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 Sketch: Michael Gove muscles in with a daring ambition

He's looking bigger these days, Michael Gove. Deeper chest, broader shoulders. Maybe he's been through a Charles Atlas course in muscular Conservatism.

Michael Gove faces criticism over GCSE axe in exam overhaul

Education Secretary Michael Gove stunned the education world today as it emerged he was considering scrapping the GCSE exam and returning to old style O-levels.

Two-tier education already exists, says Michael Gove

Michael Gove has insisted that England already has a two-tier education system as he defended plans to axe GCSEs and bring back O-levels.

Dad's diary: 'I'm more blasé about the parental process second time around'

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted thatmy byline picture that normally sits atop thiscolumn has been dramatically transformed. And no, dear reader, I haven't resorted to extreme anti-ageing botox coupled with a raw food diet – instead I am now the overjoyedfather of two gorgeous boys.

Government to launch childcare commission

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the launch of a new government commission to look into childcare, currently one of the top financial burdens on UK families.

AS-levels 'may be scrapped'

AS-levels could be scrapped under major reforms which are set to see re-sits cut and modules axed.

Thousands of children entitled to free school meals are still going hungry

Thousands of children entitled to free school meals are still going hungry, according to a report out today.

Maggie Morgan takes a Spanish class for year two pupils at St Paul’s School in Brighton

Britain's children left behind in languages by the time they're three

At least 11 countries have lowered the age at which children start language lessons, says study

Expert adviser to Education Secretary Michael Gove claims primary school curriculum plans are 'fatally flawed'

An expert adviser to Education Secretary Michael Gove has claimed his plans for an overhaul of the primary school curriculum are “fatally flawed”.

Students survive nine days in New Zealand wilderness

Two 21-year-old American students have walked out of the New Zealand wilderness after being trapped for nine days by a snowstorm.

Schools poetry plan in national curriculum shake-up

Children as young as five will be expected to learn and recite poetry by heart in a major overhaul of the national curriculum for schools in England.

Now teachers will have to take a test – to measure 'emotional resilience'

Future teachers will be subjected to new "personality tests" from September to make sure they can communicate with pupils in the classroom.

Just when they thought it was safe to park on a yellow line...

It must have seemed like a motorists' Utopia – streets with no traffic wardens. But yesterday, after a year away, enforcement officers returned to Aberystwyth. Kevin Rawlinson joined them on patrol

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada