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Bethany Doughty worked as an actuary for 10 years before deciding to retrain as a maths teacher. It has proved to be a lifechanging move, for all the right reasons…

Senior Home Office figure Dame Helen Ghosh to leave Whitehall

One of the most senior women in Whitehall is leaving to head a charity.

Protesters urge Nepal prime minister Baburam Bhattarai to stand down

Hundreds of supporters of opposition political parties have gathered outside the main government offices in Nepal's capital to demand Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai step down.

Leading article: Civil Service reform is as desirable as it is hard

Ministers are right to ask whether some other countries might do things better

The proposed shake-up would radically change the way policies are processed within Whitehall

Ministers plot end to Civil Service neutrality

Ministers could be given the power to dismiss their most senior civil servants and bring in US-style political appointees to drive through policy, as part of a radical shake-up of Whitehall to be considered by the Government.

Today’s announcement will be seen as a victory for David Cameron’s combative former director of strategy Steve Hilton

Government plan puts Civil Service impartiality at risk

Cabinet Office minister provokes fears of politicisation with proposals to appoint senior mandarins on fixed-term contracts

Action from Horse Guards Parade, where empty seats were not in evidence

Laurie Penny at the beach volleyball: 'Do you really need to ask why I'm here?'

Laurie Penny gains an insight into the corporate mindset as she mingles with the crowd at the beach volleyball

Big drop in women working in top Whitehall roles

A drive to recruit more women to top jobs in Whitehall has stalled. The proportion of government departments headed by females has fallen from about half to about a quarter since last year.

A Blagger's Guide To: English Heritage Red Guides

Forget '50 Shades of Grey' – here are 50 volumes of history
Education Secretary Michael Gove

Diary: Michael Gove sends a staffer stateside to work with Republicans

Michael Gove is being increasingly talked up as the next Conservative leader while George Osborne's odds lengthen with every Budget U-turn. It is interesting that someone with whom he has worked closely is off to get first-hand experience of fighting high-pressure elections. James Frayne, director of communications in Mr Gove's department, is off to the US to work for the Republican presidential campaign.

Diary: when Hansard insisted on 'deleting genitalia'

There is a startling revelation in the latest volume of The Alastair Campbell Diaries, in the entry for 22 May 2003. During a cabinet meeting, the Home Secretary David Blunkett made a brief intervention. "People ought to read Hansard," Blunkett said, "especially when they were recommending 'delete genitalia and insert penis'."

Government spending cuts comment made 'off the cuff'

Downing Street sought today to play down a warning by Britain's most senior civil servant that the country could be facing a decade of spending cuts.

Coronation Street veteran Betty Driver after she received her OBE at Buckingham Palace. The actress who played barmaid Betty Turpin in the ITV soap for 42 years has died today aged 91, said a spokeswoman for the programme.

Fact File: The Honours System

The UK honours system stretches back to the Norman conquest, but it wasn’t until 1917 that it began to recognise ordinary Britons.

New appraisals to be introduced for civil servants

The worst-performing civil servants will be given a timeframe for improvement under Whitehall reforms announced today.

Under-performing civil servants face dismissal under Government plans to shake up Whitehall

Under-performing civil servants will face dismissal under plans to shake up Whitehall to be unveiled by the Government today.

Leading article: More women bosses – whatever the economic weather

Fewer than a third of Britain's most influential jobs are held by women. And barely 16 per cent of board members on the UK's top 100 listed companies are female. Change is coming – 10 years ago, it was a mere 7 per cent – but it is far too slow. At the current rate, it will be many decades before the genders are in balance.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn