The restoration of allowances for new teachers is being explored in talks between trade unions and Government officials as a way of tackling pay inequality in the teaching profession. File photograph: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Unions and Government discuss move as a way of tackling pay inequality in the industry

 Minister for Education Richard Bruton said high quality education and training was key to boosting the higher education sector. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Minister Richard Bruton names former head of Royal College of Surgeons as chairman

Trudie Mitchell, national rover representative, and Adam Chintedza, national venture representative, with unaccompanied minors who have travelled to Ireland seeking asylum or refugee status, at Larch Hill International Scout and Guide Centre. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

New programme is ‘showing the way’ by connecting Irish youth and refugees

Most primary schools typically spend up to 2½ hours teaching faith formation

Schools may have less time to teach religion in the classroom under radical proposals being considered by the State’s advisory body on the curriculum. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Maths, Irish and English to be prioritised under radical new curriculum proposals

An investigatory process will then take place to establish if the complaint should be the subject of a formal disciplinary inquiry. Photograph: Getty Images

Issues such as uniforms, voluntary contributions likely to be subject of parents charter

The move follows a series of developments aimed at improving accountability of schools and giving parents and students greater access to information. Photograph: Getty Images

Bruton says measures would help the profession to become more open and accountable

Parents and students now have a formal method of complaining about teachers

Scotland’s experience suggests both public and profession trust self-regulating system

Fine Gael TD Jim Daly is proposing a Bill to establish an ombudsman for education. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fine Gael TD Jim Daly’s legislation would create body students could appeal to

 A record number of applicants are seeking college places this year, which is putting pressure on the higher education sector. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

College applications are mostly linked to architecture, engineering and business

If a parent or student has a difficulty with the decision, there is no avenue of independent appeal besides the expensive and often daunting prospect of a court action. File photograph: Eric Luke

Most agree independent appeals system required but no consensus on form it should take

The Education (Amendment Bill)  is strongly opposed by the Ombudsman for Children. Photograph: Getty Images

Jim Daly’s Bill would create Ombudsman for Education with legally-binding powers

Atheist Ireland has launched a report in which it says the State’s religious education course is breaching human and Constitutional rights. Pictured at the publication were Michael Nugent, chair of Atheist Ireland, and Jane Donnelly. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Atheist Ireland says secondary schools have made the subject compulsory despite rules

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills, who believes an early start in coding will help children fulfil their potential. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister wants primary curriculum to include coding as it teaches creative problem-solving

A busy street in Dublin. The census results  point to a continued shift in population growth towards the greater Dublin area since the last census results in 2011, with decreases in the Border and western areas. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh .

Census results: Birth rate helps push numbers towards highest since 1871 census

The Cassells report states the grants system only considers income and takes no account of capital, assets or accumulated wealth.

Move would include farm land and other assets when considering grant approval

The Dublin Institute of Technology’s annual cost-of-living guide shows that rent is now the single biggest cost for students living away from home. File photograph: Getty Images

Students who live at home face cost of about €6,800, according to annual DIT survey

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills speaking with Peter Cassells, chairman of the Expert Group on Future funding for Higher Education at DIT. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Cassells report finds current funding system for higher education not sustainable

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Analysis: Most parties want free higher education, but have no idea how to fund it

Minister for Education  Richard Bruton (left) and   Peter Cassells, chairman of the Expert Group on Future funding for Higher Education at DIT on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Opposition rules out student loan scheme, meaning registration fees likely to remain

A file image of students taking part in a against the proposed increase in the student capitation fee. Photograph: The Irish Times

Among the options are increasd State-funding and a student loan scheme

Under the student loan system, graduates would repay their fees when their income reaches a set threshold.

An ‘income-contingent’ loan system is a future funding option for third-level education, the Cassells report says

Fine Gael Minister for Education Richard Bruton  arriving at Leinster House in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Students could face having to pay off income contingent loans of more than €16,000

Students at third level are projected to grow by 30 per cent over the next decade or so and experts say an extra €1 billion is needed just to keep pace with demand

Analysis: Little appetite for student loan scheme in minority government

From January next year all mariners will be required to have completed a programme of refresher training courses. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

National Maritime College of Ireland calls on Irish authorities to recognise its courses

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the ASTI “now appears intent on proceeding with their action, which will lead to disruption in schools in the new school year” as of September. File photograph: Getty Images

Comments follow Asti rejection of proposals aimed at halting rows over Croke Park hours

The University of Cambridge in England. Education authorities are concerned that the fallout of the Brexit vote will lead to a dramatic increase in the number of Irish third-level students choosing to study in Ireland. File photograph: Loic Vennin/AFP/Getty Images

Irish education authorities are concerned about the fallout of the UK vote on the EU

Minister for Education Richard Bruton at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

South Dublin principals say they expect parents will challenge admissions reforms

 Dr Brendan Murphy: he was due to serve as CIT  president  until August 2019 under a five-year contract he signed in 2014. Photograph: Neil Danton

Move appears to follow concerns over public sector staff working beyond retirement age

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil that his officials met with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) on Tuesday to discuss a basis for talks. File photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

TUI and INTO say they made strong representations over pay for new graduates

Minister for Education Richard Bruton says new legislation will increase the ‘transparency and fairness’ of school admissions. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Old school tie’ rule will see no more than 25% of places held for children of past pupils

Relevant applicants are advised to log in to their CAO accounts to check if they have received an offer. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘Round A’ offers are being sent to a total of just under 6,400 students

Members of the ASTI protest outside the Dáil. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

ASTI members to be hit with financial penalties for refusing to work additional hour

Secondary school teachers  picketing in January 2015 over planned   junior cycle reforms. ASTI has told teachers not to work an extra 33 hours non-teaching time, meaning there will be no supervision of students before class time or during breaks, forcing schools to close.   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The dispute over junior cycle reform threatens to cause disruption on a huge scale

CAO countdown: To help meet the demand for ICT skills, higher education institutions are offering a range of courses. Photograph: Getty Images

School leavers urged to avoid last-minute changes on the basis of exam performance

Lay people are to  be entitled to apply for State-funded chaplaincy posts in third-level colleges.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Review finds €2m a year in State funding spent mostly on Catholic chaplains

The IFSC in Dublin. “Increasingly, employers want more than a deep disciplinary knowledge about a particular area. They are looking for graduates who can combine skills from different areas - such as digital and financial service skills - and operate effectively across disciplinary, social and cultural boundaries.” File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Government projects at least 10,000 more jobs will be created in sector by 2020

UCC’s chaplaincy costs  €125,000 a year. Image: Google Streetview

Higher Education Authority report shows how much each college pays to provide service

Policymakers and professional organisations are desperate to encourage Leaving Cert students to consider a career in construction or engineering ahead of this Friday’s deadline for CAO applications.

‘Even if we filled all these courses we would face horrendous shortages for next four years’

Tom Roche of the Just Forests campaign group says the timber collection should remain on public view following a “huge” response to a public exhibition he organised in a Co Kerry shopping centre. File photograph:

Campaigner refuses to hand back rare tree samples collected by Viscount Powerscourt

The ASTI decision to instruct members to cease working additional hours is likely to lead to strike action and widespread school closures in the autumn unless issues can be resolved over the summer.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Union decision likely to trigger a range of penalties and pay freezes for members

Deirdre Corr: “I think young women have a perception that they won’t fit in on a computer science course, but women can bring great balance and new ways of thinking to the industry.”

Policymakers out to encourage ICT careers ahead of Friday’s change-of-mind deadline

The expert group’s chair, former EU commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, said the issue needed to be urgently tackled for social, economic and equality reasons.  File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Key decision-making bodies in colleges must be gender balanced, HEA report says

Chef Gráinne O’Keefe, in Pichet restaurant, Trinity Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Range of courses open to CAO applicants as experts suggest graduates need to double

Higher Education Authority report aims to tackle under-representation of women

Trinity College Dublin has  warned that the vote will have ‘a long-term impact on universities in the Republic of Ireland’. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Trinity College Dublin says vote will have long-term impact on Irish universities

Aoife Murphy and Aisling Lynch discuss their Irish Leaving Cert exam paper in Christ King school, Cork. Experts have saud the exams don’t cultivate critical thinking, problem solving, or the ability to work well in groups. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

‘Mass assessment’ system is neglecting crucial skills needed in modern world

Dr Anne Looney has served as  chief executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Adviser on curriculum and assessment takes over as third level faces funding issues

The Minister has indicated that measures to resist religious exclusion may be included in the new school admissions Bill. Photograph: Getty Images

Labour to move Bill which would ‘ensure children have access to their local school’

 Peter Carr and Emily Gleeson join other teachers and INTO members at a rally for pay equality  outside the Dáil, Kildare Street, Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Young professionals demonstrate over two-tier system for public sector educators

Many students complained that they were unable to complete the full technical graphics Junior Cert  paper. Photograph: Getty Images

Expert reaction: ‘Questions are growing increasingly complex’

Questions on topical developments such as the Large Hadron Collider featured in a Leaving Cert higher level physics paper presented in “an unusual manner”. File photograph: Cern/PA Wire

Expert reaction: ‘Straightforward to pass, but challenging for those seeking higher grades’

Junior cycle reform: Delegates at the ASTI convention last month voted to re-state opposition by directing members not to co-operate with classroom-based assessments linked to the State exam. Photograph: The Irish Times

Students in ASTI schools will lose 10% in English exams at year end if no deal agreed

Cork Institute of Technology  president Dr Brendan Murphy: reappointed in 2014 for a five-year contract. The institute is in discussions with the Department of Education and Skills to allow him to remain in office. Photograph: Neil Danton/News Digital

Dr Brendan Murphy due to reach 65, but institute wants him to stay in office until 2019

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: a delegation from the ASTI met the Minister  on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

TUI members to be asked to sign document to receive €800 payment

The Minister’s proposals are likely to be controversial in some quarters, given that many academics feel the education sector is already too close to industry. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Competitive tendering’ under review as incentive for courses in response to skills deficit

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said offering free courses to jobseekers as part of the Springboard scheme  reflected the Government’s commitment to deliver a step change in our capacity to educate, develop and retain talent. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw.

Springboard to offer training in sectors with ‘good prospects’ such as IT, financial services

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone: “This is an important step to break down barriers preventing children with disabilities from taking part in the early childhood care and education programme”

Many children with disabilities unable to access early childhood care and education

 Institute of Technology Tallaght: latest data indicates that institutes of technology managed to produce more first-class degree performances than universities. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

‘Grade inflation’ on rise as proportion of first-class honours doubles in 15 years

There has  been some  concern in the Department of Education that the role of SNAs had evolved into a quasi-educational role for which many of them were not qualified. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Cabinet to approve plan for bringing total number of school assistants to 12,900

The number of schools which benefit from extra staffing and support will grow under a new plan to tackle educational disadvantage, Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Minister wants to grow the number of schools that benefit from extra support

Students whose strengths lie in trigonometry and geometry would have found today’s paper well suited to them. File photograph: Getty Images

‘Project Maths’ paper contains some surprises for students

Minister for Education Richard Bruton says improving outcomes for those who are less well-off will be a key priority of his ministry. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

New action plan being drawn up by Richard Bruton will include updated Deis scheme

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland has insisted there are genuine reasons why many of these students are studying a European language. Photograph: Getty Images

Dyslexia support group says some children are unfairly branded as cheating the system

Philip Cairns was last seen on the Ballyroan Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin on Thursday, October 23rd, 1986. He was aged 13.

Ballyroan Road in Rathfarnham still haunted by disappearance of 13-year-old boy

Figures show that during the 2014/2015 academic year, a total of 570 Leaving Cert students obtained an exemption on the basis of a learning disability. Of these, 270 went on to study a European language for the Leaving Cert. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Department of Education excuses pupils from learning Irish on basis of disability

The number of students sitting the exam at higher level is set to jump further next year, when students now getting an E grade at higher level will receive equivalent CAO points as a grade C at ordinary level. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some 35 per cent intend to sit exam which attracts bonus points

Both the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams will get under way with English papers on Wednesday. The exams run until June 23rd for the Junior Cert and June 24th for the Leaving Cert.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

More than 120,000 Junior and Leaving Cert students to begin exams with English

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: Government is planning to increase the number of multi-denominational schools to 400 within the next 15 years Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Government plans to raise number of multi-denominational schools to 400 within 15 years

Teacher Amy Looney with 2nd class pupils,  (from left): Amelia Ziembra (7), Kamile Kisieliute (7), Haliyat Giwa (7), Dylan Keogh (7), Julien Bell Baho (8) and Adam Al Jabar (8), at Citywest & Saggart Community National School, with a display titled ‘Our Beliefs’ Space’, featuring  symbols of all the major religions. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Church may transfer patronage of many schools to local education boards under initiative

A major report to be published soon on the future of third-level funding will lean heavily on an income-contingent loan scheme as the only realistic option of funding the system. File photograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil has reservations over such a move while Sinn Féin fiercely opposed

The move to restrict the number of places schools may set aside for children of past pupils  had faced resistance from a number of private schools and some Fine Gael TDs. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Labour sought to introduce ‘old school tie’ legislation set aside for past pupils to 10%

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington won a landmark Equality Tribunal case in 2014 over her failure to be granted promotion. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington ‘horrified’ at legal action attempting to shut down campaign

Ruairí Quinn said that EU states which have the lowest levels of youth unemployment are those which track the German model of vocational apprenticeships in the workplace. Photograph: PA

Some would fare better in vocational training, claims former minister for education

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

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