News Teachers at one of Michael Gove's flagship free schools have suspended their strike action

Teachers have suspended what would have been the first strike action against one of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s flagship free schools.

Holloway: we need game of our lives

The Blackpool manager Ian Holloway believes his side will have to put in the best performance of their careers tonight at Nottingham Forest to reach the Championship play-off final.

Janet Street-Porter: 13 years on: Who's the heir to Blair's lair?

Islington South used to be a safe Labour seat. Our writer, a local resident, went to watch the three leading candidates in action and found that even here, the world has moved on

Be afraid. Janet's on the stump

In Islington South and Finsbury, former home of Tony Blair, the main parties have all chosen female candidates. Janet Street-Porter met them

East of Islington, By Sam Taylor

Prudently labelled as "fiction", Sam Taylor's sketches from the fringes of inner London life (a spin-off from her delightful Oldie column) have all the offbeat appeal of an urban Archers crossed with Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City.

Leading Article: The power of role models

Michelle Obama's impromptu visit to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington has had quite an effect. A group of teenagers from the London borough's schools visited the White House last week to receive another pep talk from Barack Obama's wife. "I see myself in you all," she told them. "The important thing is to know that you can do anything."

Terence Blacker: You can never discount the past

'Traditional values' are always nearby, waiting to reassert themselves

Michael Savage: Snap election decision that could make or break Labour

A March poll would see voters turning out before tax increases kick in

Andrew Bird, Union Chapel, London

Andrew Bird does things with a violin that would make Yehudi Menuhin blush. He picks, he plucks, he strums, he bows – and then he loops each line together to turn a solo performance into what sounds more like a symphony orchestra.

Les Arts Florissants, Union Chapel, Islington

Of all the ensembles celebrating an anniversary this year, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants - now toasting three decades of ground-breaking experiment - have most reason to congratulate themselves. Thirty years ago, when they embarked on their still-ongoing project to bring French Baroque music into focus, they were tilling virgin territory; if it’s now all flowers and fruit trees, that’s largely thanks to them. Moving on from Charpentier (who gave them their name) to Purcell, Handel, and Haydn, they have continued their quest: hats off to the Barbican, which - in collaboration with the Salle Pleyel and the Cite de la Musique - has commissioned their lap of honour this autumn.

Audio book: Her Fearful Symmetry, By Audrey Niffenegger read by Sian Thomas

Elspeth, our heroine, dies in the first sentence of Her Fearful Symmetry. She hovers above her body and moves on, reappearing as a bored revenant in her own flat next to Highgate Cemetery, stuck in the "spiritual equivalent of house-arrest". Becoming increasingly powerful, she begins to haunt her heirs, the young American twin daughters of her own twin sister. The stage is set for an original, outrageous, and thoroughly enjoyable ghost story.

Hodge returns as tourism minister

Margaret Hodge has rejoined the Government to resume her position as culture and tourism minister after a year of compassionate leave.

Observations: Islington plays host to Europe's first 'Literary Death Match'

Marlowe aside, writers are probably the last people you'd expect to find in a bar brawl. But next Tuesday, the Old Queen's Head in Islington, north London will be the venue for Europe's first "Literary Death Match". Courtesy of Opium, an American literary magazine, the death match has become a feature of the cultural calendar in cities across the US, featuring such esteemed participants as Tom Perrotta (author of Little Children and Election), Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Moby (the musician, not the whale).

The war zone: How the notorious London neighbourhood they call the 'V' is fighting for its life

One year on from Ben Kinsella's murder, the area of London's King's Cross where it happened – known simply as the 'V' – is as bleak as ever. Is there any hope for the youngsters growing up in this brutal atmosphere? A man called Beef, who spends his days patrolling its streets, thinks there is

The Willkommen Collective, Union Chapel, London

It means "welcome" in German, an apposite adjective for the Willkommen Collective, a group of musical girls and boys based in Brighton, who last year launched a record label to produce albums by their bands The Leisure Society, Sons of Noel and Adrian, and Shoreline. All three are on the bill at the acoustically enticing Union Chapel in Islington.

Philip Hensher: No pain like having to get rid of books

It had all gone a bit too far. At first I'd thought when the bookshelves filled up, "Well, I'll just have a pile against the wall". Then another pile joined the first, and another; months passed and more piles against the opposite wall; then a second layer.

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