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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

If we want a fairer education system we must start by putting less pressure on kids

Richer parents will always buy into extra provision – so why not ensure all pupils are put on a more equal footing

‘Old habits’ return to early academies as A-level results slump

Research shows tail-off in performance at the first state schools granted new status

Schools on course to miss Government's GCSE exam target

The science pass rate is set to drop as a result of examiners making physics, chemistry and biology papers tougher

Boys will be boys: Gender divide is growing fast at A-levels

Girls shy away from maths and science and fewer boys opt for English and creative subjects

A-levels: Probe into languages teaching as pupil numbers continue to fall

Two major investigations have been launched into the state of modern foreign languages in the wake of yet another slump in the number of candidates taking the subject at A-level.

Hannah Short celebrates grades of A*, A and B at Brighton College in East Sussex

A-level results 2013: Number of pupils scoring top grades drops for second year running

The number of top grade passes at A-level dropped for the second year running, results showed today.

The slump in applications from boys runs through all social strata

Higher university tuition fees 'putting off working-class boys'

Boys are more likely to shun university as a result of the rise in tuition fees, according to new research.

Scott Parker in action against West Ham last week

Age no barrier for Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker who sets his sights on the World Cup

The 32-year-old is hopeful of being included in squad for Rio 2014

Gove 'talked up' league table slide

England's much-lamented slide down the international education league tables may not be as bad as it seems, according to a report by a leading academic.

Hamish McRae: Markets' merry Christmas despite triple-dip talk

Economic View: Monetary policy has started to be counterproductive as it has all sorts of negative effects

Something to think about: i, the concise, quality newspaper, is on the lookout for self-motivated, energetic and organised Student Brand Ambassadors

Financial incentives – and free laptops – to be offered as universities try to woo students

Bright A-level candidates are being wooed with financial incentives this autumn as universities struggle to cling on to high-flying students.

Father jailed for stabbing man to death for asking if his daughter was all right

A father was jailed for at least 26 years today for killing a man for asking if his crying daughter was all right.

All Rhodes lead to Wembley for Huddersfield

Huddersfield set up an all-Yorkshire showdown with Sheffield United at Wembley on Saturday week as they went through to the League One play-off final 3-2 on aggregate despite losing 2-1 to MK Dons.

I may look to be joking with David Seaman, but inside I'm hurting after Sheffield United's 2003 FA Cup defeat

Neil Warnock: My lifelong love for the Cup has always gone unrequited

What I Learnt This Week

Double from captain Holt helps Norwich defeat Magpies

Norwich 4 Newcastle 2

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Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
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Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes