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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.”

The smarter sex: Does it matter if girls do better than boys?

Despite all the attention, the gap between male and female achievement is still growing.

The price of knowledge: What will the impact of the Browne report be?

Lucy Hodges gauges reactions from vice-chancellors and students

Willetts: students must pay more for university

Students who start their university courses in two years' time will be the first to have to pay substantially more for the cost of their education once they graduate, the Universities minister, David Willetts, said yesterday.

Exam system in 'disarray'

As teenagers across the country anticipate their GCSE results this week, concerns were raised today that the exam system is in "disarray" and in need overhauling.

Debt fears see thousands pull out of university race

Thousands of young people gave up their scramble for a university place yesterday as the search for the few remaining vacancies intensified.

Letters: Perspectives on high-speed rail

Your correspondents (Letters, 16 August) point out that the Coalition is still prioritising spending tens of billions of pounds on a high-speed rail line while cutting front-line services. What is also a nail in the coffin of HS2 is the claim that it can be part of a "programme of measures to create a low-carbon economy".

Clearing might be a harrowing process but don't give up on a degree

A shortage of university places means clearing will be a harrowing process this year. But there are plenty of options for students who are turned away

University challenge: Does a two-year degree make more economic sense?

Lucy Hodges examines the pros and cons

John Bercow: 'We need reform. Too bad if it disturbs people's lunch'

A year on from his appointment as Speaker, John Bercow tells Steve Richards why he is determined to change the culture of the House – starting with Prime Minister's Questions

Number of undergraduates set to plummet

The number of full-time student undergraduates will plummet by 20 per cent over the next five years, it was forecast yesterday.

E M Forster: A New Life by Wendy Moffat

The longest journey

Conor Ryan: The pupil premium won't work unless it's new cash

The coalition has made improving social mobility one of its central planks. The new Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has declared he wants to close the gap in results between the richest and poorest. Paying schools more for each disadvantaged pupil on their rolls is their big idea to achieve it.

Police release pictures of missing teenage girls

Police today released pictures of the two teenage friends who have been missing from home for nearly three days.

Alan Smithers: 'So, who will decide on the curriculum now?'

Few in the present economic climate will be surprised that the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) is to be scrapped. It has become overblown financially and has lost its way educationally. The current curriculum is full of vacuous generalities about cultural understanding, collaboration and inclusion, but leaves us little wiser about substance. But this government faces the practical realities of what, if anything, is to take its place.

Porter charged with attempted poisoning

A kitchen porter has been charged with attempting to poison pupils at a top public school.

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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
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Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
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Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style