Reform of 'messy, muddled' higher education system could see half of Britain's universities closed

Half the country’s universities should be closed in sweeping reforms to the UK’s “messy, muddled” higher education system, according to the former head of the body which represents university vice-chancellors.

A new study shows 12 per cent of seven-year-olds with special educational needs claimed they were being bullied

Disability doubles chance of bullying for children

Children with special education needs are twice as likely to suffer from persistent  bullying, according to new research into primary schools published today.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education

Michael Gove approves 38 new free schools

Education Secretary Michael Gove has given the go-ahead for 38 new free schools, bringing the total number in the country to 331.

Liz Truss, Minister for Childcare

Childcare Minister Liz Truss refuses extra funds for threatened nurseries

It would be “invidious” of the Government to save hundreds of outstanding nursery schools facing closure because of funding changes, Childcare Minister Liz Truss told an all-party committee of MPs today.

Sea Cadets marching in Trafalgar Square last year

Government announces £1m cadet force scheme for state schools

A new £1 million Government bursary scheme will give thousands of state school pupils the opportunity to join new cadet units.

Students look through microscopes during a science class

Science A-Level shake-up could render practicals useless, claims leading academic

A shake-up of A-Level science may lead to schools and colleges concluding practical experiments are irrelevant to getting into university, according to the former head of the National Science Learning Centre.

Just 32 per cent of poor white British children obtain five A* to C grades

Make school day longer to improve results for white working class boys, say MPs

White working class pupils should have a longer day at school to help them boost their test and exam results, an influential group of MPs will recommend today.

Parental guidance: reading at home is important for youngsters

How to make your children do their homework

The Chief Inspector of Schools says parents should make sure their children do their homework. But how to do it without making them hate you? Rosie Millard explains
A poster protesting against Michael Gove is displayed outside Oldknow Academy, one of the Birmingham Schools at the centre of the 'Trojan Horse' affair

Trojan horse schools: Spending cuts 'to blame' for lapses, Birmingham City Council claims

Spending cuts have forced a £2m cut in funding for a scheme aimed at protecting pupils in Birmingham from being coerced into terrorism, MPs have heard.

A young boy does his homework. Members of a council in central Sweden have proposed scrapping extra work for children.

Homework ban proposed by councillors in Swedish city of Hallstahammar

Children in Hallstahammar may soon see the back of home study

Of England's 93 sixth form colleges, more than one in three have already had to axe their language courses

Exclusive: Sixth-form colleges face closure because of deep budget cuts, with courses in languages, maths and science also being chopped

Sixth form colleges are under threat with several facing closure this year because of deep cuts to their budgets, claims a new study by the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association (SFCA). A survey of England’s 93 sixth form colleges reveals that more than one in three colleges have already had to axe their language courses – while more than one in five have scrapped courses in the Stem science and maths subjects.

Primary and secondary schools across the country will be required to teach young children about the benefits of business and how to make profits

Children as young as five to be taught entrepreneurial skills - and how to make a profit

Primary school children as young as five will be taught how to be entrepreneurial, under radical new government plans being unveiled this week.

Over half of voters believe faith schools should lose state funding or be abolished

Debate over role of religion in schools has been reignited following 'Trojan Horse' allegations

Sir Peter Bazalgette has called for state schools to add study of the arts to the so-called “Stem” subjects

Arts Council chief Peter Bazalgette calls for more drama lessons in state schools

The head of Arts Council England has claimed the dominance of privately educated actors in British film and TV has come as state schools focus too heavily on subjects including science and maths.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for every state school to follow the national curriculum and employ properly qualified teachers

Lib Dems in call for all state teachers to be qualified

Tensions in the Coalition over education will erupt again today when the Liberal Democrats call for every state school to follow the national curriculum and employ properly qualified teachers.

John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
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healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
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Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London


Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line

...and the perfect time to visit them

We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Life and Style

Try putting that one on your Christmas list
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it

Life and Style
techCriminals now targeting e-readers
Life and Style
A plane flies close to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano
newsAnd yes, it's quite something
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

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These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week