Exam results vindicate the former education secretary’s reforms – now his successor must keep that radical flame alive
Ed Miliband tries to address his image problem, in the latest episode of our political sitcom
For the first time in 32 years, the overall pass rate for A-levels has dropped, and the percentage of those achieving an A* or A grade has also dipped slightly. One part of the country that has bucked the national trend is Newham. And in particular, the borough’s London Academy of Excellence – a brand new sixth form free school.
Better Together declares it doesn’t need any more donations, and the Conservatives trounce Labour in the party stakes.
This crisis is now at breaking point. Only international assistance can save lives
Today’s labour market figures have enough in them for both sides of the political debate to feel they’ve got something to run with. First, the jobs: the overall unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in the second quarter of this year, the lowest since the end of 2008. There are 820,000 more people in work than a year ago. The number of young people out of work is 200,000 lower than last year, which is the biggest fall since records began 30 years ago. And the Bank of England has just upgraded its growth forecast for the UK this year from 3.4% to 3.5% and from 2.9% to 3% for next year. Good news for the Coalition.
The realism of Dryden is a better guide to what to do next than the idealism of his counterpart.
Many policies developed to negotiate the recession have backfired – higher interest rates might be the solution
If Sir John Major was arguing that the values of most immigrants are Conservative ones, he was right. But to say so is not a policy. Here is one.
Locals in Thurrock still talk about the lightning strike that years ago hit a business park on the north side of the Dartford Crossing, scorching a vast warehouse to the ground. Next May the UK Independence party hopes to deliver a similar thunderbolt by seizing the constituency from under the noses of Labour and the Conservatives.
The Tories are torn between broadening their appeal and luring back Ukip supporters
Can the Friends of Boris take down the Friends of George? Don’t bet against them
The irony is that he is helping to lead a culture change in attitudes to work and welfare without the mass introduction to date of his Universal Credit.
It is tough at the top, clearly. How else to explain the decision of Mark Simmonds, until Monday a foreign office minister, to resign. His complaint was not, as with Baroness Warsi, over government policy. Rather, he genuinely wants to see his family more. This, he maintains, he cannot afford to on the allowances that the government provides. “There clearly needs to be greater financial support for people to rent flats in London,” he told the BBC, “to enable families to stay together.
Tristram Hunt announces today that he wants to put a stop to the policy of overhauling A-levels. That means that Labour isn’t going to do something that the Coalition says it is going to do. If the party wins next year’s General Election, it will not abolish AS-levels and will delay the overall reforms to consult further and allow schools to get used to the new GCSEs.
By seeking to beef up capital to prevent failure, regulators only further reduce the propensity to lend – just look at the devastating effect this is having on Europe
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