Alan Smithers: Keep education academics well away from running our schools please

The massive Cambridge Primary Review is a wonderful example of why we need universities to keep occupied education academics who otherwise might be tempted to try to run things and do real damage. It is a rich source of ideas, never using one word when 10 will do, but it is weak on practical solutions. Cutting to the chase of the 78 conclusions and 75 recommendations, it appears that Professor Robin Alexander and the other 13 authors think primary education would be better if there were a broader curriculum, SATs were scrapped and the school entry age were raised to six.

Wealth Check: 'Tell me this: where's the fun in saving?'

Claire Fraser, 20, will go back to Manchester University on 21 September for her third year of studying drama. She has been spending her holidays doing internships and gaining work experience, but is worried about the effect it has had on her financial situation.

Taylor's finish too good for Palace

Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle Utd 2

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Jenny earns a good salary but regularly dips into the red. How can she sort out her finances?

Scandal of class divide at A-level

State schools in poor areas spurn traditional subjects to boost results

A-level passes set to hit peak – then questions will get tougher

With under 3 per cent likely to fail, this will be the 27th year in a row that marks have gone up

Oxbridge squeeze on triple-A students

More than 12,000 applicants rejected after record surge in A-level results

Professor Alan Smithers: We are heartily fed up with being spun to

We need yet another education White Paper like a hole in the head. At this stage of parliament it smacks of shameless electioneering. It also comes after 12 years of continual upheaval. The relentless push for change stems in part from the Government wanting to be seen to be making a difference. But, more importantly, it is because the big ideas and sweeping narratives do not always fit reality and so have disappointing outcomes.

Shearer will gut squad – if he stays

Interim manager set to make decision on his future at Newcastle by tonight

Specialist schools accused of failing their specialist subjects

Rival parties say Government's flagship policy is not working

Professor Alan Smithers: Government still has time to change children's lives

The Government has missed a trick. With primary pupil numbers falling and more money being found for education it had a golden opportunity to make a decisive difference to class sizes in primary schools. Instead, it looks as though the trend is worsening.

More than 300 infant classes break Labour's 30-pupil limit

Government demands schools take steps to comply with ban on over-enrolment

Let's make history, says Shearer

Alan Shearer is not a man prone to emotional outbursts but Newcastle United's relegation crunch match against Portsmouth at St James' Park tonight has provoked Shearer to declare: "It will be the most important game these players have played for Newcastle and I suppose from my point of view as well – without question. There is a real opportunity for a group of players or an individual to make a real name for themselves so that in 10 or 15 years' time someone may be talking about this situation."

Nolan sees red as Newcastle and Everton draw

Newcastle 0 Everton 0

Newcastle sign Lovenkrands

Newcastle today completed the signing of former Rangers forward Peter Lovenkrands until the end of the season.

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