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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

Wrangler's - Urban cowboys

Wrangler's new collection blends the brand's workwear heritage with grungy modern art. Longevity is in the jeans, says Harriet Walker

Nearly a third of children will leave primary school 'failing'

Almost a third of 11-year-olds could leave primary school this summer without a good grasp of reading, writing and maths, it was suggested yesterday. The prediction came in advance of the new figures published by the Government on the proportion of primary school pupils reaching the level expected of them in the basics.

Third of primary pupils 'failing'

Almost a third of 11-year-olds could be leaving primary school this summer without a good grasp of reading, writing and maths, it was suggested today.

200,000 face university disappointment

More than 200,000 university applicants will fail to get places this year, the head of the admissions service has warned, in a repeat of last summer's chaotic scramble following the publication of A-level results.

Question mark over A* grade as Oxbridge hopefuls miss out

More than 12,000 students with at least one A* grade pass at A-level will be turned away from Oxford and Cambridge this year.

All4One hammers home an emphatic win

Magnifique! Wunderbar! The Franco-German All4One hammered home an emphatic win in the high-scoring coastal race off Sardinia to extend its lead in the Audi MedCup.

Quantum dominates on second day of the Sardinia Trophy

Picking themselves up, dusting themselves down, and starting all over again, the American team Quantum banged in a second and a first on the second day of the Sardinia Trophy, the third of five regattas in the Audi MedCup series.

Figures reveal university divide

Graduates face wildly differing job prospects depending on the university they attended, official statistics show.

Richard III, Old Vic, London<br/>Lullaby, Barbican Pit, London<br/>The Beggar's Opera, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

Spacey swivels between hand-twirls and hollering in Mendes's 'stagey' production

First Night: Richard III, Old Vic, London

Mendes, Spacey and a flick of S&#246;ze &ndash; this is not the usual 'Richard III'

Stevie Nicks: 'Love is fleeting for me...in my life as a travelling woman'

On the eve of her first solo album release in 10 years, the Fleetwood Mac songstress talks to Simon Price

US dominates opening regatta of Audi MedCup

The trend was upwards for the Brits but dominant for the Americans in the opening regatta of the 2011 Audi MedCup as new skipper Ed Baird and the crew of Quantum posted five wins from nine starts.

Rán win 1.5-point scoring coastal race off Cascais

It has taken seven races of its first regatta, but there was huge satisfaction for the crew of Rán and its owner helmsman Niklas Zennström as they won the 1.5-point scoring coastal race off Cascais in the Audi MedCup.

New boats prepare for start of Audi MedCup

A baptism of bubbly, with glitches, for two of the new boats in the new Audi MedCup turns into a baptism of fire when the start gun for the first race sounds off Cascais, Lisbon on Wednesday.

Damien Iehl wins Match Race France

Match Race France was won in France in a final contested by two Frenchmen as the opening of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour was brought to a brisk end. A Mistral was threatening to scream through Marseille at 40 knots on what was originally scheduled to be the finals day, Sunday.

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
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Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
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Arts and Entertainment
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?