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.

The MBA has a vital role to play in changing the face of company boardrooms

Women can break through the glass ceiling

The number of senior women managers can only improve when more choose the MBA

One in three teachers have worked in temperatures over 31C says union

One in three teachers have seen temperatures soar to more than 31C during the period of a survey carried out for the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

The Coincidence Engine, By Sam Leith

Tales of the totally unexpected

Bee populations have suffered a sharp decline in the past five years

New pesticide link to sudden decline in bee population

US study says nerve agent causes Colony Collapse Disorder

Chalk Talk: The national curriculum that schools won't be able to resist

I have a feeling Tim Oates, the man chosen by Education Secretary Michael Gove to head his review of the national curriculum, is a glass-half-full man. Speaking at the Association of School and College Leaders conference during a debate on whether there was a need for a new curriculum, he admitted the review was "a gamble".

School intake 'segregated by class'

UK schools are segregated along class lines, leaving the poorest children struggling to achieve against poverty and deprivation, a teacher's leader warned today.

ATL union criticises regional teacher pay plan

Plans to introduce regional pay for public-sector workers risk discriminating against older teachers and those working in primary schools, a union warned today.

62,000 children skip school every day – but are they sick or bunking off?

Rising numbers of pupils are skipping school without permission, official figures show.

More school pupils playing truant

Rising numbers of pupils are skipping school without permission, official figures showed today.

Two year olds to receive learning progress checks

The number of targets for five year olds is to be slashed from 69 to 17 while every two year old in England will receive a progress check to see if they are developing properly, Children’s minister Sarah Teather announced today.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Everyone has a theory no one has an answer

Last week Darell Desuze, 17, admitted the manslaughter of Richard Mannington Bowes, 68, in Ealing. Bowes tried to talk sense to crazed rioters last year, was attacked and later died. It was a savage crime, one of many committed over those frightening days. Desuze will be sentenced next month by the judge, who said he would take into account the context when passing judgement. Good luck to m'lud. Even his considerable cerebrum may find it somewhat testing to sum up the context, contested daily by every sector of society and an unending line of headmen and specialists.

Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis model Stella McCartney's designs

Editor-At-Large: ‘Freedom of choice’ means nothing in a class-ridden society

George Osborne's Budget – a complex set of financial imperatives painstakingly designed to take sickly Britain Plc a tiny, faltering step down to the road to solvency – has opened another bout of class warfare. According to critics, a gang of public school toffs have looked after their mates, while pensioners and the lower orders have been treated with contempt. Swingeing taxes have been imposed on stuff the working class loves – sausage rolls, fruit machines, cheap booze and fags – while top earners get a tax break. A gross simplification, but surely one of the reasons the country is stuck in the doldrums, with the threat of a "double dip" recession, is that we see everything in terms of class.

Peter Jones: 'Ministers should put enterprise into the national curriculum'

‘Dragons’ Den’ star Peter Jones: tax cut is wrong

Not many people would turn down a tax cut. But then Peter Jones, the Dragons' Den star worth an estimated £250m, can probably afford it.

The memorial service took place at the Soeverein Arena in Lommel

A nation mourns victims of ski trip coach crash

King Albert II, above with Queen Paola, and thousands of mourners took part in a memorial service in Lommel, northern Belgium, yesterday for the 15 children and two adults from the local school who died in a bus crash in a Swiss tunnel last week.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones