Joan Burton:  Labour’s education spokeswoman says: “I talk to principals who are constantly at the end of their tether in relation to being able to access qualified staff when they need replacements for cover.” Photograph:  Collins Courts

Individuals provided 32,000 days of cover in schools during 2016/17

Fifth-year students across 40 schools are due to begin learning the subject next year, with the first Leaving Cert exam in computer science set to take place in June 2019. Photograph: iStock

End of the written exam? Experts say other subjects are set to follow the same route

Ryan Bell, a student of Oatlands College in Stillorgan, Dublin, got his results rechecked this year and obtained a higher result. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Education bodies are afraid of highlighting the volume of upgraded results, academic says

NUI Galway borrowed €60 million from the European Investment Bank for student residences and a new building for the college of medicine, nursing and health sciences.

Eurostat to determine if university borrowing should be on exchequer balance sheet

TCD Science Gallery. Over the past decade, Irish universities including TCD have borrowed at least €675 million from the European Investment Bank and other sources.

Eurostat to decide if borrowings should be listed on exchequer balance sheet

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Move to ease pay caps could lead to pressure for higher salaries in top tier of public sector

University College Dublin: New Government measures are aimed at attracting top academic talent to Irish universities from third-level colleges in the UK and elsewhere. Photograph: Alan Betson

Move means senior academics will be on salaries higher than the Taoiseach’s

Leona O’Callaghan: “My career floored as a result of my efforts to make the right and ethical decisions in my role in UL.” Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Investigation vindicates Leona O’Callaghan who discovered UL misuse of public money

University of Limerick

Authorities kept in dark over pay-offs to eight employees which breached public pay policies

More than a decade after legislation was first signed into law, parents and students finally have a formal process to make complaints about the conduct of teachers. Stock photograph: Getty Images

Parents and students finally have formal process to make complaints about teachers

The teacher’s name, school and other identifying details will remain anonymous. File photograph: Getty Images

Inquiry hears teacher told fifth class students to ‘whisht’ as they were chatting and giggling

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor: “We still want universities to be autonomous, but we want them to be honest brokers.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Minister for Education to be given power to appoint inspectors to investigate misconduct

 Mary Mitchell O’Connor: “I want to be able to stand in front of young women starting college and say that there is no gender inequality in the institution you are going to join for the next three or four years”

Minister says there are days she is ashamed to be a public representative due to behaviour in Dáil

Views of more than 3,200 young people aged between 12 and 17 published: almost three-quarters feel either “very stressed” or “stressed” over exams. Photograph: Getty Images

Most pupils critical of poor guidance counselling and teaching methods

Mary Mitchell O’Connor: ‘We need to send a message loud and clear to the institutions’. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Mary Mitchell O’Connor says colleges involved in gender discrimination have ‘nowhere to hide’

School education rated from ‘very good’ to ‘poor’ under inspection regime

‘Unresolved issues in professional relationships among staff’ in Gonzaga

Students of Trinity College Dublin: a nationwide study  found that one in eight students had had an unwanted sexual experience during their third level years. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Boundaries around consent on college campuses are changing. But are we are at risk of reducing flirtation to an anxiety-ridden aff(...)

Richard Bruton said new guidelines on inspections and best practice in schools make clear the standards which we want schools to aspire to achieve.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Bruton says changes will give parents better information on school performance

Fitness to practise: most of the complaints the Teaching Council is investigating involve primary teachers. Photograph: Getty

Teaching Council can investigate performance, medical fitness, and criminal record

Policy-makers in Ireland are examining options on how to fund higher education. Photograph: Getty Images

More than 40% of students in Ireland are entitled to grants and are exempt from fees

Many primary schools are finding it difficult to fill gaps for career breaks and maternity leave, while secondary schools report major difficulties sourcing teachers in key subjects. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Some schools forced to divert support teachers from special needs pupils due to shortages

Tom Mullins: ‘It’s a different world to what I was used to . . . every classroom has an interactive whiteboard. Young teachers are downloading stuff from the internet.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tom Mullins is one of many retired teachers covering short-term absences in schools

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: “Homemakers make a huge contribution to society. It is important the Government supports people who have worked in the home to reskill and return to work.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Springboard offers manufacturing, business, entrepreneurship and ICT courses

University of Limerick: “The president of UL has also been on the record in acknowledging that suspending employees for over two years is not acceptable management practice”

College says it has completed ‘root and branch’ reform of governance

New York is among the more expensive destinations as four out of five secondary schools now organise tours abroad. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Families question educational value of tours and ask for costs to be kept down

Fitness to practise: most of the complaints the Teaching Council is investigating involve primary teachers. Photograph: Getty

Teachers may be removed for serious misconduct or poor performance

 Cora Sherlock: the Pro Life Campaign said the UN’s disability committee’s views were “welcome news”. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Disability committee says no guarantee whether impairments are fatal or not

The number of people with disabilities attending third level or higher education has grown from 3,800 in 2008 to more than 12,000 students this year. File photograph: Getty Images

Support funding per student drops by almost two-thirds to €1,025 between 2007 and 2015

Margaret Turley at the Trinity Centre for people with intellectual disabilities: now getting work experience at  consultancy firm EY and living away from home.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Trinity Centre for people with intellectual disabilities among winners of funding

An Irish Heart Foundation survey indicated that over a quarter of schools had tuck shops selling sweets and soft drinks, and half had vending machines. Photograph: Getty Images

Schools making progress in improving access to healthy eating, experts tell Oireachtas

President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne: the university is nearing the conclusion of a capital development plan, which has “transformed” the campus. Photograph: Aengus McMahon

European Investment Bank funding will help build new college of medicine, nursing and health

Today, one in 10 of the population has no religion. More than one in three people in some parts of the State – such as Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Galway – are non-Catholic.

Analysis: Modernising religion rules will – belatedly – help respect rights of all pupils

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has confirmed that a new circular will insist on “a proper timetable of beneficial work” for children who opt out of religion. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

New rules to ensure ‘proper timetable of beneficial work’ for those not studying topic

It all adds up: Significant numbers of teachers said they provide additional classes for maths on a voluntary basis in their own time, outside of school hours.

Some pupils receive twice as much maths tuition as others

The president of the NAPD has called for a national school admissions policy which is ‘fair, transparent, and realistic’. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Principals warn that students are being left without qualified teachers in key subjects

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: The Minister has pledged a number of steps including using more trainee and retired teachers. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Principals warn Government that urgent action is needed to tackle staffing ‘crisis’

Schoolchildren who are frequently reprimanded by teachers are much more likely to lose self-confidence in their ability to do schoolwork, new research shows. Photo: iStock

ESRI study shows young people who receive praise more likely to do better at second level

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: his decision to close schools for a second day was widely backed by school bodies.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Official guidance indicates tuition may be prioritised over extra-curricular activities

School classrooms remained empty for a second day on Tuesday. Photograph: iStock

Some parents criticised move as an ‘overreaction’ on social media

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. The Department of Education has been urged to fast-track its investigation into spending at an education board. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Board chief’s decision to retire prompts calls for accelerated inquiry into its spending

The #ClickWithCompassion film shows actors confronting one another with real comments from the internet.

#ClickWithCompassion shows impact of hurtful comments in the real world

UCD students’ union president Katie Ascough (pictured second from right) in a promotional picture released as part of her campaign against an  impeachment bid.

Katie Ascough says group of students have been determined to impeach her

The population bulge is set to continue into our creaking third-level sector. That’s why €367m  has been allocated for capital projects for the higher education sector between 2018 and 2021

While 1,300 extra teaching posts are due next year, 550 of them will simply keep pace with demographic growth

More than 1,400 Leaving Cert exam results have been upgraded this year following appeals by students. Photo: Bryan O’Brien

Almost 15 per cent of all rechecks were successful, with just four results downgraded

The State’s 16 Education and Training Boards, which deliver most further education courses, currently receive more than €500m   a year from Solas. Photograph: Getty Images

Solas says the move will help meet skills needs and deliver value for money

The investment in employing more teachers will bring the pupil-teacher ratio at primary level to the lowest ever level recorded of 26:1. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Budget 2018: Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both want credit for reducing pupil-teacher ratio

Employers’ groups such as Ibec  say any  rises in the training fund levy amount to an “employment tax”.  Photograph: Getty Images

Rise in payroll levy expected in this week’s budget to help fund colleges

Heath National School in Portlaoise, Co Laois. It  is one of a number of schools which have turned to mindfulness. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

New programme to be rolled out in more than 900 disadvantaged schools

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton was  urged to implement the findings of an Oireachtas report which says grants should be made available to eligible students attending private colleges. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Hundreds of students from less well-off families say they are unfairly denied support

Richard Bruton: he  has appointed an external investigator to examine the ETB’s functions into “public procurement, usage and disposal of assets and propriety matters”

Audit flagged governance issues at Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board

Seas Suas, a new representative group for independent childcare providers wants ‘radical reform’ of early education and childcare services. File photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Group says interim measure needed to prevent services being ‘forced out’ of sector due to excessive regulation

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton:  has appointed an external investigator to examine the ETB’s functions into “public procurement, usage and disposal of assets and propriety matters”. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Concerns raised by C&AG audit of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board

For most of the last decade, State funding for higher education has been dropping

Issues surrounding the funding of higher education explained . . .

Thousands of students are marching through the capital this afternoon to voice their opposition to student loan scheme. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Thousands of students march in Dublin to oppose any plan for a student loan scheme

 Trinity College, Dublin. The Cassells report on the future funding of higher education said that €100m a year in extra funding was needed if the State was to build a world-class system. File photograph: Alan Betson

Party spokesman Thomas Byrne says up to €100m needed for higher education in budget

Alice Albright, chief executive of Global  Partnership for Education, has urged donors including Ireland to increase their commitment to help more children receive a quality basic education.

About 825 million young people 'likely to be locked out of job opportunities by 2030'

Higher level maths entry requirements for students training to be primary teachers are to be lowered from next year. Photograph: iStock

Students will be able to qualify on 30% at higher level, but ordinary level bar is to rise

In correspondence with colleges, Minister for Education Richard Bruton has now pledged to lower the entry grade for maths to a H7 from next year. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Up to 13 applicants to be offered places after a review identified points inconsistency

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty: said the reforms were an example of “the many measures” the Government is implementing to assist people and families to gain employment.

Action plan to target families where children’s parents are both jobless

ASTI delegates at their meeting in Citywest Hotel in June. More than 1,200 members of the ASTI are estimated to have left the union between January and June. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

ASTI accuses TUI of recruiting a number of its members during dispute with Government

Amnesty executive director Colm O’Gorman urged Ministers to press for a fairer and more effective solution to Europe’s refugee crisis. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

State has performed well compared with other EU countries, Amnesty says

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has announced a new €6 million equipment fund for youth groups. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Young members to be consulted on how best way to spend the new resources

A social media image of Aoife Hawthornereleased by the Garda Press Office. The 13-year-old from Co Kildare was last seen on Saturday evening in Clondalkin, Dublin.

Aoife Hawthorne was last seen on Saturday evening when visiting a friend

 INTO members attend a rally for pay equality for lower-paid teachers outside the Dáil, Kildare Street, Dublin, in December 2016. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Union faces backlash from members over decision to participate in the evaluation

Parents’ ‘obsession’ with ensuring their children progress to third-level is a key reason why Irish workers are among the most overqualified in Europe, it has been claimed. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Education chief says parents are ‘obsessed’ with sending their children to third-level

Secondary students in Ireland have longer summer holidays and shorter school terms than most other countries in Europe, according to a European Commission report. Photo: iStock

Only France, Cyprus and Greece have a shorter school year than here

Prof Tony Fahey speaking at the annual conference of Education and Training Boards Ireland on Thursday. Ireland faces a challenge in matching education levels to skills needs.

High level of excess education for job held raises questions about third-level numbers

Michael Moriarty, general secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland, said the move was aimed at ensuring all children are treated equally in school. File photograph: Getty Images

Parishes, parents in community national schools must organise sacramental preparation

Philip King, musician and founder of Other Voices, has been recruited to develop an arts and culture event to be held at the university over a number of days. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

University seeking to place greater emphasis on culture and creativity

Michael Moriarty, general secretary of  Education and Training Boards Ireland, says its  schools are bound by decades-old rules around the teaching of religion.

State sector schools have a duty to protect the human rights of all children, conference told

In November 2016, the union voted decisively, with 64 per cent of voters in UCDSU supported retaining the union’s pro-choice stance. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Student Union president Katie Ascough says decision was made on legal grounds

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has  assured teachers that no financial or credit card details were compromised in a cyberattack on its learning website. Photo: iStock

Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) says no financial, credit card details compromised

Alex and Dylan along with Solas Project co-ordinator Derek Murphy in Dublin’s south-west inner city engaged in an after-school  project.

Second level is a big change in a student’s life and preventing regression is key to success

Uninest New Mill in Dublin 8, which opens this month, is an example of the new breed of high-spec student accommodation being built in the capital.

Thousands of purpose-built students beds are coming onstream – for €1,000 or more a month

During the next three years  an additional 22,800 pupils are expected to enter the Irish education system across primary and secondary. Photograph: Getty Images

More than 563,000 children are enrolling in primary schools this September

Department of Education inspectors made critical findings in a report published earlier this year over teaching standards, a lack of leadership and poor oversight by the board of management.

Small number of students turn up for re-opening of Scoil Náisiunta Bhrighde

Sorcha Maguire, hiding behind her mother before her first day at school in Balbriggan Educate Together  in Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Mothers and fathers dabbed their eyes as children got stuck into their school day

Ben O’Leary Fitzpatrick: received his Leaving Cert Applied results this week.

Changes to grading and points systems have helped dampen down the points race

Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor has broken with official Government policy by expressing support for the principle of equal pay for equal work for teachers. Photograph:  Eric Luke

Pledge follows Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor’s break with Government policy

Six sets of twins are starting first year at Coláiste Choilm and Gaelcholáiste Choilm in Ballincollig, Co Cork - Andrew and Alex Okpoy; Amber and Alanagh Healy; Adam and Ethan Butler; David and Jonathan Keane; Kamile and Mileta Riskute; and Conor and Aoife Morey. Photograph: Cathal Noonan

The principal of Coláiste Choilm says: ‘We’ll eventually get to know who’s who’

Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor, a former school principal, said she believed ‘everyone who does the same job deserves the same pay’.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor backs restoring pay levels for thousands of younger teachers

The cost to students of on-campus accommodation has increased markedly in recent years across all seven universities, with students in Dublin universities seeing the largest rise

‘Rent-a-room’ plan means property owners do not pay tax on rent up to €14,000 a year

More than 2,000 students will be supported through a range of programmes over the next three years. Photograph: Frank Miller

More than 2,000 students to be supported under initiative to widen access to third level

The parent of one student said he was shocked to find that a O6 was considered a greater academic achievement than a H7. Photograph: Getty Images

Number of courses where ‘random selection’ is used to limit entry falls by more than half

With  the student registration charge  at €3,000, the rising cost of accommodation is putting many parents and students under pressure. Photograph: Getty Images

Almost 40 students ended up in cars or on friends’ couches, new survey finds

Students from CUS in Dublin’s city centre celebrate their Leaving Cert results. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Fall due to fewer applicants and recent reforms in exam grading and points system

Some 80,766 applicants have applied for a place in higher education this year through the CAO system. Photograph: Eric Luke

Points rise in construction, architecture, law and business as economy grows

Kate Collins, from Clontarf in Dublin, got 8 H1s in her Leaving Cert. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Maths is one of just six subjects at higher level where male students performed better

“There is very clear evidence from the State Examinations Commission that some students are taking a risk to get bonus points, and they are at the bottom end of maths standards.” Photograph: Getty Images

University president says significant number of students struggling to cope with step up

Many parents and students are under the misapprehension that colleges set the points requirements for each course

New grading system means there is uncertainty over the points scores needed

Muhammad Mahmoud (17), from Ballycullen in Dublin 24, with his mother Dr Ayda Elkhalifa. The Ashfield College is one of 13 students nationally to  score eight grade ones at higher level.

Muhammad Mahmoud (17), whose parents are from Sudan, hopes to study medicine

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says this year's changes reward students who take chance to do higher level

Aoife Moore and Ciara Curley as they get their Leaving Certificate results and at Maryfield College, Whitehall. Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Number of high achievers increases significantly over last year

The surge in the numbers taking higher level and the dramatic fall-off in failure rates may suggest that the new system is simply a “dumbing down” of the old one.  Archive photograph: Students at The Kings Hospital Secondary School in Palmerstown sitting a Leaving Cert exam.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Authorities insist there has been no ‘dumbing down’ of the system

The State Examinations Commission insists there has been no change in the exam standards of the Leaving Cert. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Leaving Cert 2017: Authorities deny higher level exams are being ‘dumbed down’

New Leaving Cert grading system: one of the biggest changes is an old E grade is no longer an automatic fail: under the new system students get 37 points for grades between 30-39 per cent (a H7 under the new system). Photograph:  David Davies/PA

Reforms to Leaving Cert grade names and bands aim to take heat out of points race

Education experts have warned that Brexit could lead to increases in CAO points over the coming years if thousands of Irish students who study in the UK opt to remain at home. Photograph: Getty Images

Tens of thousands of students await Leaving Cert results and release of points requirements

Mike Jennings, general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers:  “Any suggestion of introducing a teaching excellence framework-based approach in Ireland will further demoralise our universities.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Lecturers call for increased funding for third level amid deteriorating staff-student ratios

There is a ‘disjointed’ approach to the way more than €800m is being spent on further education courses, a Government review has found. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Government survey criticises method of disbursing €800m in funding for courses

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