Most likely to succeed: Certain character qualities are great for improving academic grades

Six of the best: the traits your child needs to succeed

Skilled teachers and top schools help, but researchers are increasingly discovering that what pupils bring to the classroom matters as much – or more – than what the classroom can offer them

Chalk Talk: The class act recognised for getting Japanese in schools

In a week in which the European Union Education Commissioner has been berating the UK for its approach towards learning foreign languages, it's good to see a language teacher winning the national award for teaching in a secondary school.

Judith Kerr Primary School in Herne Hill, south London

Auf Wiedersehen, pupils: UK's first Anglo/German state primary school opens

There are hopes that it will lead to a more enlightened attitude to learning languages, reports Richard Garner

The way schools are being ranked is to be scrapped by ministers

Controversial GCSE ranking system to be overhauled

Schools will be ranked on pupils' best eight GCSEs in future

Fair play: youngsters at The Television Workshop show off their skills

Are drama schools just for the middle classes?

No, says Chloe Hamilton, who talks to those in the industry who are trying to make it easier for children without means to get in on the act

Chalk Talk: The fight to strengthen local government's role in education

The trouble with Graham Lane was, as the former local politician revealed to Newsnight's presenter Jeremy Paxman on BBC 2 in the mid-1990s, that he was always rather too forthcoming.

Angela Akers, 42, pursued a successful career as a senior dental officer

Special report: Working-class pupils went to private schools under Margaret Thatcher’s abolished assisted places scheme - how did they get on?

Under Margaret Thatcher’s government, they were plucked from poverty and taken out of state schools to attend top private schools instead, courtesy of the state. 

Wilbury primary school tutor Alex Lee provides tuition in lunchtimes and after school

Revolutionary scheme aims to ensure private tutoring isn't just for the privileged

Richard Garner reports on a revolutionary scheme in which pupils from families who can't afford extra tuition get it paid for by those who can

Chalk Talk: In-depth research on schools often unearths some gems

I do love researchers – they are so fearless in their comments, ground-breaking in their recommendations.

Lyons Hall primary school in Braintree

What business does the private sector have running state schools?

Edison, the US for-profit company, was greeted with suspicion when it entered the British education scene. But 10 years and 200 school partnerships on, it has won round many of the doubters, writes Richard Garner

Chalk talk: A creative competition to help foster a love of literature

And now for a welcome move to foster more creativity in the classroom.

Olympic rowing heroines Helen Glover and Heather Stanning studied at Millfield, Somerset, and Gordonstoun, Moray, respectively

Don't get mad, get even: How state schools can emulate the private sector's sporting success

John Claughton - the chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference Sports Committee, the chief master of King Edward's School, Birmingham, and a former Warwickshire cricketer - argues that state schools could learn from private schools' record

Chalk talk: Stephen Twigg may still get one last chance to make a mark

All the talk has been of cabinet reshuffles in the run-up to the party conference season – but now it looks like they may be delayed until after it is over.

Chalk talk: Free school that plans to separate the boys from the girls

If at first you don't succeed... Regular Independent readers may recall that I championed the cause of a proposed free school in Lewisham, south London, which aimed to persuade local youth to stay away from gang culture.

Headteacher Matthew Laban says that core knowledge fosters a love of learning among pupils

Is 'core knowledge' the pub quiz of learning?

Depending on your perspective, it's a rigorous academic curriculum or just a list of facts. Richard Garner reports on the controversial teaching approach being pioneered in north London schools

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Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee