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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor