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BookBenches to be seen all together for one final time

The BookBench celebrating Laura St John's The Laura Marlin Mysteries book series. Credit: Jack Graham/PA Wire.

The capital's colourful BookBenches are returning for one last trip to London this weekend - where they will be gathered together in one place.

The seats spent the summer dotted around the city to celebrate the area's literary connections and encourage more people to read for fun.

Today and tomorrow, all 51 will be gathered all together at the University of London's Gordon Square Garden for the final time before a charity auction on Tuesday.

The benches - which celebrate stories including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Through the Looking Glass, and the Gruffalo - will raise money for the National Literacy Trust when they are sold at the event at the Southbank Centre.

The BookBench celebrating Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider's Stormbreaker books. Credit: Jack Graham/PA Wire.

Education Secretary approves 17 new free schools for London

17 new free schools have been approved for London. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire.

The Education Secretary has approved plans for dozens of new free schools including 17 in London.

The schools include a bilingual primary in Harrow, a sixth formed aimed at students from low-income backgrounds, and an all-through school which plans to encourage children and their families to shape and improve their community.

Nicky Morgan made the announcement at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.


Two London boroughs top for child development

Greenwich and Lewisham have been named as the best places in England for child development.

A report by University College London's Institute of Health Equity found just half of the country's five-year-olds had reached a "good" level of development by the time they started school.

In Grenwich and Lewisham, it is almost 70 per cent.

Hounslow was among the local authorities with the worst records for child development, according to the report.

Just 40.3% reach a "good" level by the age of five.

133,000 more school places needed in London by 2018

London needs to create 133,000 more primary and secondary school places by 2018, according to the London Assembly. A report predicts the crisis in places will be felt most acutely in secondary schools as thousands of additional 11-year-olds look to secure places each year.

Credit: PA

A report predicts the crisis in places will be felt most acutely in secondary schools as thousands of additional 11-year-olds look to secure places each year.

London ranked world's top city for leading universities

London has more top rated universities than any other city in the world- according to a new league table released today by QS World University Rankings. Imperial College London came second place joint with Cambridge while University College London tied with Oxford for joint fifth. King's College London, London School of Economics and the Queen Mary University also made the top 100.

London's Imperial College Credit: PA

Welcoming the results, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "These rankings consolidate London's position as the education capital of the world. Nowhere else will you find such a critical mass of top universities within just a few miles of each other, all providing an excellent education and producing graduates who go on to be leaders in their fields. From accountants to zoologists, I'm proud to say that London universities are at the forefront of teaching and research."


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