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.

August 2, 2012: Natalia Sheppard of Great Britain comeptes against Eman Gaber of Egypt in the Women's Foil Team Fencing round of 16

Fencing: Great Britain's women crushed by favourites Italy in team foil

Britain's women were crushed 42-14 in double-quick time by strong title favourites Italy in the quarter-finals of the fencing team foil at the ExCeL this morning.

On their marks: Jack Whitehall and the young cast in 'Bad Education'

A class act

The young stand-up Jack Whitehall writes and stars in BBC3's new sitcom, Bad Education, set in an inner-city comprehensive, and his sharp script has lured some top comedy talent. By Gerard Gilbert

On their marks: Jack Whitehall and the young cast in 'Bad Education'

A class act: Jack Whitehall's new BBC3 sitcom Bad Education has lured some top comedy talent

The public school-educated comedian writes and stars in the new sitcom, set in an inner-city comprehensive.

Academies to be allowed to hire unqualified teachers

All academies will be allowed to hire unqualified teachers in the future, the Government announced today.

Tony Bushby jailed for Boxing Day murder of girlfriend Catherine Wynter

A teenager who stabbed his girlfriend to death on Boxing Day as she babysat two young children was jailed for life with a minimum 25-year term today, Hertfordshire Police said.

Man guilty of babysitter killing

A teenage karate teacher was today convicted of stabbing his girlfriend to death on Boxing Day as she babysat two young children.

2012: In April this year, a lone gunman killed seven people and injured three at a small Korean Christian college in Oakland, California.
A former student, One Goh, carried out the massacre after a female member of staff wasn't on site when he wanted to speak with her.

America's worst mass shooting incidents

Following the news that at least 12 people were killed and up to 50 injured at the premiere of the latest Batman film, we take a look at some of the worst mass shootings in American history.

Diary: We don't need no free school education, Mr Gibb

Ah free schools, David Cameron said last week, "symbolise everything that is good about the revolution that we are bringing to Britain's schools: choice for parents... free schools work and parents and teachers want more of them. So more is what they are going to get".

So you want to be a journalist? A Masters has never been more important

As journalism evolves, qualifications are ever more vital, says Russ Thorne

DJ Taylor: Trend alert! Old is the new young

Or maybe I'm just getting on a bit. Trend alert 2! Ignorance is the new innocence ‑ everyone's claiming the Murdoch Defence nowadays

Catch-up class plan for poor pupils

Poor children who are behind in reading and writing are to be offered catch-up lessons before they start secondary school, it was announced today.

Polo coach and writer Major Hugh Dawnay

Major Hugh Dawnay: Acclaimed polo coach and writer

Major Hugh Dawnay was a passionate horseman who followed family tradition by serving in the army and then devoting himself to polo, becoming an internationally recognised expert.

Diary: Where are all our athletes? The Tories got rid of them

"Why is it that, in so many schools, sport has been squeezed out and facilities run down?" David Cameron asked yesterday, in a speech which lamented the low promotion of Britain's top athletes who have been through state schools.

Two out of every five victims of school homophobic bullying contemplate suicide, says survey

Two out of every five victims of homophobic bullying at school attempt or contemplate suicide, a report released today reveals.

Government responds to 'no strategy' claims in missing migrants row

The Government today insisted it had clear strategy to identify and remove people who fail to leave the UK when their visas run out, despite a damning report which revealed that the Home Office has no idea where 150,000 potential migrants are.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam