News Dr Andrew Davis claims rival camps in the debate over how to teach children to read are acting like 'religious fundamentalists'

Children who are fluent readers are being damaged by the Government’s insistence on using synthetic phonics in the classroom, a leading academic warns today.

Ryan Harris embodies everything that is required of the perfect team cricketer

Adam Gilchrist on the Ashes: Despite the Ashes defeat Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers have been winners

The Aussie Angle: These thirtysomethings show what is required to be quality Test players

Mooen Ali on his way to 61 against the Australians yesterday

Ashes 2013: England look to Chris Tremlett for injection of new pace

Squad for final Ashes Test delayed as injuries to Bresnan and Onions leave unfilled vacancies

Surrey given Hashim Amla boost

Surrey's hopes of avoiding relegation from the First Division of the County Championship have been boosted by the signing of South Africa's Hashim Amla, currently rated as the best Test and ODI batsman in the world.

'Highly intelligent' schoolboy jailed for life for attempting to kill 12-year-old girl by 'gutting her like a pig' after she spurned sexual advances

Cameron Cleland lured the girl to a secluded Yorkshire lane where he tried to kill her with a blunt pen-knife

Stuart Broad is congratulated following the dismissal of Brad Haddin
<b>Stuart Broad – 9</b><br/>
On his day he is easily one of the best bowlers in the world and fortunately for England this was Broad’s Test. Has bowled well throughout the series, but was finally rewarded with a match-winning haul of 11 wickets in the game. If only he could produce performances like this more regularly.

Ashes 2013: The media reaction in Australia after England win the series

Stuart Broad comes in for much praise after his blistering performance in the fourth Test

Stepping out: England at Wormsley, the venue for the Test match today

10 reasons to watch the women's Ashes

The Test starts today and you should tune in, says England's Sarah Taylor

England's Sarah Taylor is the top-ranked batswoman in the world

England women ‘can’t wait’ for their chance to get at the Aussies

Form of Edwards and Taylor will be crucial factor in hosts’ chances of securing series win

Australia celebrate the controversial dismissal of Kevin Pietersen

Ashes 2013: International Cricket Council will not investigate allegations that players are 'cheating'

Governing body has confirmed it has no plans to follow-up claims in Australia that batsmen are using silicone tape to deceive Hot Spot technology

Surrey reach T20 semi-finals

Surrey booked their place in the Friends Life T20 Finals Day for the first time since 2006 after edging to a three-wicket win over Somerset in their quarter-final at The Oval.

James Anderson celebrates after England retain the Ashes

County Championship round-up: Graham Onions lords it over rivals

Bowler of the day Is there a better bowler in county cricket than Graham Onions? Statistically, the Sussex duo, Steve Magoffin and Chris Jordan, are leading the way this season, both passing the milestone of 50 first-class wickets in the match with Derbyshire. But they have only done what Onions has been doing year-on-year in a career in which he now has more than 400 first-class wickets following his 7 for 62 as Middlesex were dismissed for 168 at Lord's. Indeed, it is his favourite ground – outside his home patch at Chester-le-Street – having now taken 42 wickets from eight matches. The battle between Onions and Steven Finn, his England rival, has made for an intriguing sub-plot. Each dismissed the other, Finn getting Onions in both Durham's innings.

Chris Tremlett has been called up to the England squad for the third Test

Ashes 2013: Steve Finn dropped by ruthless England for Chris Tremlett

Onions also dropped as Taylor and Panesar are brought into squad for third Test that could clinch Ashes

Not the full Monty: Sussex spinner Monty Panesar has been out of form

Luke Wright’s brave stand cannot stop Middlesex

Sussex’s unbeaten record ends with a crushing ten-wicket defeat

Sport on TV: Meltdown as the long, hard road of summer unwinds

This has been such a busy few days of sport that they are all starting to melt into one another, and the heatwave is not helping the levels of concentration.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game