Property Five bedroom semi detached house for sale in Wester Coates Terrace, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH12, on with CKD Galbraith at a guide price of £895,000

"This is not about ‘good schools’ and ‘bad schools’ but about our failure to tackle disadvantage effectively."

The shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, centre, will promise to underwrite the building of several new towns

Labour pledges billions to build 200,000 new homes per year if it wins next election

The  programme would also provide a stimulus for the economy and create tens of thousands of jobs in the construction industry

The Government has insisted it has no plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging

Time for local authorities to kick the habit and ditch their investments in the tobacco industry

It's hugely hypocritical to tell smokers to quit while making money from them

Up to 10,000 children of school age are missing out on full-time education

Missing out: the children in danger of becoming 'invisible' to education authorities

Local authorities failing to keep track of up to 10,000 pupils, raising fears of widespread abuse

The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

The big switch: Consumers urged to act together to undercut Big Six

Energy bosses tried to explain their price rises to MPs last month. Now their customers can vote with their feet by changing supplier

The Big Switch will be a big help

These schemes will intensify pressure on the energy firms to keep prices low

Developers have been warned by the government that they must not hoard land

Build homes or lose planning permissions, developers warned by government

Developers have been stripped of the ability to “roll forward” planning permissions as part of government efforts to encourage more housebuilding.

Government's flagship academies are ‘failing to help weaker schools,’ says select committee report

Schools judged to be 'outstanding' can convert to academy status, but are expected to commit to supporting at least one weaker school in return

The High Court, London

Girl aged 14 became pregnant after she was forced to marry man, 24

Mr Justice Holman said girl was forced into marriage in 'harrowing' circumstances

An adult playing with a child at a nursery - a senior Ofsted officer says children should be admitted to school from the age of two to eradicate the effects of poverty on their performance

How young is too young? Ofsted inspector suggests children should start school at two

Starting children this young could eradicate the effects of poverty on their performance

Sir Michael Wilshaw: 'The combination of unstable communities and political and managerial instability in our social care services is a dangerous mix'

Social care crisis: Damning Ofsted report says 20 local authorities cannot keep children safe

Watchdog says protection services are too often 'manifestly and palpably weak'

Birmingham City Council is under fire over the death of Keanu Williams

'Why is Birmingham's infant mortality rate worse than in Cuba?'

England’s second city singled out as a 'national disgrace' over failure

Labour to support free schools run by parents, says Tristram Hunt

New shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt says parent-led academies would put ‘rocket boosters’ on current schemes to back community engagement in learning

The Court of Protection is facing fresh questions about transparency, as The Independent reveals that its judges are making life-or-death decisions over the phone, with incomplete evidence, in proceedings that are not always recorded

Six years, three judges, £350,000 in costs to the taxpayer... and no change: Judge hits out at 'astonishing' cost of Court of Protection case

High court judge hits out at legal costs as family fights council decision for six years

Up to 450,000 face court over council tax arrears

156,500 people in England have received summonses in response to the changes to benefits six months ago

Chalk Talk: The fight to strengthen local government's role in education

The trouble with Graham Lane was, as the former local politician revealed to Newsnight's presenter Jeremy Paxman on BBC 2 in the mid-1990s, that he was always rather too forthcoming.

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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone