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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peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?