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18th October 2013 at 01:00


12-18 OCTOBER 2013


Chain reaction

A special adviser to Michael Gove, England's education secretary, argued that differences in children's test scores were largely down to genes and that school systems should be "dominated by well-managed chains".


Underground stars

Jay-Z was spotted travelling to his London gig by Tube. Coldplay's Chris Martin and Timbaland, who is supporting the rapper on his Magna Carta Holy Grail world tour, were braving public transport alongside him.


In the bad books

Adults risk destroying a child's love of reading by giving them "worthy but dull books", best-selling author Neil Gaiman suggested in a speech. He also said it was "snobbery" to dismiss writers such as Enid Blyton.


Voice of reason

Doreen Lawrence, whose son Stephen was murdered in a racist attack in South London in 1993, was due to take her seat as a Labour peer in the UK's House of Lords. She will be known as Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.


Foreign dignitary

On this day in 1978, cardinals at the Vatican chose the first non-Italian Pope for more than 400 years. Karol Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow in Poland, became John Paul II and set a trend for "foreign" popes.


United in protest

Teachers were due to stage a one-day strike in Cumbria, London and the north-east, south-east and south-west of England. Unions were demanding talks over pensions, performance-related pay and workload.


Friends in high places

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived being shot by the Taliban last year, was due to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace. And she's got a book out, too.


19-25 OCTOBER 2013


Wizard celebrations

Perhaps the most famous headteacher in film celebrates his birthday today. Michael Gambon, 73, took over the role of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film franchise after the death of Richard Harris.


Hanks for sharing

It's the last day of the London Film Festival, where actor Tom Hanks revealed that he was suffering from type 2 diabetes. He was in town to promote Captain Phillips, his film about a hijacking by Somali pirates.


Super heroes

Today is the UK's third National Heroes Day, and students are being encouraged to come to school dressed as their heroes (expect to see plenty of Spider-Men and Peppa Pigs). The money raised will go to Help for Heroes.


Forbidden fruit

Apple is rumoured to be launching its new iPad today, in the hope of making it an 'appy Christmas. The tablet is becoming popular in schools, despite concerns about students hacking through security settings.


Raise a glass (or mug)

The world will rejoice as the youngest member of the British Royal Family, Prince George, is christened today. The event will be attended by "close members of both families" as well as sundry dignitaries.


All together now

United Nations Day will be celebrated around the world. The organisation was officially formed on 24 October 1945. In 1971, the general assembly recommended the date be observed as a public holiday.


Too clever by half

How far should we go to boost brain power? Find out at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas in England, where a panel including neuroscientist Professor Barbara Sahakian will discuss "smart" drugs and brain implants.

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