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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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

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Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
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