More than a million pupils have been fingerprinted at their secondary school

Privacy concerns raised as more than one million pupils are fingerprinted in schools

An estimated 31 per cent of schools did not consult parents before using the biometric technology

Cresswell (left), with his young brother, Luke, creator of 'Stomp'

Addison Cresswell: Talent-spotter who brought a string of comedians to the fore and forged a new format for television comedy

By the time of his sudden death, Addison Cresswell was undeniably a captain of the British comedy industry. Tall, fast-talking, dapper and not averse to thumping tables to make a point, the power he wielded as director of the comedy management agency Off The Kerb gained him a fearsome reputation, and one of which he was well aware. In 2000, he brought up his having been described as "the Darth Vader of the Fringe" before his interviewer had a chance to. His philosophy was this: "Small acts feed off the big ones and you need a few big names to make people feel it's worth going to."

An alternative nativity play: Invest in early learning, and the circumstances of a child's birth won't matter so very much

Teach First has turned its attention to the very young. But more is needed

Youngsters display characters at RJ Mitchell Primary in London

Ni hao ma? Children as young as five set the pace with a love for Mandarin

Numbers learning the language are set to swell in the new year

The View from the Train: Cities & Other Landscapes By Patrick Keiller: book review - A delightful journey in search of Britain's urban hinterlands

Arthur Rimbaud's shimmering poetry collection, Illuminations, was partly inspired by his visit to London in 1872. Brocaded with a dizzy-making imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals, bridges and steam engines, the poems are thrillingly metropolitan. Accompanied by his lover Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud noted down all he heard and saw. In some ways, Illuminations can be read as a poetic gloss on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital: the London masses as seen by the 19th-century French poet are alienated by “economic horrors” and “feel no need to know one another”.

Two Colorado teenagers arrested over alleged shooting plot at Trinidad High School

Boys may have been planning the attack for up to six weeks

‘Does someone born with a hearing loss “hear” an inner voice?’

I believe I am well qualified to answer this question. I was born deaf and have been deaf my whole life. I do not wear hearing aids or cochlear implants (and have no desire to wear either). I speak American Sign Language (ASL) and it is my primary language. I am a mother of two born-deaf children, so our being deaf is genetic for us.

One Direction have nailed commercial appeal

One Direction send video message to victim of Colorado school shooting

Claire Davis, 17, was badly wounded and left in a coma by 18-year-old gunman Karl Pierson

The inspections came after local Labour MP and city headteachers had met Education Secretary Michael Gove to discuss ways of improving performance in the city

Six Nottingham schools put into special measures after Ofsted inspections

Concerns were raised over their performance by a local MP

Ian Watkins

Ian Watkins’ family want to ‘knock him around a cell’ but will not give up on paedophile son

Former Lostprophets star has been sentenced to 35 years in jail for attempting to rape a baby and other child sex offences

Atlanta student Sam McNair is suspended for a year for 'hugging' teacher

The 17-year-old senior at Duluth High School has been suspended for violating school rules on sexual harassment

Nathan B. Forrest High School named after Ku Klux Klan leader will be renamed

Duval County Public School Board voted unanimously to replace the name on Monday evening at a school where over half of the pupils are black

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers live on the edge of Ramuruti forest in Laikipia, Kenya where they patrol as a way to deter poachers

The human cost of the demand for ivory

Poachers have killed 1,000 rangers in a decade

First English-Mandarin bilingual free school to open

Britain’s first English-Mandarin bilingual primary school has been approved.

The legendary duo met at a railway station in Kent on 17 October 1961 when they were mere slips of teenage lads.

True bromance: Spot where Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met to be marked with plaque

The legendary duo met at a railway station in Kent on 17 October 1961 when they were mere slips of teenage lads

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'