Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) members, above,  involved in a previous dispute. The fact the ASTI now stands isolated on the issue of working Croke Park hours strengthens the Government’s hand – if it can persuade the union to sit down to talks, that is. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Government’s hand strengthened as ASTI now isolated on issue of Croke Park hours

A least a dozen allegations are understood to relate to staff who are still employed, former staff members and at least one former student.  Photograph:  Press 22

Review raised concern over financial irregularities and human resources practices

Three of the Nasa competition winners Seán Donnelly, Eoghan Keane and Jason Herbert with their teacher John Conneely at St Flannan’s College in Ennis. Photograph: Eamon Ward

St Flannan’s pupils beat more than 4,000 others in space settlement design contest

The vote means members of the union stand to benefit from pay increments and new payments for supervision and substitution from this autumn. Photograph: The Irish Times

Move set to open significant pay gap among secondary school teachers come autumn

Dublin City University will today launch a new programme aimed at engaging the talents and energy of retired or soon-to-retire professionals as they seek new challenges.

DCU programme seeks to tap into growing market for second careers

Mark Candon, principal teacher of Laurence O’Toole National School in Seville Place, Dublin, with pupils in the school library. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Fear and community tensions over murders taking toll on children in Dublin’s inner city

Vice-president for teaching and learning at UCC John O’Halloran with Fionn Aodh Twomey, Molly Sorensen and Rose Kavanagh Meaney at Rockboro Primary School. Photograph: Clare Keogh.

Pupils aged four and up at Rockboro Primary School test out their new lab

“Voluntary contributions have to be voluntary, or for an added extra which students can opt out of if they so choose,” said Mr Bruton. Photograph: The Irish Times

Bruton: No ‘obligatory’ charge and schools to be prohibited from charging enrolment fees

Children attending an afterschool service in Rathmines called The Club which includes a range of activities. It is one of many services catering to the growing needs of parents. Photograph: Alan Betson

Schools will be encouraged to make greater out-of-hours use of their facilities

A faction within the Teachers’ Union of Ireland  has urged members to vote against a deal which would see teachers continue to work so-called Croke Park hours. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Department warns rejection could cost teachers €31,000 each over next four years

The question of how to make better use of school buildings during the evenings and summer months has long been an issue of debate within education circles. File photograph: Getty Images

Plan to use buildings for afterschool care and homework clubs seen as critical

Simon Harris, Minister for Health:  preparing plans for a cross-party committee to help draw up a 10-year blueprint for the health service. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Reform of primary care is key to tackling ‘unsustainable’ system, says report

Eva McAndrew (12), Cloghans Hill NS, Co Mayo, and Sarah McGovern (9), Cabra, Dublin, taking part in “LearnStorm” in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

LearnStorm final at Dublin Castle celebrates top performers in free nine-week programme

It is understood the Department of Education’s payroll system does not discriminate between ASTI and TUI members. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Department of Education payroll does not take into account union membership

ASTI members voted by a margin of 68 per cent to 32 per cent to cease working the 33 Croke Park hours. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Association members voted to stop working 33 hours generally used for school and parent meetings

An ASTI ballot box during the counting of ballots at ASTI headquarters in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

ASTI votes to stop working additional hours as HSE moves to suspend recruitment

ASTI members voted by a substantial margin to cease working additional hours, in a move which places them in direct conflict with the Government. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Analysis: ASTI vote is first grenade in what promises to be a long and disruptive battle

A spokeswoman for Minister for Education Richard  Bruton said  the Government would not allow a situation to develop where schools would have to close. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Civil servants briefing says inadequacy of school capitation funding now ‘critical issue’

ASTI has voted to cease working additional hours in a move which could trigger steep pay cuts and result in a wave school closures this autumn. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Decision by ASTI may lead to pay cuts and school closures

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin estimates just 5 per cent of Catholic primary schools in Dublin are oversubscribed. Photograph: The Irish Times

Controversy over access is an issue in schools without enough places to meet demand

Schools will be ‘obliged to close’ because of reduced funding, according to documents prepared for the new Minister for Education Richard Bruton. File photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Minister for Education’s briefing papers claim schools may not be able to meet costs

The students involved are due to start their exams next month. Photograph: Eric Luke

The pupils at fee-paying High School in south Dublin are due to sit exams in two weeks

Waiting tables is typical employment for J1 Visa workers in the US. About 150 J1 seekers are now struggling to have their visa applications approved. File photograph: Getty Images

Complaints over slow processing of work permits after 57 students pay €799 up front

Secretary general of the Department of Education Seán Ó Foghlú  said “there is an obligation to enrol regardless of faith tradition or none.”Photograph: The Irish Times

Department of Education mandarin notes legal obligation for community schools

An independent review commissioned by the Higher Education Authority  confirmed earlier this year that some staff at UL had filed irregular claims including mileage payments for trips between home and the college. File photograph: Press 22

UL had threatened defamation action against Limerick Leader newspaper over report

A taskforce report has made 24 recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality at NUI Galway.

Move may have significant implications for other colleges and public sector employers

Elaine McCann with her daughter Chloe who took part in the Preparing for Life, parenting mentoring programme in North Dublin which was found to dramatically improve children’s IQ, health and behaviour. Photograph: Conor Healy Photography

Study shows young people less likely to be overweight and had fewer behavioural problems

University of Limerick: report found that the university had the highest proportion of full-time lecturer posts  (33 per cent), followed by DCU (27 per cent) and TCD (26 per cent). Photograph:  Press 22

Report finds up to two-thirds of third-level teachers not in full-time or permanent jobs

The Department of Education said  losses are based on increment freezes, non-inclusion of supervision and substitution payments and the withdrawal of improved pay scales for new entrants.

Intervention comes as ASTI ballots on whether to cease working ‘Croke Park’ time

Secretary general of the Department of Education Seán Ó Foghlú said the department would make information available online shortly regarding the potential consequences of repudiating the pay deal

Vote to reject ‘Croke Park’ hours could result in ASTI members losing thousands of euro

Students at Mount Sackville, Chapelizod, taking part in the Google Expeditions pilot project

Schools are getting to test Google Expeditions, a virtual reality tool that allows students to ‘visit’ far-flung places such as Ma(...)

Arts and humanities graduates consistently recorded lower employment levels. Photograph: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images

The picture painted in a survey of recent graduates is broadly positive – although only a third of arts graduates feel their educa(...)

A total of 10 per cent of the final junior cycle will be based on a written assessment task – which is linked to the second classroom-based assessment. Photograph: The Irish Times

Students who do not sit a second classroom-based test next year will lose out

Gráinne Macken, a member of the Department of Education’s junior cycle training team, introducing English teachers to reforms in Navan, Co Meath

New testing regime represented as big leap forward for conservative education system

Graduated findings are contained in a survey of Irish universities and colleges of education in 2014 – nine months after graduation, published by the Higher Education Authority. Photograph: Thinkstock

Employment opportunities knocking for college graduates, with salaries on upswing

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Teaching Council to begin long-awaited fitness-to-teach hearings following new legislation

Educate Together, an equality-based patron body for 80 schools, said the comments were “deeply offensive” and not supported by any “credible research”. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Patron body says comments were deeply offensive and not supported by research

Dublin City University has announced a €230million plan to expand its presence across four separate campuses in the north of the capital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Planned development on city’s north side will see student population approach 20,000

Fr Paul Connell, president of the Joint Managerial Body and the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools: he said Catholic schools have been playing a vital role in helping young people grow in faith. Photograph: Sally MacMonagle

Taking religion out of classroom could result in nihilism and self harm, says school manager

Fr Paul Connell, president of JMB/AMCSS: “I would appeal to all concerned to pull back and work in a spirit of dialogue to resolve these issues for the good of all our school communities.” Photograph: Sally MacMonagle

Secretary general says schools will close if ASTI votes to stop working agreed hours

The State Examinations Commission says a significant minority of candidates are struggling to complete simple procedures.

State Examinations Commission review finds some struggling with simple tasks

 (L to R) Abdi Mooge, Ciara Lynam, Julie Nguyen and Job Makiese, from St Ronan’s National School, Deansrath, Clondalkin, Co Dublin, at the Yellow Flag awards.

Yellow flags awarded to 13 schools celebrating inclusion in wider community

Naoise Koppel and Kate Carthy (both 10) of Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DCU’s Lego innovation studio is developing creative approaches to teaching science and maths. It might sound like a gimmick but it(...)

Independent TD Katherine Zappone:  said a number of issues remained to be decided such as whether the childcare scheme would be available to part-time workers or those in education. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Scheme worth up to €2,000 for working parents with children under three years

Since the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown arrived in 1999, the number of school leavers in the Dublin 15 postal district who progress to third level has risen from none to almost half. Photograph: Harold Strong/Geograph.ie

Far more pupils attend college in Tallaght and Blanchardstown since facilities’ creation

Across the entire second-level system, the total number of students with exemptions in Irish rose significantly, up from about 20,000 in 2004 to 32,000 in 2014. File  photograph: Eric Luke

Number of pupils not studying subject on grounds of disability grows by half in 10 years

A breakdown of student grant data shows higher third-level participation rates in the Blanchardstown and Tallaght areas, which have institutes of technology. File photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Local access programmes credited with boosting numbers in Dublin courses

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie: In a letter to members Mr Christie said the union’s standing committee had decided that substitution which facilitated training for the junior cycle was “inappropriate” and a breach of its opposition to the reforms

Facilitating training for the junior cycle ‘inappropriate’, says ASTI’s Kieran Christie

Louise Richardson, Oxford University’s new Irish-born vice-chancellor. Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford University college, is launching a four year pilot offering a foundation year to students from under-represented backgrounds based on Trinity College Dublin’s access programme.

UK university’s Irish-born vice-chancellor plans to tackle elitism through new scheme

ASTI members protesting outside school in  Co Dublin last year. The union has threatened industrial action this autumn. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Teachers’ union on a collision course with Government on multiple fronts

DCU Business School has received official recognition from the world’s oldest accrediting body for business schools. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

School joins top 5 per cent of business schools internationally

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been briefing senior Israeli and Palestinian figures on peace talks. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former taoiseach says the Middle East can learn lessons from the situation in the North

The NCCA says the requirement for questions based on the Koran are explicitly stated in the syllabus. Photograph: Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

A Syrian parent's complaint over religious content will form part of wider review of syllabus

Trinity College provost Patrick Prendergast. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Despite a funding crisis, Trinity College Dublin has ambitious plans to expand towards Grand Canal Dock. Provost Patrick Prenderga(...)

The first classroom-based assessments are due to take place in schools next month for second-year English classes. Photograph: The Irish Times

Principals sign up thousands but union directive prohibits participation

Prof  Patrick Prendergast: “So much of the tech industry is going on here. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb – and it’s all right beside where we have our technology and enterprise centre.” Photograph: The Irish Times

University hopes to establish new engineering, energy and environment institute

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington won landmark discrimination case against university

Tom Boland, chief executive officer of the HEA said achieving successful student engagement was not about enforcement and compliance. Photograph: Alan Betson

Higher Education Authority report advises against US ‘market model’ approach

The quadrangle at NUI Galway: Gender equality taskforce set up in 2015 after Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington  won a landmark Equality Tribunal case against the university

Move comes after Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington won key Equality Tribunal case

Student loans: After eight years of spending cuts and rising student numbers, senior staff at universities and third-level colleges say funding shortages are reaching “crisis” levels. Photograph:  Thinkstock

FG and FF propose to refer report to an Oireachtas committee to examine feasibility

The safety tool has been tested in parts of the world since last November but is being rolled out to all Facebook users this week. Photograph:  Yui Mok/PA Wire

Move comes as social media giant joins with Google to promote child safety

Reports on high-profile child abuse cases over recent decades share another key recommendation: the need to invest properly in supports and services for children and parents. File photograph:   Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

We don’t need to wait for a report to tell us where child protection system is failing

Spending cuts have pushed some third-level college courses to ‘crisis point’, with serious implications for their future sustainability, according to a new report. File photograph: Getty Images

Higher education review claims lack of resources will have serious implications

A handful of students are turning up to weekly Masses held in some third-level colleges, new figures show. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Colleges and universities spend €1.5m in public funds annually on chaplains

Teacher Noel Hogan: ‘Unless the Junior Cert dispute is resolved, I face being unemployed or victimised.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Teacher Noel Hogan says ASTI members are being forced into an ‘impossible position’

Secondary school teachers protesting against the junior cycle reforms last year.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

ASTI directive prohibits members from taking part in training for new junior cycle

President  Michael D Higgins said the pressures of the labour market are impacting on universities. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

He says colleges should foster dissent and allow for rejection of dominant ideologies

Those most likely to miss significant amounts of school time include students with emotional or behavioural problems, special needs or mental health issues. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

More than 500 parents threatened with prosecution last year over attendance

Maynooth University ranked the best of the Irish universities (68th place) in the “Times Higher Education” 150 under 50, which ranks colleges that have been established in the past half century

Maynooth University, DCU and UL feature in list recognising high-achieving colleges

The curriculum would focus on learning about the major forms of religions, traditions and views of people around the world, including secular beliefs. Photograph: Getty

Teaching would be separate to existing faith-based classes in primary schools

Empty desks: Schools are obliged to alert Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, if a child has missed out on more more than 20 school days a year. Photograph: Thinkstock

Children with mental health issues most likely to miss school, latest figures show

About 34,000 teachers working in the education system for a decade or more face being vetted for the first time by gardaí over the coming months.  File photograph: Walter B McKenzie/Stone/Getty Images

Educators face checks for the first time due to new child protection legislation

Delegates at the ASTI annual convention in Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

ASTI delegates hear staff in fee-paying schools are paid well below official rates

ASTI treasurer Ray St John at the conference in Cork.  Photograph:  Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

General secretary says there is no evidence of members moving to rival union

Outgoing Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Analysis: Educators are angry but seem to lack a coherent long-term strategy

The reformed junior cycle still includes a major State exam at the end of third year, it will be accompanied by classroom-based assessments. File photograph: Peter Thursfield

Union directs members not to take part in any form of assessment linked to State exam

Delegates at the ASTI conference in Cork  voted on Wednesday morning to stop working an additional 33 non-teaching hours per year. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney

Union move introduces the prospect of further industrial unrest in schools later this year

Teacher Siobhán Peters: She estimates she is paid about €6,000 less than her colleagues and   many newly qualified teachers are even worse off.  Photograph: Carl O’Brien

Teacher union conferences: Unequal pay a source of anger among young members

Delegates at the ASTI conference in Cork yesterday. It heard that teachers who entered the profession after early 2011 faced pay gaps of 20 per cent. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney

Newly-qualified teachers face wage differences of up to €9,000

Both second-level unions also will consider motions this week calling for ballots for industrial action to secure equal pay for teachers recruited after 2011. Photograph: The Irish Times

Lack of action on salaries, conditions and reform may lead to industrial relations chaos

Authorities have confirmed that parents do not have an automatic right to information held by schools regarding their children once they turn 18. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Move could leave parents in the dark on examination results and disciplinary records

 Social welfare office near Aungier Street, Dublin. Almost 4,000 second-level students who left school in 2011 were in receipt of social welfare by the end of the year, new figures show. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

New reports examine outcomes for students who complete school and early leavers

Acting Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Failure to modernise internal structures has led to apathy and inability to connect

Acting Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Teachers’ unions are to vote on pay, working hours and conditions at conferences

ASTI president Máire G Ní Chiarba said the research showed clearly that pastoral care structures have been substantially undermined by the moratorium on middle-management posts. Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Almost half of principals say student mental health guidelines not adequately implemented

“You’ve to think twice about holding hands or showing any kind of affection.” Photograph: Thinkstock, posed by models

Ciara Sheehan and Daniel Zagorsky say life is improving for gay teens but more must be done

Former president Mary McAleese says new  report is ‘as essential and revealing as it is horrifying’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times / File photo

Former president says it will take years to fully dismantle ‘architecture of homophobia’

Overall, the report finds school continues to be a very difficult place for many young LGBT people. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Horrific’ findings show LGBT young people at high risk of self-harm in addition to suicide

 Trinity College Dublin. In a statement, the college  said it regretted the letters to academics and said at no stage were they intended to influence the response of the recipients.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Agency says ‘misguided, naive’ communications seemed to contravene guidelines

Teachers at Newpark Comprehensive in Blackrock, Co Dublin, picketing last year over planned junior cycle reforms. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In the power vacuum that prevails, uncertainty surrounds what will happen over the coming months to key issues such as school admi(...)

A change announced last October prioritises CAO (Central Applications Office) applicants from medical schools over international students.

Under changes to medical internships, priority is being given to CAO applicants

Many international students have no guarantee of an intern place despite paying fees of up to €40,000 a year to study medicine in Ireland

Shortage prompts authorities to prioritise CAO graduates over international students

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technolgy. Recent figures show more than a quarter of first years at the college failed to progress to the second year of their higher degree course. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

College warned that State funding could be withheld if it fails to meet targets

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology could face a financial penalty of €475,000. Photograph: Murray O Laoire Architects

Most institutions are faring well, but three face penalties for poor performance

Niall Merriman: “I needed about 60 pints of blood in the surgery. I’m told it was enough to fill a normal person three times over.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘If more donors don’t volunteer blood, the implications for blood supply are huge’

The decision to withhold funding from some third-level institutions will be controversial given that the three colleges which face penalties are in financially vulnerable positions as they struggle to cope with cuts in State funding and rising student numbers. Photograph: Eric Luke

€1m State funding may be withheld for GMIT, Dundalk Institute of Technology and NCAD

Jan O’Sullivan: “inappropriate for her to engage while a new government is being formed”

Outgoing Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan will not attend teachers’ conferences

Numbers at Maynooth university have jumped from just under 9,000 in 2008 to more than 11,000 this year. Yet employment restrictions mean staffing numbers have fallen in recent years.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Without funding reform, third-level institutions will not be able to cope with demand

College applicants are flocking to third-level courses linked to the economic recovery, with a big jump in CAO applications to architecture, engineering, construction and business-related courses. File photograph: Getty Images

Points increases likely for architecture, engineering, construction and business

Fine Gael leader  Taoiseach Enda Kenny: his party, which proposed a graduate tax in its 2011 general election manifesto, is broadly supportive of a student loan scheme. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Analysis: Higher education is in crisis following seven years of sharp funding cuts

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