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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.”

Flipping outrage! Scandal of second homes is swept under carpet

Reforms of MPs' expenses will exclude one of the most serious and common abuses of the whole system

Michael Jackson: This Is It, Kenny Ortega, 112 mins, (PG)<br/>Fleetwood Mac, MEN Arena, Manchester

The biggest musical event this week isn't a concert at all, but it's coming to a popcorn pit near you. By the time I'm writing this and you're reading it, Michael Jackson was meant to have performed 27 dates of his This Is It farewell show at the O2 in London, with a further 23 to follow in the spring.

Fleetwood Mac, SECC, Glasgow

To those familiar with their patchwork history, the fact that this current incarnation of Fleetwood Mac has remained stable for a little over a decade is something approaching a miracle.

Bercow: pay back your expenses now

Speaker says that he will not be a 'shop steward' for MPs

Parents cleared to set up mutual child care

Parents who arrange to look after each other’s children no longer need to worry about breaking the law, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls ruled today.

Ofsted has 'lost the plot' over childminding case

Ofsted has “lost the plot” by telling two police officers they broke the law by caring for each other’s children, it was claimed today.

English Heritage to sell off historic house at &#163;5m loss

Falling property prices force the taxpayer to foot the bill for a multimillion-pound 'heritage deficit'

Terence Blacker: All this fuss over a misdirected joke

Universities should be where jokes can be made without misinterpretation

Senior academic calls female students 'a perk of the job'

Female students are a "perk" of the job for male university lecturers, a senior academic has suggested.

Terence Blacker: When politics takes the fun out of comedy

As the political parties square up to one another during conference season, we can expect the usual sugaring of carefully scripted political jokes among the policy statements. The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather set the tone this week with a rather odd comic routine at the expense of Mark Oaten, the MP whose political career was ended after stories involving a rent boy. To understand the punchline, one apparently had to know the full unpleasant gossip about the affair.

Study in hostilities: A novel MA is pulling in the students by combining intellectual learning with fine dining and prominent speakers

If you want to take a degree which combines tales of derring-do, fine dining and meeting some of the country's most distinguished generals and academics, the University of Buckingham has the one for you. This month sees the private university launch an MA in military history. It is a canny move that taps into the huge and growing interest in a once unfashionable subject and into a restless willingness to pay to pursue intellectual interests.

UKIP leader Farage to stand down

Nigel Farage is to step down as leader of the UK Independence Party, it was revealed today.

Farage to stand against speaker Bercow

Ukip leader Nigel Farage is to stand against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the next election, the party said today.

Speaker orders grace-and-favour flat facelift

John Bercow has ordered &pound;20,000 worth of refurbishments for his rent-free residence, it was revealed today.
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Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review