Arts and Entertainment

It's worth remembering that fairy tales were not originally thought of as children's stories.

Teaching unions considering boycott to 'stop SATs in their tracks'

A boycott of administering SATs for 11-year-olds by school heads would effectively "stop them in their tracks", the leader of the country's largest headteachers' organisation said yesterday.

Clare Higgins: 'I was a bit of an odd child'

An epiphany at the Royal Shakespeare Company led the award-winning actress first to misbehaviour, and then stardom

Fantastic Mr Fox, Wes Anderson, 87 mins, (PG)<br/>Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Paul Weitz, 103 mins, (12A)

A Roald Dahl tale in the hands of Wes Anderson proves to be a typically idiosyncratic experience

Michael Church: This plan misses so many key points about education

So, Ed Balls is rethinking his plans to turn 11 million Britons into paedophile suspects: not much of a surprise, given the near-universal derision that greeted it. The plan may need "adjustments", he says, which we can take as code for a total retreat: yet another crack-brained New Labour notion is about to bite the dust – and so it should. The Vetting and Barring Scheme requires everyone having regular contact with children, in any context outside a family one, to be approved by the Government after registering on a state-run database.

Ministers retreat on child database

Ed Balls agrees to review controversial anti-paedophile vetting scheme

Anthony Seldon: We need trust, not more surveillance

Children must be protected but it&rsquo;s a question of balance, and we&rsquo;re losing it

Boyd Tonkin: Front runner who tramples our myths

The Week In Books

Restore creativity in classroom, says Laureate

Anthony Browne calls for art to be given an even footing with reading

Letters: Defence duty

Defence chiefs must speak out to stay loyal to forces

Child database: danger of malicious reporting

Child protection register raises fears that individuals could be unfairly slandered

Damian Green: Technology should not be excuse to erode our precious freedoms

It is not surprising that Philip Pullman and other authors are enraged at having to pay £64 for a licence to introduce schoolchildren to literature. The way the Government has gone about this is just another in the long line of examples of reaching for a database to solve a problem when this could easily do more harm then good. These databases are presented as being for the convenience of the citizen, when the overwhelming driver is the convenience of the state.

Eleven million names on school vetting database

Outcry grows as scale of Government's child protection register revealed

Authors boycott schools over sex-offence register

A group of respected British children's authors and illustrators will stop visiting schools from the start of the next academic year, in protest at a new government scheme that requires them to register on a database in case they pose a danger to children.

Tim Lott: Our land changes by the hour, but novelists have nothing to say

There are plenty of good writers, but where are the novels that tackle the big issues

DJ Taylor: Let's forget about imposing our tastes on our children

The trouble is that the roots of this list of 'great books' lie in adult nostalgia
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent