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

Social Democrat Róisín Shorthall, alongside fellow party-member Catherine Murphy. Ms Shorthall says the party’s Bill would, if enacted, “eradicate one of the great discriminations of Irish society”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Social Democrats say current legislation amounts to ‘blatant discrimination’

Louise Tobin, a principal at St Joseph’s Primary School in Tipperary town. She says she was shocked when her school was excluded from a scheme to help disadvantaged schools. Photograph: John D Kelly

Many schools believe they have been unfairly excluded from disadvantage scheme

Ministers Richard Bruton and Leo Varadkar  with students at the announcement of  expansion of the  School Meals Scheme 2017. Bruton said 79 schools were to be added into the Deis programme. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil calls on Minister to make statement over Deis selection ‘farce’

A new private school will be based at South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Co Dublin. Image: Carl O’Brien

The operator of the south Dublin school typically charges about €20,000 a year for second-level day students

It’s likely that some affluent Irish families may well be attracted by the fact that an alternative to the Leaving Cert will now be available. Photograph: Alan Betson

Backers are targeting children of mobile executives and diplomats rather than locals

State officials in the IDA and elsewhere have been working hard to tempt London-based banks to move operations to Dublin to keep a foothold in the European Union. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

School in Leopardstown targeted at children of mobile executives stationed in Dublin

Chairman of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee Seán Fleming: He says Nama chair and “senior Dáil officials” tried to limit committee’s findings into Project Eagle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Seán Fleming alleges moves to limit findings of a report into the Project Eagle loan book

The app allows users to view anonymous, and often insulting, messages left about them by typing in their name. Photograph: Thinkstock

Popular anonymous chat app blocked following wave of criticism over cyberbullying

Former minister for education Ruairí Quinn, Jacob Kestner, head of EduCo International’s Irish operations, Maynooth University president Philip Nolan and DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith

EduCo International Group setting up in Ireland to attract international students

Waterford Institute of Technology’s current president, Willie Donnelly, was vice-president of research at the time of the sale.

WIT president says his involvement with software firm FeedHenry was fully declared

 Minister for Education Richard Bruton: Proposed reforms to primary schools are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Children would not study traditional subjects until aged 10, under new proposals

DCU president Brian MacCraith: “In this post-Brexit, Trumpian world, the most important thing we can do for this nation is talent development.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Brian MacCraith says employers want creative leaders, not first-class honours nerds

One Dublin  school told parents the app allows individual children to be targeted easily. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The app lets users view anonymous, and often insulting, messages left about them

A survey of 90 secondary schools found 96% reported difficulties recruiting part-time or temporary teaching cover

Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools says staff situation a ‘nightmare’

 Seán Fleming, chair of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, said parents will no longer be able to appeal resource decisions to the National Council for Special Education. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parents will not be able to appeal decisions over support for special needs children

Latest figures show the number of students applying to study in the UK has dropped by almost 20 per cent since the Brexit vote, down from 4,750 students last year to 3,900 this year

Higher international fees may lead to thousands of students staying at home

Schools would still be able to prioritise members of their own faith if they live within the catchment area. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Catchment areas would not remove Baptism barrier and may create administrative block

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has said he wants to introduce changes to the ‘Baptism barrier’ as soon as possible. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

New catchment area proposal is frontrunner in plans to tackle the ‘Baptism barrier’

 Of the 76 countries analysed, Ireland came 36th for religiosity. Photograph: Getty Images

Time spent on religious education seems to affect student attainment in some areas

Tomás Ó Ruairc, director of the Teaching Council, said vetting was vital in upholding public confidence in the profession. Photograph: Getty Images

Up to 600 long-serving teachers may miss deadline to complete retrospective vetting

ASTI picket at Monkstown Park College in Dublin last year: thousands of ASTI members have lost out on incremental pay rises, and a €800 payment for supervision and substitution duties.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Teacher union narrowly rejected ‘final’ settlement proposals for dispute earlier in year

Arts graduates are among the least likely to be in employment nine months after graduating, and among the most likely to be studying for a post-graduate qualification. Photograph: Getty Images

While science is ‘sexy’ these days, employers say arts courses develop crucial skills for the modern workplace

 University College Dublin is reforming  its arts degree programmes to improve employment prospects for graduates. Photograph: Alan Betson

UCD plans major changes to biggest third-level course in the country

The State Examinations Commission is satisfied pupils will have sufficient time to complete the Junior Cycle English exam despite concerns among students.

State Examinations Commission responds to widespread concern among candidates

Tara O’Sullivan, a Junior Cert student whose campaign to extend the time allocated for this summer’s English exam has attracted thousands of supporters.

Online petition aimed at State Examinations Commission gets thousands of supporters

Minister for Education Richard Bruton visits St Francis Street CBS in Dublin, with principal Fiona Collins and pupils Sean Salinger (12), Dean Browne (8), Bradley Lawless (9) and Calum Lennox (9).  Photograph: Maxwells/Julien Behal

Revised education strategy to focus on enhanced numeracy and digital skills

Ireland is a good location for international studies, as it has a proven record as a friendly, social and academic environment to study and live in. Photo: iStock

Universities offer a range of foundation programmes for international students

Children in pre-schools are used to a teacher/pupil ratio of one to 11; at primary level, this leaps up to about one teacher for 28 pupils. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Free pre-school year, awareness of child development and class sizes play major roles

Children may now avail of the free preschool scheme from the ages of three up to five-and-a-half:  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Free preschool year key factor behind older age of junior infants, according to experts

Junior and senior infants at Dublin’s Gardiner Street Primary School. A new survey finds that 73% of junior infants are at aged at least five. Nick Bradshaw

Facts from new database of pupils attending national schools

There were 558,000 pupils enrolled in 3,250 primary schools as of September 30th, 2016.

New database reveals most detailed picture yet of national school population

The scale of contract cheating is difficult to estimate, though there have been about 1,000 cases of students in Ireland being disciplined for plagiarism since 2010

While current guidelines deal with plagiarism, they do not address ‘essay mills’

A shrine on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, where    babies and toddlers were found buried. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The conditions that created the Tuam mother and baby home scandal continue today in the form of unaccountable authorities, misplac(...)

Maynooth University has recorded its highest ever level of first-preference applications. It says its arts programme is now the most popular course in the country when measured by the number of first-preference applications

Nursing and education also down, while law, construction are up

University College Dublin: UCD ranked in the top 100 for 13 subjects while Trinity College Dublin saw its share of top-100 places decrease from 16 to two. Photograph: Eric Luke

UCD leads way with positions in global top 50 for veterinary science and English

The Department of Education. The assistant secretary general at the department said Mr Bruton’s legislation would boost the Ombudsman for Children’s capacity to investigate issues

Jim Daly says school boards of management defend principals over parents

After nearly a decade of spending cuts, rising student numbers and falling numbers of academic staff, the higher education sector is under acute pressure. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Some academics worry that colleges are increasingly reliant on industry support

Employers pay about €360m a year into a National Training Fund through a payroll levy. Photograph: Getty Images

Move may spark concern over close relationships between industry and education

Clive Byrne, director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, said Ireland was well positioned to become an “educational superpower” in Europe

Call for creation of regional school boards to ease principals’ administrative duties

Learning curve: Carly Bailey, a student at Trinity College Dublin, with  daughter Lola (seven) and son Leon (five)

A growing number of third-level students have dependent children. But affordable on-campus childcare and other supports are hard t(...)

Students take part in group work as part of the new junior cycle. The State Examination Commission says new guidance on classroom-based assessments will allow junior cycle English students to avoid a 10 per cent penalty in their summer exams.

Up to 40,000 students must wait until ASTI responds to see if they can sit assessment

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has been accused of “sitting on the report” and ignoring the  issue of shortages despite the difficulties facing schools. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

‘Out of field’ teachers being used at second level due to issue, says unpublished report

Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Schools report an acute shortage of substitute teachers

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has said Springboard+ has been successful at giving people the skills to get back into the workforce. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Jobseekers’ programme to be extended to other groups to combat skills shortages

An ASTI picket at Monkstown Park College in Dublin last year. Photograph: Eric Luke

Industrial action increases chances of disruption in run-up to State exams

A report on Brexit due to be published shortly by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone finds that young people are worried about the cost of college in the UK. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Brexit report highlights concern among young people over UK university fees hike

Teachers and principals are most likely to have been the subject of child-abuse allegations (31 per cent), followed by parents or childminders (26 per cent), students (24 per cent) and historic  allegations  account for 22 per cent. Photograph posed by model: iStock

Nearly 1,700 child-protection concerns raised since 2010, mainly regarding primary schools

Minister of Education  Richard Bruton: he is reviewing a policy-change which could allow teachers to accept or reject collective pay agreements on an individual basis. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Government risks escalation in dispute if even a single ASTI member loses their job

ASTI members protesting outside the Dáil last summer. The union has pledged to immediately ballot its membership on industrial action if any of its members are made redundant. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Union members could be first public servants to lose jobs since start of economic crash

Trinity College Dublin reforms will result in the teaching term beginning two weeks earlier and the introduction of Christmas exams for the first time. Photograph: Getty Images

Christmas testing and earlier start brings college into line with most other universities

Up to 700 non-academic staff at Trinity College Dublin  are to ballot for industrial and strike action. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Non-academic employees to vote on action over access to permanent contracts

At present  96% of primary schools are under the control or ownership of religious denominations. The “baptism barrier” allows schools which are over-subscribed to prioritise the admission of children on the basis of  religion

Former UN official says schools need to accommodate diversity in their access policies

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland’s rejection of settlement proposals means 500 voluntary secondary schools are in danger of being left behind by other post-primary schools.  Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Voluntary secondary schools will lose teachers, management and tuition time

 Department of Education,  Marlborough Street. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Policy which could give teachers financial incentive to leave union ‘under review’

The survey found that 48 per cent of parents said location was their main factor in deciding on a school, compared with 12 per cent who said the school’s ethos. Photograph: David Sleator

Survey shows 71% of parents think subject about ethics and all religions should be taught

Hundreds of secondary schools may have to close for at least a day in the lead-up to students’ State exams in order to hold parent-teacher meetings during school hours. File photograph: Eric Luke

ASTI’s refusal to work extra hours means secondary schools may be shut for the events

policymakers say the area of learning will be incorporated into the wider primary school curriculum. File photograph: Getty Images

Catholic groups opposed to subject on basis that it could undermine ethos of schools

Maurice McCabe: The case appears to show a litany of errors involving Tusla, including  failing to inform Sgt McCabe about the original allegations. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Analysis: Front line professionals say system is vulnerable to errors

Minister for education Donogh O’Malley in 1966, the year he announced the introduction of free second-level education. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

We ask influential figures in Irish education on what needs to come next

The plan sets new targets for improving literacy and numeracy, school completion rates and progression to further and higher education. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Minister Richard Bruton claims new programme will be more accurate and objective

The report found that children were offered access to drugs, alcohol and the notion of status from being associated with the network. File photograph: Getty Images

Research shows drugs, alcohol and status used to entrap vulnerable young people

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will announce plans on Monday to expand the number of schools in the Deis  scheme by 80. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

New approach aims to identify more accurately the most deprived schools in Republic

Official figures show that  60 per cent of Leaving Cert students who had an exemption from sitting the Irish exam went on to sit exams in French, German and Spanish. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

More than 3,500 students secured exemption from Irish on the basis of learning disability

Richard Bruton: a spokesman for the Minister said additional teachers being allocated this year would see pupil-teacher ratios return to pre-economic crisis levels. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins

Primary school classes among Europe’s most crowded with almost 25% having 30 students

Dylan McGowan, president of the student union at Letterkenny IT: “Loans are not the answer to financial difficulties. It would be a catalyst for even more financial problems.” Photograph: Declan Doherty

Access programmes have failed to significantly loosen grip of better-off on top colleges

 An ‘Irish Times’ analysis of student enrolment and grant data for last year shows UCD had the fewest grant-recipients, followed by Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Proportion of grant-holders far higher among regional institutes of technology

Research indicates most Irish schoolchildren carry schoolbags that weight more than 10 per cent of their bodyweight. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

While many parents fear injuries, experts back benefits of carrying schoolbags

US president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during a visit to Belfast in 2013. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ex-US president and his wife will receive the honour following vote by city councillors

Coding is to be emphasised through a new maths curriculum at primary level. The new action plan outlines hundreds of actions to be implemented this year

Coding to be on new primary maths curriculum amid concern over skills gaps

Online threat:   new data  published ahead of Safer Internet Day on February 7th. Photograph: Hemera/Getty

Online bullying rates higher at primary level, says five-year study across Ireland

Thousands of students affected by the ASTI dispute will be able to complete a task worth 10%  of their summer exams, according to the State Examinations Commission

Up to 40,000 students face losing marks due to ASTI dispute over reforms

Staff at Bus Éireann are to stage an indefinite all-out strike from February 20th if management imposes planned cuts to staff earnings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bus Éireann staff to stage all-out action as ASTI rejects deal in industrial dispute

The ASTI  says it will consider strike action  if its dispute with the Government ratchets up over the coming weeks and months. Photograph: Mark Stedman/

Q&A: Uncertainty looms for students, teachers and parents

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) on  strike at Beneavin De La Salle College, Dublin,  last year. Further industrial looms following the union’s rejection of settlement proposals. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

Junior cycle students face losing 10% in summer English exam

Results of a ballot of secondary school teachers on whether they will continue a campaign of industrial action are due on Thursday. Photograph: Eric Luke

ASTI rejection of settlement proposals could lead to fresh disruption in schools

Richard Bruton: as part of his new initiative Education and Training Boards will be involved in measuring demand for multidenominational education

Education and Training Board says it will have impartial role in plan to transfer patronage from religious schools

Students sitting the Leaving Cert this year will be the first to avail of a new grading system for students, aimed at easing some of the pressure on students and making access to college fairer.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Careers experts say points increases likely in construction and engineering courses

The CAO has advised anyone considering applying for undergraduate places to register ahead of its normal application deadline of 5.15pm on February 1st.

Increased demand for places expected in courses linked to economic recovery

A woman poses for a photograph beside a piece of street art, by artist ADW, lampooning US president Donald Trump in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. Photograph: Laura Hutton

US pre-clearance at Irish airports to be reviewed, and Kenny's US visit to go ahead

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