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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.”

Cushioned by the Speaker's chair, but ever the outsider

Unauthorised biography charts John Bercow's rise from right-wing ideologue

The University Debate: What the Ivy League can teach Britain

High costs are an accepted part of college education in the US – and they pay for world-class teaching. Dr Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of Britain's only private university, argues that it's time we followed America's example

Wolves reveal plans to develop Molineux stadium

Wolves have announced they are to proceed with the first step in the redevelopment of Molineux at the end of the current season with the £16million pound construction of a new two-tier stand.

Savers face poorer deals with this year's ISAs

New rules on cash transfers mean many providers are reluctant to offer best-buy deals to customers looking to change allegiance

Speaker reveals he is a supporter of hunting ban

Commons Speaker John Bercow has risked further angering Tory MPs by revealing that he is a supporter of the hunting ban.

Postgrad Lives: 'Our group has a fascinating mix of backgrounds'

Jennifer Holmes, 63, is doing a D Phil in biography at the University of Buckingham, an independent higher education institution that operates outside the state system. Four decades ago, she read English at St Anne's College, Oxford.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (9 January 2011)

Last Sunday's "People's guide to common sense" reveals our legislators' ineptitude. One change would put the economy on a sound footing and avoid another credit crunch: abolishing International Financial Reporting.

Estelle Morris leads call for exams at 14, not 16

The GCSE exam should be abolished and replaced with a series of "graduation" tests at 14, Estelle Morris, a former education secretary, has said.

Simon Starling: Never the Same River, Camden Arts Centre, London

Starling's show slips between histories as he brings together works from CAC shows of the past 50 years

Pilot charged with threatening to kill UKIP leader Nigel Farage

The pilot of the plane which crashed and injured Nigel Farage during a polling day stunt has been charged with threatening to kill the Ukip leader.

Foals, Dome, Brighton<br/>Clare Maguire, Xoyo, London

Foals show that kids with short attention spans can be transfixed by rambling yet clever songs

Report released into UKIP leader's aircraft crash

An air crash which left UKIP leader Nigel Farage severely injured on general election day was caused by a campaign banner, an accident report said today.

First fall recorded in A-level passes

The number of pupils gaining straight As in their A-levels has fallen for the first time on record, it emerged yesterday, following the introduction of more challenging questions this year.

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Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
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Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
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The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
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Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
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Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
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Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
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Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing