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20th July 2012 at 01:00

This week

14-20 JULY 2012


Oxford, the grim reaper?

Another hurdle for the underprivileged and under-coached? Complaining that A levels failed to sort the wheat from the chaff, the University of Oxford announced it was stepping up its use of entrance exams.


Something to stew over

Perhaps tagines will be on the menu, after it emerged that education secretary Michael Gove spent a holiday in Morocco with Henry Dimbleby, the very restaurateur he later appointed to review school meals.


Man's primary goal

The number of men training to be primary teachers has shot up by 50 per cent in four years, the Teaching Agency revealed. There were 3,743 male trainees this year - but that's still less than a fifth of the total.


More school dinners? nice one

It was unclear whether it was down to Jamie Oliver's health drive or academies' freedom to serve chips every day, but the number of children eating school dinners climbed for the fourth year in a row.


Stuck on you

Where did I leave the glue? A collection of thousands of Airfix and other model kits was auctioned in Newcastle upon Tyne. And it's a schoolboy's dream: they are all in their original packaging.


Get into the swing

To some it's just grass with holes and the occasional loud pair of trousers. To others it's The Open golf tournament at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire.


Running in ramadan

A conundrum for Muslim Olympic athletes as the Ramadan holy month of fasting and prayer begins. The Egyptian team has been given permission to eat by the nation's high cleric in their pursuit of gold.


21-27 JULY 2012


Win it by a tentacle

So what next after toe-wrestling? Snail racing, of course. The world championships take place at Congham in Norfolk today. Zoomer, owned by six-year-old Anton Lucas, was last year's champion gastropod.


Promoting healthy lifestyles

They don't call it a boot camp, but the aim of MoreLife is the same: helping children to lose weight. Its summer camp for children aged 8 to 17 is scheduled to open today at Woodhouse Grove School in West Yorkshire.


Opening gambit

The British Chess Championships begin in North Shields, Tyneside, the furthest north the tournament has ever been. But will the Sicilian Defence warm things up as chill winds blow in off the North Sea?


This will sleigh you

Around 100 Santas will meet for the World Santa Claus Congress near Copenhagen, Denmark. They will discuss issues such as the size of presents and reindeer food. Yes, you did read that last sentence correctly.


Olympic football focus

David Beckham's not on the team, but thousands will be watching nonetheless: Olympic football kicks off today in cities around the country. Team GB will be fielding a women's side for the first time.


Dust off your esperanto

Another language for the British to fail to master: it's World Esperanto Day, held to celebrate this "universal language" invented in 1887. Rumour has it that former education secretary David Blunkett is fluent.


Let the games begin

It promises to be Trainspotting meets Countryfile meets Casualty. Director Danny Boyle will blow #163;27 million in one evening as the extravagant Olympic opening ceremony takes place tonight.

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