Voices The Government has faced a barrage of criticism over the HS2 plans

The Government is looking to spend upwards of £50bn to improve a journey taken by only 2 per cent of commuters

Aston Business School

Age: 35

Half of pupils on free school meals can't read

Nearly half the 11-year-olds on free school meals cannot read or add up properly by the time they leave primary school, according to figures released yesterday.

Nicky Campbell: Don't talk to me about the West Kent Hunt

The first time it happened, it was one of those feelings where your whole life goes before you; a chill, almost like death inside. I couldn't believe I'd said it – such a taboo word.

Promethean shares plunge as schools budgets are cut back

The classroom technology group Promethean World has discovered the downside of a public listing in its first year after a profits warning sent shares crashing over 30 per cent.

Police warn schoolchildren over tuition fee protests

Police have warned there is "only so much they can do" to protect schoolchildren who take part in tuition fee protests that turn violent.

Prime Minister unveils 'happiness index'

David Cameron launched his "happiness index" yesterday as he announced that the Government would measure people's quality of life as well as economic growth. From April, the Office for National Statistics will seek to establish the key areas that matter most to people's wellbeing – such as health, levels of education, inequalities in income and the environment.

Cameron defends wellbeing measure

Measuring the nation's "wellbeing" as well as its wealth will make it easier for the Government to help British people attain "the good life", David Cameron said today.

Richard Garner: Return of blazers and ties is a neat way for schools to smarten up their act

You might have guessed it would be a Conservative Education Secretary that thought up the idea of calling for a return to the era of the old school tie in schools. But it might not be the patrician move that you think it to be.

Half of teachers fail to make the grade

Half of the teachers in secondary schools and more than four out of 10 in primaries are "simply not good enough", the chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert said yesterday.

GCSEs to punish poor spelling

For seven years, spelling, punctuation and grammar have been deemed less than essential in GCSE exams, but under rules set to be outlined in an education White Paper next week, pupils will lose as much as five cent of their marks in all subjects if they fall short with their written English.

Mary Dejevsky: A nation's success is defined by much more than its GDP

If I were a French politician, I would demand an apology from the US and Britain for the self-righteous lectures about economic growth they delivered during their credit-fuelled boom

Rupture, By Simon Lelic

When a history teacher, Samuel Szajkowski, shoots three pupils dead during a school assembly before turning the gun on himself, it seems clear that he must be some kind of psychopath.

Headteachers 'avoid Ofsted seeing worst pupils'

Headteachers are hiding unruly pupils from Ofsted inspectors to stop their school being labelled as badly behaved, a cross-party group of MPs heard today.

Gove to double the number of 'superheads'

An army of "superheads" will scour the country spreading their educational prowess to struggling state schools, under plans announced by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove. He said the number of heads helping to tackle under-performance will be more than doubled.

Allow pupils 'to be more carefree'

UK schoolchildren live in an "age of anxiety" and should be allowed to adopt a more "carefree" attitude towards life, a headteachers' leader said yesterday.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain