The volume of students modifying their course selection in the days before the CAO deadline has risen sharply in recent years, sparking a flurry of marketing  among higher education institutions and professional bodies. Photograph: Getty Images

Change of mind: Applicants being drawn to courses linked to areas of the growing economy

Siofra Cox, a teacher at the Convent of Mercy in Roscommon, said the Leaving Cert music exams at both higher and ordinary levels were “very clear and straightforward”. Photograph: iStockphoto

‘All compositions in major key so students had no opportunity to be melancholy’

Senior officials from several colleges appeared before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to answer questions over unauthorised severance packages, conflicts of interest and poor corporate governance.

DIT president regrets not providing committee with ‘highly critical’ report of managment failures

The president of DIT, Prof Brian Norton, has been accused by TDs of withholding a sensitive report commissioned by DIT’s governing body into the loss of more than €700,000. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Senior third-level college officials will appear before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee to face allegations that they misled (...)

An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT  to provide a range of IT services to institutes of technology.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An Chéim’s board conducted ‘forensic analysis’ of services provided to tech company

Professor Brian Norton, president, DIT: was directed by the DIT governing body to furnish the Public Accounts Committee with the EY report. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

External report finds lack of management oversight and breaches in purchasing policy

Professor Brian Norton, president, DIT: a spokeswoman  confirmed that he provided the PAC with the EY report in recent weeks.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

TDs accuse college of misleading members over serious management failures

Vivaldi’s Spring (1st movement) featured as the set work in the listening section of Wednesday’s Junior Cert exam. Photograph: iStock

Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ strikes the right note for most students on a hot summer’s day

The draft legislation is aimed at making admissions to schools fairer and more transparent. Photograph: Istock

Oireachtas committee also recommends accessible alternatives to religious classes

The Junior Cert materials technology (wood) exam was worth just a third of marks, with the remainder resting on practical work completed by students earlier in the year. Photo: iStock

Teachers happy with range of questions and quality of graphics

Technical graphics: many Junior Cert students found themselves under “extreme time pressure” to complete today’s higher-level exam. Photo: iStock

Higher-level candidates report a lack of time to complete the paper

A 2016 study from Germany shows teachers expected lower performances from their Turkish students in German and maths. Photograph: iStock

Achievement gap is ‘not large’ compared to many other developed countries

Leo Varadkar on his way into talks with Fianna Fáil in 2016 on forming a government, at Trinity College in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Election marks a milestone in ‘normalising’ an institution once linked to Protestant elite

“State Examinations Commission has made an effort to make the paper as topical as possible.” Photograph: iStock

Paper provided a good chance for applicants to apply their knowledge to current affairs

The State Examinations Commission is investigating the publication of a Leaving Cert paper on a Facebook page. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Images of paper posted to Facebook group for teachers shortly after exam began

Efforts to provide greater choice for parents have proven slow and divisive. Photograph: Getty Images

Kerry school under Catholic patronage to be re-opened as a community national school

Pupils of Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty, Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

An Foras Pátrúnachta is to introduce a new multidenominational model in its schools

ASTI president Ed Byrne has said the union will now ‘move inside the tent’ of the Lansdowne Road pay deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Calls for leadership figures to resign after members vote to suspend industrial action

 ASTI members at the union meeting in Citywest Hotel. Many members were angry with what they saw as a hard-line leadership focused on conflict rather than compromise. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Analysis: Anger over new entrants’ pay may lead resumption in hostilities next autumn

Long-awaited report raises concerns that staff shortages could place the quality of tuition at risk. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Unions say emigration of young Irish teachers a key factor behind shortages

Trinity College Library: TCD welcomed its higher ranking which placed it in the top 1% of universities worldwide. Photograph: The Irish Times

UCD says it may need to ‘reduce number of places to Irish students to preserve quality’

Mixed reaction to the first paper of the new Junior Cycle English curriculum

About 3,750 examiners are needed to mark written exams this year

Junior and Leaving Cert gets under way for more than 120,000 students

The rising numbers reflect an increase in migrant parents who moved here over the past decade and a half. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

726 students enter for the Polish exam – the most popular non-curricular subject

State Examinations Commission in Athlone where Leaving  and Junior Cert exam scripts are sorted for distribution. Photograph: Alan Betson

Students aim to take advantage of CAO reforms as 121,000 prepare for exams

 Educate Together schoolchildren protest for a bigger school in Ballinteer during the week: places in Educate Together schools are highly sought-after. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Lead-in time should mean any parent with a child’s on a list is unlikely to be affected

Who will be marking the State exams? urgent appeal issued for markers

Authorities issue appeal to working, retired and newly qualified teachers

Earlier this year, Minister for Education Richard Bruton announced a proposal to raise an additional €200 million for the sector through increases in employer’s PRSI to the national training fund. Photograph: Istock

Ministers Richard Bruton and Paschal Donohoe say increase in employers’ levy needed to tackle ‘crisis’ in funding

Student finalists at last year’s Enactus Ireland event. The programme is aimed at celebrating social entreneurship among students.

Enactus Ireland event recognises students’ efforts to to support marginalised people in the community

Schoolchildren from Ballinteer Educate Together during a protest at Leinster House, Dublin, over delays in providing a new school building. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Pupils at south Dublin school have been using temporary accommodation since 2012

Students at Belvedere College, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Waiting lists to be phased out within three to five years as part of admission reforms

The international school, which will cater for up to 800 students, will be based in a €20 million office block formerly used by Microsoft close to the Leopardstown Racecourse. Photograph: Carl O’Brien

Dublin school’s fees to cost about €20,000 a year, making it most expensive State school

Baptism barrier: the catchment-area proposal is one of several solutions Minister for Education Richard Bruton has put forward. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Catholic-backed move would require new laws and boundary-dispute adjudication

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister for Education backing ‘reforming, decisive, imaginative’ Varadkar as leader

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said he is to hold a forum on Monday as part of the final stages of a consultation process over his plans to reform school admission policy rules. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Minister says school admission reforms must respect desire of religious for special schools

The international school, which will cater for up to 800 students, will be based in a €20 million office block formerly used by Microsoft close to the Leopardstown racecourse. Photograph: Carl O’Brien

International school’s European rates for second-level typically run to €20,000 a year

Glenstal Abbey  School is an example of how many schools in the fee-paying sector are rebounding after a few turbulent years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

New figures show pupil numbers in fee-paying schools are set to reach boom-time highs

DCU professor Brian MacCraith says the modern workplace increasingly requires citizens with transferable skills who are “resilient and adaptable, and capable of reflective and critical thinking”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DCU initiative part of trend among universities to focus on employability of graduates

Dr Des Fitzgerald: Has outlined his plans to put new management and governance systems in place. Photograph: The Irish Times

President says ‘anaemic’ management may have played role in way claims handled

Two suspended whistleblowers in UL’s finance department said they were looking forward to co-operating fully with the review. Photograph: Press 22

College’s governance, human resources and financial practices to be examined

Most teachers are contractually obliged to provide classroom cover for teachers who are sick or involved in school activities such as games and field trips

Warning from Department of Education ratchets up tension in long-running dispute

The Christian Brothers are planning to sell two-thirds of the sports pitches, 7.5 acres of land surrounding Clonkeen College in Blackrock, Dublin, to help fund its financial commitments to the State.

Anger among parents as 7.5 acres of land at Clonkeen College is to be put up for sale

The numbers taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just above 5,700 in 2013. Photograph: iStock

Low take-up contrasts with Germany where 60% of students take up ‘earn-and-learn’ options

Leona O’Callaghan pictured in the University of Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Claiming expenses: ‘If you were on the VIP list you played by different rules’

The UCC campus. Several universities, including UCC, have tens of millions of euro in private trusts and foundations which they have resisted declaring in their accounts. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Audits also reveal extra payments to staff and non-compliance with procurement rules

Applicants who hold primary teaching qualifications  awarded outside Europe must apply to have their qualifications assessed by the Teaching Council. Photograph: iStock

The Teaching Council determines if qualifications meet criteria under Irish legislation

The first wellbeing classes, starting next September,  are aimed at enhancing students’ physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. File photograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil labels as ‘ridiculous’ reduction in the teaching hours for German and French

The legislation will also give institutes of technology the power to award degrees in the same way as universities. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: move vital to ensure level playing field for students

The University of Limerick campus. The Department of Education has announced details of a review into the governance, HR and financial practices at UL.

University of Limerick’s governance, HR and financial practices to be investigated

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie (left): ’Boat has sailed’ on retrospective pay. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Department tells union ‘boat has sailed’ over retrospective pay worth some €3,000 per teacher

Mustakeem Shah (9), Theodora McDonnell (9), Zoe Brennan (9) and Fergus Linehan (9): the Humanist Association of Ireland together  with Educate Together has launched humanism lesson plans for Educate Together schools.  Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Pupils to learn about the non-religious belief system humanism, atheism and agnosticism

A lack of the basics in Spanish  prevented many candidates achieving a high grade last year,  the State Examinations Commission has said. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

State examiners criticise the decision of some secondary pupils to take higher-level exams

The case histories are drawn from reports published online by the National Review Panel.

Case reviews flag missed opportunities, poor practice and pressure on social workers

An average of 21 vulnerable young people in contact with social services have died each year, according to an independent body tasked with reviewing critical incidents in the care system. Photograph: iStock

Deaths reveal pressure facing social work departments, says independent report

University of Limerick: Its new president is understood to have pledged in recent days to make sweeping changes at senior levels. Photograph: Press 22

Former staff member alleged to have made sexual references in class

ASTI delegates pictured at the  conference in Killarney in April. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Association claims the union’s brinkmanship risks derailing the education system

Forget about course choices until after the Leaving Cert. There will be plenty of time to finalise college options after the exams. Photo: iStock

There is plenty of time after the exams to finalise options for third-level study

Limerick billionaire JP McManus is to spend €32 million on third-level scholarships for more than 1,000 students from less well-off backgrounds. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

All-Ireland programme open to 125 less well-off students annually over next decade

The Department of Education is to launch an independent inquiry into a series of allegations of misconduct at University of Limerick (UL).

Government to order independent review after bullying and irregular expenses claims

“The Minister’s intention is to press ahead on these complex issues as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said. Photograph: Getty Images

Richard Bruton signals further discussions over 'complex' issues

The new primary schools were announced in November 2015 to serve a number of locations under increased demographic pressure. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Patronage announced for four schools will create more than 1,700 new places

Secondary-school action: ASTI teachers “are questioning our campaign of passive resistance due to the pain it is inflicting on members”, according to Noel Buckley, a Tipperary-based teacher. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Leadership has criticised move and urged teachers to respect previous ballot

Trinity College Dublin is one of three Irish universities which feature in the Reuters list of Europe’s top-100 most innovative universities. Photograph: iStock

State’s three institutions in Reuters top 100 the best result in Europe on per capita basis

Under pressure: students may get the points, but can they get the finance  to go on to third-level education?  Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee hears concerns over debt burden under loan proposals

Students at Mount Carmel School in Dublin listening to Cathriona Hallahan from Microsoft at the opening of the school extension. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

An extension to an old Dublin school caps a remarkable turn-around in its fortunes

Richard Terry, an ASTI member in the union’s Fermoy branch: “Passive resistance hasn’t been working. It’s time to admit that.” Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Biggest second-level teachers’ union losing members in context of internal divisions

A   graduate may  expect to pay  €150-€160 a month until they reach 33 years  if a “study now, pay later” loan scheme is introduced. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Study finds income-contingent loan scheme cheapest way for State to expand third level

A number of ASTI members have begun gathering signatures from teachers in a bid to debate a motion to suspend the union’s industrial action and restore losses and contracts to teachers

Leadership resists move and urges members to respect union’s previous ballot

Actor Cillian Murphy and Prof Pat Dolan, director of the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway

Scarred by his school experiences, the actor is helping to promote empathy education

Sophie Beveridge, Diarmuid Geever and Jessica Fahy from Ballaghadereen Foróige club in Roscommon with the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship trophy in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin.  Photograph: Mark Stedman

Ballaghaderreen group takes top prize at Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards in Dublin

“Many of our students get by with two sets of uniform in five years. In many cases they can and are passed down through families. Not so with the generic brands you are promoting”

Conference told move is a fig leaf to hide the chronic underfunding of schools

The ranking table is based on Higher Education Authority figures for posts in universities in 2014, with University of Limerick having women in 33 per cent of senior posts. File photograph: Press 22 The new body will oversee research and advise on prioritisation of key skills gaps across industry and how they can be met

National Skills Council to be chaired by Minister for Education

Richard Bruton: the Minister hopes to increase the contribution employers make to higher education and training. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Isme says quality of college graduates appears to be on the decline

Students on UCD’s campus: Overall non-progression rates of 15 per cent compare favourably to international rates. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Highest drop-out rates in construction, computer science and engineering courses

Science graduate  skills in short supply chiefly relate to niche  areas typically associated with the pharmaceutical, biopharma and food innovation industries. Photograph: Getty Images

There are not enough skilled workers to meet demand in computing, engineering and construction

ASTI is the only public sector union not signed up to the Lansdowne Road agreement. This has triggered financial losses for members and delayed access to contracts for new entrants to teaching

Some members gathering signatures for special convention to reverse strategy

Children from five schools in Tipperary gather at the Department of Education to hand a letter in to Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Teachers say vulnerable students from deprived areas are losing out on vital supports

Schools report major problems finding qualified teachers in areas such as Irish, European languages, home economics and maths.

Growing school population fuels concerns over supply in science, maths and Irish

Susie Hall, a teacher with  Dublin northeast branch, questioned why Irish policymakers had to “slavishly” follow bad policy  made in  UK. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Conference rejects department policy focus on ‘ideological-driven autonomy’ for schools

ASTI delegates pictured at the ASTI conference in the INEC, Killarney on Tuesday.Photo Don MacMonagle

Proposal would have disrupted thousands of pupils in run-up to State exams

Delegates pictured at the ASTI conference in Killarney on Tuesday. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

ASTI suspended normal business on Wednesday after criticism of its strategy

‘While ASTI’s leadership has claimed a principled stand on the rights of new entrants on lower pay, these younger members are the hardest hit as a result of the union’s strategy.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Members argue the union needs a strategy beyond resisting compromise at all costs

The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) passed a motion at its annual conference calling on the Department of Education to arrange a second set of exams in the summer or autumn. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

ASTI conference supports motion calling for students to be given opportunity to repeat exams in summer or autumn

Delegates at the ASTI conference in Killarney: The meeting heard claims that the union lacked a clear strategy. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Members are losing thousands of euro in increments and allowances due to pay freezes

ASTI president Ed Byrne at the ASTI conference in  Killarney. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Teachers’ union to meet in private to discuss ‘haemorrhaging’ of younger members

 Seán Fox says grants for newly-built houses encourage developers to push up prices. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Seán Fox says it is impossible for young teachers to afford to pay a mortgage

Delegates  at the ASTI conference: union president Ed Byrne said it  had railed against injustice in an age of conformity and orthodoxy. Photograph:  Don MacMonagle

Majority of delegates at conference oppose any deal that does not guarantee pay equality

A 10-year strategy to be published shortly by Minister for Education Richard Bruton includes ambitious targets to increase the number of students studying a foreign language. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

Government plan sets ambitious targets to raise numbers studying foreign languages

ASTI Fermoy branch member Richard Terry, who complained of members being ‘left out in the cold’, is instructed to leave the podium after exceeding his speaking time.  Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Teachers’ union maintains campaign for equal pay despite backlash from some members

The ASTI has ‘stood alone against injustice, inequity and the unethical,’ said union president Ed Byrne (right), with union’s general secretary  Kieran Christie. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ed Byrne says it has ‘stood alone’ among teacher unions against injustice, and the unethical

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Tiny overall investment’ could remove cost of books, transport and contributions

The Minister for Education Richard Bruton will attend a dinner at the ASTI conference but there will not be a speaking opportunity. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will not address ASTI due to ‘logistical constraints’

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: issuing a circular in the coming days requiring the school authorities to adopt “principles of cost-effective practice”. across a range of key area. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mandatory book rental scheme among plans being introduced to help parents

The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland have suffered after reputiating the Lansdowne Road agreement, while the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation have benefited from pay increments. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Unions under pressure to dismantle two-tier pay gap and achieve full pay restoration

Irish classrooms: “Every child is entitled to be taught by a fully qualified teacher,” Rosena Jordan said. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

INTO president says shortage of substitutes leading to use of unqualified teachers

The vast majority of teachers surveyed said bureaucratic duties regularly deflect from their teaching. Photograph: PA Wire

TUI survey highlights morale and workload issues among second-level teachers

Students taking part in group work as part of the new junior cycle.

Experts believe the Republic’s exam-obsessed model is failing Irish students

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said he will allocate almost €2.5m in initiatives to attract a diverse range of young teachers. Photograph: Alan Betson

Recent research showed that most teachers are white, female and middle-class

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie (left)  and president Ed Byrne at a recent meeting. Mr Byrne says young teachers are highly educated and motivated, but have inferior conditions and pay. Photograph: Eric Luke

ASTI says situation poses ‘critical threat’ to future of second-level education

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