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