Bishop Paul Colton of Cork, Cloyne and Ross: Recommended the establishment of a national forum. Photograph: Moya Nolan

Opting out of faith formation classes in schools ‘not practicable’ for myriad reasons

The next step: applicants who do not process their application in advance of the February 1st deadline can submit a late application at an increased fee. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Added fees can be avoided by submitting Central Applications Office applications on time

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan: “The current system has not been fulfilling our need for relevant and timely information to ensure the educational welfare of all of our children.” Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Minister Jan O’Sullivan announces training of leaders and defends database of children

Philip Irwin (left), president of the ASTI and Gerry Quinn, president of the TUI, with members picketing in December. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Unions and Department of Education met for eight hours and may reach compromise

Over 800 principals and deputy principals have been  surveyed - three-quarters from primary level and a quarter from secondary - by Associate Professor Philip Riley, of Australian Catholic University. Those in leadership roles typically worked well above their core hours, his research found. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Study carried out for IPPN identifies ‘sheer quantity of work’ as biggest source of stress

Jan O’Sullivan: “The mental health and well-being of our children is critical to success in school and life.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘Listening to voice of the child’ considered essential for progressive development

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has signalled a willingness to make further concessions to teacher unions in talks today to avert a third strike date.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister hopes to ‘be able to find some space in which to reach agreement’ with unions

The Department of Education: There are no strict guidelines for managing external speakers in schools but best practice decrees parents would be informed in advance

Postponement of workshop on combating homophobic bullying drew much criticism

The principle of freedom of conscience is as important as majority decision-making. Photograph: Getty Images

Unthinkable: Children have a right not to be indoctrinated, argues professor of philosophy Desmond M Clarke, and schools that disc(...)

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