Osborne takes cheap option on child care

'Independent' survey reveals concerns that central plank of mid-term review suits high earners

Youth workers are for life... and the astonishingly brave life-savers at Prospex need your help

Income for charities has been decimated by the financial crash, but were it not for this group, hundreds if not thousands of young people simply would not be alive

Case dismissed: islanders 'waived' claim to Chagos

A group of islanders “callously and shamefully” evicted from their homeland by Britain received a bitter blow yesterday in their marathon legal battle for the right to return when judges in Strasbourg rejected their case.

Demonstrators near India Gate in Delhi yesterday demand capital punishment for rapists

‘I feel the attack in my heart’: India’s shame at brutal rape

Protesters demand extra protection for women as suspect admits: I should be hanged

Generation Xbox: 'Alarming' drop in fathers helping children to read

An “alarming” drop in the number of fathers encouraging their children to read is revealed in new research published today.

Concern as major slump in science standards in primary schools is revealed

A major slump in science standards in primary schools is revealed in an international league table published today.

Children spending a year in pre-school would boost UK ranking in international education league tables

Researchers predict UK would have risen from 25th to 13th out of 60 in the latest international literacy test

'World's oldest person' Besse Cooper dies aged 116

The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Back-to-work scheme ‘failing homeless’

Homeless people are being failed by the government’s flagship back-to-work programme despite large amounts of public money being given to private firms to cut chronic employment, a new report warns.

Kingsley Amis (pictured) and Philip Larkin were brought together by a liking for girls, books, and jazz

IoS book review: The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, By Richard Bradford

Pedigree chums ... or how two literary old dogs finally fell out

Poor reading skills are the most serious weakness in our education system

It should be obvious that reading skills are essential throughout education, so why has this very serious problem only just come to light?

Supermarket multi-buy offers can BOGOF. Who goes shopping to practise their mental arithmetic?

A Which? survey has discovered that the price of one in 10 products go up when they’re in a multi-buy deal. Just who are supermarkets trying to kid?

New tests will cut school reading time, say authors

A new spelling and punctuation test for 11-year-olds next year will cut the time for children's reading in schools, authors warned at the weekend.

Boys and bras have a place in the Girl Guides

That the new chief executive of Girlguiding UK is willing to talk about sex can only be a good thing for the future of the organisation

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?