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.
election 2015
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Missing: 'Mail' columnist Peter Hitchens
election 2015
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
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Independent Travel
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
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power