40% drop in children sitting GCSEs early, Ofqual figures show

A dramatic drop in the number of children pushed by schools into taking their GCSE exams a year early is revealed in new statistics published by exams regulator Ofqual.

Goldsmiths College is applauded for greater transparency over vice-chancellor's pay

There may be a frisson of horror in vice-chancellor circles at the latest initiative from Goldsmiths College. The south London university has become the first in the country to permit a student representative to sit in on the body that determines the university vice-chancellor's pay.

Hardline governors in some Birmingham schools were guilty of 'serious malpractice' and bullied headteachers out of their jobs in order to introduce Islamic worship

Trojan Horse report: Birmingham schools broke law with Islamic assemblies and banned sex education

The council had been warned about the problems before the Trojan Horse allegations but had 'failed to tackle them'

Competitive parents who want to give the best present have raised the stakes in classrooms across the country

Reports of presents including Tiffany bracelets and opera tickets leads to concern that teachers' gift-giving is becoming 'over commercialised'

The most common gift for teachers is chocolates, with 85 per cent of staff having received some

Chalk Talk: The closure of Harrowden Middle School in Bedford is an own goal

I have often written about headteachers facing the sack after a poor report on their school by Ofsted. Headteachers' leaders such as Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, and Brian Lightman, of the Association of School and College Leaders, call it "football manager syndrome".

End games: headteacher Deirdre Murphy at a farewell party for the pupils

Harrowden Middle School's pupils are thriving, and Ofsted has praised it - so why is it closing?

Richard Garner reports on a bizarre educational decision
Pitch perfect: Felsted’s Nancy Hebron, who has trained with the England team

Success of the England women's cricket team inspires girls to take up game in record numbers

Richard Garner reports on a grass-roots revolution

The Children's Bookshow competition is a chance for young readers to be writers

The competition, which is backed by The Independent, is is taking to the roads again with a nation-wide tour of 15 major cities

Chalk Talk: More free schools won't necessarily mean more good schools

Just a comment on the announcement of the next tranche of free schools by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Amy Chua is the author of the controversial book, Battle
Hymn of the Tiger Mother

How to help your child do well at school: 'Helicopter parents' and 'tiger mothers' should back off, say researchers

Researchers in the US came up with the astonishing finding that parental involvement in children's schooling makes no difference at all to test scores and exam grades. So what does help them learn better?

Chalk Talk: Prominent education figures feature in Queen's Birthday Honours list

Just to note that some of the most prominent figures in the education world over the past two decades are celebrating this week as a result of the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The head of schools watchdog Ofsted said headteachers should be able to fine parents for being

Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw: Give headteachers power to fine 'bad' parents

Mr Wilshaw says levy should be imposed on parents who fail to turn up to parents evening or on those who don't enforce homework

Chalk Talk: Free school statistics that may not quite add up

An intriguing insight into the Government's flagship free schools policy was given last weekend at the Northern Rocks education conference in Leeds.

Game on: Christopher Whittaker (left) with fellow student Jay Gilmore

Network of career colleges will directly help prepare students for the world of work

Richard Garner visits Oldham College, where the innovative courses, with input from local employers, are already up and running

Chalk Talk: Shakespeare can be child's play

To the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebrations have spawned a new initiative designed to help five- to 11-year-olds celebrate and appreciate the Bard's works.

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Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada