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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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone