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VISIT THE NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM, YORK, where the flavour is distinctly continental this Easter. Take an authentic steam ride in South Yard, indulge in tasty treats or get hands on and make your own Dutch-style windmill. You can even win some chocolate goodies in the Museum's fun Chocolate Railway Trail!

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we're marking the launch of our shiny new Election2010 content (check out those groovy voting-poll piecharts) with the grand unveiling of the Mumsnet Manifesto. If it's going to be the Mumsnet election, it's about time we told those politicians exactly what matters to us. Do tell us what you think.

Winner of the vote for April Book of the Month is Colm Toibin's Brooklyn: grab a copy and join us for a little Irish literary craic at the end of the month.

And advance notice that, on 12 April, we've Something Special indeed: a long-hoped-for webchat with none other than Justin (Mr Tumble) Fletcher. Thread opening shortly...

Now for this week's parenting news...

Children with autism 'unfairly excluded': Many children are at risk of being unfairly excluded from school because their autism is mistaken for naughtiness, according to new research from the Institute of Child Health. Teachers at 16 primary schools were asked about 26 children who had been excluded or were at risk of exclusion, and nine of them were found to have autism. "Teachers should be supported to identify these children," says study leader David Skuse, "before they are unfairly excluded from school, and miss the education and learning opportunities they deserve." (Guardian 01.04.10) 

Pupils should get out more: Children in England spend too much time in the classroom, say MPs on the Children, Schools and Families Committee. In a new report, they criticise a lack of funding for school trips, pointing out that children in poorer areas were particularly less likely to go on them, and say the steep decline in the amount of time pupils spend outdoors is "shocking". (BBC News 31.03.10)

ARE THERE BETTER WAYS TO DISCOVER HOW YOUR CHILD IS DOING AT SCHOOL THAN SATs AT 11? Do league tables make your child's school a better school? Teachers and head teachers are campaigning for Key Stage 2 assessment reform. For more details go to www.teachers.org.uk.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: fruitshootsandheaves takes the swatch card approach to the Mumsnet election: "The fundamental differences between the parties, as far as I can tell, are: Labour use red; Conservatives use Blue; Liberal Democrats use yellowy/orange. I say vote for your favourite colour."

Competitions
This month's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat).

DIVINE FAIRTRADE EASTER EGGS! Fairtrade Easter Eggs in dark, milk and white chocolate are available in the Divine Chocolate Shop. FREE delivery on orders over £10 for a limited time.

Looking for an Easter hols day out? Mumsnetters say try:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: Doctor Who, BBC1, Sat 3 April, 6.20pm
He's a baby, he's more alien than ever before and he's back - oh my gosh, I am so excited. I haven't seen the episode in advance but I have, like every other geek on this puny green-and-blue planet, seen the trailers. Will the mystery of what has happened to Matt Smith's eyebrows be solved? AND THE WEEPING ANGELS ARE COMING... DON'T BLINK! <faints with Dr Who-steria>
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: MamaG's simnel cake
Traditional Easter cake, packed with oodles of mixed fruit and topped with 11 browned marzipan balls. Well, we can't eat chocolate eggs all weekend...
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all. We're off for a bit of an Easter break. See you in two weeks.
Love, MNHQ

HEALTHY LITTLE FEET. Did you know that 50% of children could develop foot problems as a result of wearing poorly fitted shoes? The new healthylittlefeet website aims to reduce this alarming statistic by providing free baby-footcare advice for parents. Support the campaign and you could win a year's supply of Start-rite shoes.

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