About one in seven pupils in England have not got into their first-choice secondary school, official data shows.
The latest government statistics reveal that 74,000 – or 14.7% – of 11-year-olds failed to get a place in their preferred school.
Overall, 4.1% did not get an offer from any of their top three schools.
This year about 8,500 fewer children applied for a place at secondary school compared with 2011, though the total number of places available remained broadly the same.
Children in the north-east of England have the best chance of getting into their top choice, with 95.1% succeeding.
In London that figure is only 67.2% – though there has been a slight improvement in the past year.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, in print for 244, is to stop publishing its 32-volume print edition to focus on its digital efforts.
The rise of the internet decimated sales of Britannica. From a peak of 120,000 sets sold in 1990, sales fell sharply, with just 8,500 sets of the 2010 edition shipped (FT, 14TH March 2012).
By moving its whole presence online, however, it faces a battle against the free web-o-paedia, Wikipedia.
The prestigious university consortium – the Russell Group – has captured four new university members.
York, Durham, Exeter and Queen Mary’s, University of London have joined such institutions as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and the LSE within the Russell Group fold.
The Russell Group has for six years represented the interests of the UK’s larger, research universities. In 2008 analysis showed that 60% of the UK’s world-leading research took place at Russell Group universities.
The move probably also reflects a sense of growing competition amongst universities. Membership of the Russell Group would increase the value of the universities in the eyes of students who now have to pay up to £9000 a year for their tuition.