Today, 13/06/2013 Live

13 Jun 2013 Last updated at 09:01

Thursday 13 June

A new report from OFSTED says state comprehensives in England are failing the brightest fifth of children. Stephen Hester is to leave Royal Bank of Scotland after five years as chief executive. And birdwatchers have been asked to avoid using smartphone apps near birds that play birdsong out loud.
  • 13 Jun 2013 08:58:38


    Our editors this morning were John Shields and Terry O'Neill. Next on Radio 4, Melvyn Bragg presents In Our Time. We're back tomorrow from 0600. Have a good morning.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:55:36


    'Bromance', 'gut check' and 'have a cow' are the latest slang words and phrases to enter the Oxford English Dictionary today. Paul Kerswill, Professor of Social Linguistics at the University of York, and Phil Marshall, Executive Principal of Excelsior Academy, discuss Slang’s place in the English language and where the latest slang terms originate.

    "It's important to recognise that standard English has evolved."
    - Phil Marshall

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:51:28


    Ethiopia has refused to halt work on a controversial giant dam across the river Nile that Egypt fears will severely curb its water supply. Robert Twigger, author of 'Red Nile - Biography of the World's Greatest River', and Aleem Maqbool, BBC correspondent, explain more about the frictions rising between Ethiopia and Egypt.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:49:13


    The island town of Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, has undergone a huge transformation ahead of this year's G8 meeting of world leaders. BBC reporter Andy Martin reports from Fermanagh, to hear the mixed views about the circus coming to town.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:43:49


    Christof Rühl, Group Chief Economist and Vice President of BP, has said that the shale gas revolution has not only changed the energy market within the US, but it will set it apart from markets in the rest of the world. Mr Rühl to business presenter Tanya Beckett explains the significance of shale gas.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:40:48


    There has been the first official reaction in China to the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has fled to Hong Kong. "We are not bystanders, and the issue of whether the US as an internet superpower has abused its powers touches on our vital interests directly," an editorial by Beijing's Global Times says. Damian Grammaticus reports from Hong Kong.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:31:52


    America's policy on its use of drones remains controversial. Professor Harold Koh, former legal adviser to the US State Department and former advisor to President Obama on these issues, explains the thinking behind America's policy on drones.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:32:55


    Melvyn Bragg has just been telling Jim and John about what's coming up in this week's In Our Time - straight after the Today programme this morning.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:25:52


    The National Trust is warning birdwatchers not to use apps which play birdsong to help them lure rare birds like nightjars out for them to photograph. BBC correspondent Jon Kay reports.

  • 13 Jun 2013 08:08:19


    A report published today by OFSTED has revealed that many of the most able children in state education are underperforming. The head of OFSTED, Sir Michael Wilshaw, explains their findings.

    "We've got to make sure that the great majority of youngsters do well and go to the top universities so we can become a fairer society. Leadership is crucial. Teachers must have high expectations of bright children."
    - Sir Michael Wilshaw

    Joseph McGrath
    @BBCr4today So the top universities are going to expand to take over 50% of youngsters?

    Comprehensive schools might not be stretching bright pupils - I could have told you this 30 years ago when my own school, forced to become comprehensive, suddenly abandoned the pursuit of excellence in favour of the pursuit of equality.
    - Neil 
    Lorraine Warren
    I find it bizarre how GCSEs are outdated and failing our children one day and then a test of how schools fail to help children on another
    Our son went to a selective state grammar, and was pushed to live up to his potential, and he performed accordingly. Our other son, equally bright, went to the local state comprehensive, and was never pushed.  My wife and I repeatedly went to the school, asking just that they provide some additional challenge. All we got was denial and an accusation that we were elitist. It seemed to me a betrayal of the values of the teaching profession.
    - Gary

    Matthew Cain
    Surprised at 'news' that comprehensive schools fail bright pupils. Not news to me, I spent five years at school feeling unfulfilled + bored!
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