Arts and Entertainment
It's flat and watery, ... unlike the books that it inspires

Ministers in storm over 'easiest ever' A-levels

Record numbers to get top grade. Call for exam to be scrapped

A charter for pupils' conduct is a sad necessity

When Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, said recently that there should be "zero tolerance" of pupils' indiscipline, she was greeted with scepticism. These were fine words, but would anything happen in practice? Now, the National Union of Teachers - a group not always known for toeing the Department of Education's line - has taken the first tentative steps towards giving substance to these sentiments, and it deserves credit for doing so.

'Patronising' Kelly jeered by headteachers

Ruth Kelly was jeered by head teachers yesterday and accused of patronising them during angry exchanges as she outlined the Government's plans for education at her first speech to a teaching union's annual conference as Secretary of State for Education.

Why not leave school at 16?

Leaving school at this age did Julie Burchill, Richard Branson and Alan Sugar no harm at all. So why force a whole generation of eager young things to stay in class until 18?

Kelly may look like a schoolgirl. But she's passed her first big test

Ruth Kelly's appointment to the Cabinet two months ago was one of the more extraordinary of the Blair era. One of the features of Tony Blair's management style has been his willingness to give responsibility to people who are shockingly young. Many of the people who worked in his private office in opposition were in their 20s and yet his judgement was sound: they did not make mistakes. He has been more cautious in Government, but, as a young prime minister, he now has six ministers in his Cabinet who are younger than him.

A-levels to stay with new vocational diplomas

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly today pledged to keep A-levels and GCSEs, but said she would make exams harder.

The Sholto Byrnes Interview: Mo Mowlam: `People like me. I've no idea why'

From Labour darling to outcast, and now lads' mag sexpert with her own stage show, the fearlessly outspoken Mo Mowlam has retained her legion of fans. Except Tony Blair

Bright pupils to start degrees in 6th form

Bright sixth-formers should start studying for university degrees while still at school, ministers will say in a White Paper later this month.

Leading Article: The best way to stop children skipping school

ALL THE Government's efforts to cut truancy rates in England's state schools have been to no avail, according to the National Audit Office. Despite an outlay of pounds 885m and threats to jail the parents of persistent truants, truancy levels are unchanged.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links