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.

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.

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

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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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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried