News A Save the Children organised event at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the Syrian border, last month

The charity defends itself from claim it refrained from criticising its backers

Free days out for kids (and grown-ups too)

The Easter holidays needn’t mean bored kids (and parents). From thrilling bike trails through Welsh valleys to mind-expanding museums and beautiful beaches, the best British day trips won’t cost a penny...

Presents `depend on blood relation'

BLOOD IS thicker than water when it comes to step-families, with grandparents buying their biological grandchildren more expensive presents than they buy for step-grandchildren.

Unions say millions miss out on parental leave

TONY BLAIR is about to come under personal attack for leaving more than three million parents without a right to parental leave.

Britain's birth rate declines

Britain's birth rate declines

Letter: Repentance first

I ASSUME I am not alone in being upset, to put it mildly, by the experience of your correspondent at being expected to forgive [her childhood abusers] (Letters, 8 August). After many years of conversation with people who have suffered at the hands of others, I have come to the conclusion that "forgiveness" must come second to "repentance", and the process is an interactive one.

Letter: Working mum

Working mum

Letter: When families split

Sir: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's feature on the children of split families (Comment, 24 June) is a timely view about the way children experience family change, but misses some crucial points.

Letter: Brightest and best?

Sir: The Government's wonderful windfall for the brightest children is absolutely in the right direction ("Heads attack high-flyers tuition plan", 22 March). The big drawback, though, is in the manner of selection of the top 10 per cent - by teachers.

More than 100 children die of abuse and neglect every year die Two children a week die from abuse

UP TO two children die from child abuse or neglect every week in Britain, and many more go unrecorded, according to a report by the NSPCC, the most comprehensive ever into child deaths.

Letter: Ritalin children

Sir: I read with interest the review of Richard DeGrandpre's Ritalin Nation (5 March). As an educator I am aware that there appear to be children whose behaviour is problematical to their parents, their schools and themselves and for which there appears to be no extraneous reason, such as stressful life events or unwise child-rearing practices. Some such children do appear to be helped by Ritalin and it can indeed, in some cases, effect a radical change within a short time.

Education Letter: Agony in the early years

THE QCA is not suggesting that children should start "formal education" (whatever that means) too early. Our consultation document makes it quite clear that building children's confidence and readiness to learn, and developing their personal and social skills, are the first priority.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam