The UK needs to "nail down rigorous academic standards" in its education system, according to a leading columnist.
Angela Epstein dismissed calls for more to be done to protect children's wellbeing as schools took a tougher academic focus.
She said: "We have poor standards of numeracy and literacy in this country. Children learn by being amongst their peers and by children being children."
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The Queen was in reflective mood this Christmas, choosing reconciliation as her theme and taking a quite direct personal approach.
Quickly turning cold this evening with a widespread frost developing under clear skies, some fog patches too.
The Queen says she is "deeply touched" by the "selflessness" of medical staff fighting the Ebola outbreak in her annual Christmas speech.