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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where the desks are awash with biscuit crumbs after this week's political webchats with Work and Pensions minister Yvette Cooper (Tory candidate name: Anthony Wigeons-Benham) and shadow Schools and Families minister Michael (Ernest Erskine-Gillanders) Gove.

Please, please, please do our last (God willing!) Election Poll (case of bubbly up for grabs): it's live and ready for you now.

Got any questions for We Need to Talk About Kevin author Lionel Shriver? Please post 'em on our Q&A thread and she'll answer them anon. And don't forget to get your copy of our May Book of the Month poll winner, Tiffany Murray's glam-rock-themed Diamond Star Halo. Oh, and top suggestions for Gifts for Dads most welcome (Father's Day is getting a little too close for comfort)...

Now for this week's parenting news...

Tests 'must go ahead': School governors must ensure national tests for 10 and 11-year-olds go ahead, despite a planned boycott by English primary headteachers, children's secretary Ed Balls said this week. He said another 'competent person' must be found to administer the tests, and the head might have to be told to stay away during the tests. The tests, in maths and English, are scheduled to take place between 10 and 13 May but the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Union of Teachers, representing 80% of primary heads, have voted overwhelmingly to boycott them. (Guardian 28.04.10)

Parental degree boosts children's grades: Being born to a parent with a university degree is more likely to guarantee a English child top grades at school, according to a new study commissioned by the Sutton Trust. It found that 56% of teenagers whose parents had degrees scored high enough grades to put them in the top quarter of their peer group, compared with 9% of teens whose parents left school without qualifications. The researchers thinks it all comes down to highly educated parents ensuring their children had places at top-performing secondary schools. (Guardian 26.04.10)

IS YOUR CHILD FULL OF RUBBISH IDEAS? Ben Fogle has teamed up with Kenco to encourage kids aged 6 to 12 to think creatively about waste by drawing or making something brand new out of waste packaging. Enter the Young Eco Designer competition before 30 April and get some enterprising design tips along the way from Ben, who will also be judging entries.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: MichaelGove gets down wiv da kidz when a combative LadyBlaBlah wonders what he'll be saying about her when he gets in his car: "I shall keep a Poker Face."

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).

Other chances to win

THE HARES ARE COMING! As mentioned on the Jonathan Ross Show, the stage version of Guess How Much I Love You opens at The Rose Theatre, Kingston on 19 May before hopping off on a UK tour! Click here for full dates and to book tickets. 
"I love you right up to the moon – and back."

Looking for a May Day out? Mumsnetters recommend:

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: Luther, BBC1, Tues 4 May, 9pm
It is not terribly dignified for me, as a mother and a professional working woman, to come over all Diet-Coke-Breaky at the prospect of Idris Elba on British TV in a psychological thriller. I do not doubt the man's talent one bit – he was after all magnificent as business student-cum-crack-dealer Stringer Bell in The Wire – but if he insists on taking his shirt off as 'near-genius murder detective John Luther' then, by golly, I will be forced to objectify him to within an inch of his life. This time, he'll be using his own Lahndan accent to appear with Ruth Wilson, Indira Varma, Paul McGann and Saskia Reeves in what looks like a highly promising genre piece. It rather beats Lester Freamon turning up on Holby City, doesn't it?
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: Rainbows17's chocolate muffins
Swoonworthy choc cakelets, whisked up from a super-simple recipe even small children could "help" with. Just the thing for a spot of Bank Hol bake-bonding...
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all. We're off to make rosettes for our Tory candidate names...
Love, Charles Catteshall-Dutton and David Fitzmaurice-Seymour

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