John Brennan: Why is the Connexions service not working?

The transition to adulthood is difficult for many young people, which is why the Government established the Connexions service to provide tailored advice to all 13- to 19-year-olds. Through a website and local advisers, it promises universal help for young people to find the right courses, plan for careers, use money wisely and deal with teenage relationship and family troubles. In theory, it was a good idea because traditional careers advice for all would be supplemented by extra support for those young people who were at risk of dropping out of education. But in practice it doesn't seem to be working.

Who will guard the guards?

After the Deepcut tragedy, the Army is opening its doors to outside inspectors

John Brennan: Mind the gap (between schools and colleges)

Labour ministers worry about what pollsters call "the perception gap".

Learning pays

Get cash to study? Pilot schemes indicate that EMAs could make a big difference to teenagers, says Elaine Williams

Scratching a living

DJing seems so left-field it's surprising there are so many college courses available in it. Marcus Freed cues up a few of the success stories

Picking up the pieces

Staff morale can be badly affected at colleges criticised by Ofsted inspectors. Neil Merrick hears how some institutions are questioning the inspection process

The poor relations

Improved funding has made a difference to colleges. But only more money will quell growing levels of staff discontent, says Beryl Pratley

Kick-start for training

Apprenticeships have been in decline for some time. But a new government push is aiming to raise their profile and popularity, says Steve McCormack

Leading article: College SOS

The funding crisis in further-education colleges was highlighted last week when more than 200 principals, lecturers and students held a rally at the House of Commons.

Seat of learning

Do you have a great novel in you? Want to know more about real ale? One picturesque adult-education retreat has it all

Study breaks with a view

Fancy taking a course at a historic house in a beautiful setting? Gareth Rubin shows you how

Leading article: Apprentices need reform

The education establishment seems to think that it is a good thing for children as young as 14 to be able to take up to two days off school each week to learn a trade under the Government's radical shake-up of apprenticeships.

Careers for women on tap

It may be a wrench for men, but they're having to get used to more and more female plumbers. Fran Abrams finds out why - and how - women can train

Brains, not brawn

His critics were afraid that John Brennan would be too unassuming to run the Association of Colleges. Not so, says Simon Midgley
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker