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

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution