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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.”

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

Wealth Check: 'London's so expensive, but I must cut my debt'

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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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?