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/RollingNews.ie

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

Minister for Education Richard Bruton’s initiative aims to increase the number of multidenominational schools and will involve the State leasing properties from Catholic bishops or trusts linked to the church. Photograph: Alan Betson

Multidenominational education body claims deal benefits Community National Schools

Taoiseach Enda Kenny answers questions during  a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin after meeting British prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One person refused clearance at Dublin Airport in wake of Trump travel ban

Minister Richard Bruton’s new divestment plan is carrot rather than stick approach

New plans to speed up the divestment of hundreds of schools from Catholic ownership will be announced on Monday by Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

ETBs to be charged with identifying ‘towns or areas’ where more diversity is being sought

The number of people in the Republic taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just over 5,700 in 2013. File photograph: Getty Images

Bruton aims to make on-the-job training an attractive option for 20% of school-leavers

Katie Hynes (23) is an apprentice electrical engineer with the ESB. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Katie Hynes (23) is one of a small number of women electrical apprentices with the ESB

Junior cycle reforms: The ASTI is opposed  and says teachers should not be asked to assess their own students for work linked in any way to State exams. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

ASTI balloting members on settlement proposals in effort to end lengthy dispute

Research among parent groups at primary level suggests the weight of schoolbags is one of their biggest concerns. Photograph: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Children should be encouraged to carry bags despite parents’ concerns, committee told

The numbers taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from around 29,000 to just over 5,700 in 2013. They have climbed back to just over 10,000 in recent years

Richard Bruton to announce details of plans to deliver 50,000 apprenticeships and traineeships by 2020

Students at Dublin’s Muslim National School: A Department of Education document suggests that   minority faith schools could set aside a percentage of places if it is deemed essential for maintaining the school’s ethos. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Consultation process over moves to limit ‘baptism barrier’ in State schools launched

Protesters say they occupied the Department of Education head office in Dublin to highlight “inaction” regarding allegations of misconduct at University of Limerick (above). File photograph: Google Street View

Campaigners end sit-in aimed at highlighting calls for independent inquiry into allegations

DCU students  (top from left) Brian Mulry, Brian Farrell and Carmel Kenny. (Front row from left) Emilio Williams-Doran, James Nolan and Sarah McLaughlin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘I can’t see myself moving home...there’s not much left there’

Trinity College Dublin. Insurers have been told international students based in the State for more than a year are required to take out full health cover, which can cost up to €1,000

New measure a ‘big blow’ for Government plans to attract more students from abroad

The Department of Education: its spokesman said the pay rise is available to those who are parties to the Lansdowne Road agreement. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Department warns union failure to co-operate may result in loss of €1,000 pay increase

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: a “fairer” model for allocation of supports will deliver earlier intervention and better outcomes for children with special needs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parents will no longer need to secure a diagnosis to access supports in schools

A formal diagnosis will no longer be required to access special needs resources in schools. Photograph: Getty Images

Department of Education says new system will lead to better outcomes for children

‘Some Catholic bodies have queried the extent of the issues surrounding the Baptism barrier, but said they were open to ideas to ensure local children have access to schools.’

Analysis: Richard Bruton’s proposals will not effect the majority of Catholic institutions

“We need to be accommodating at a time when 96 per cent of schools are denominational,” Minister for Education Richard Bruton said. Photograph: Getty Images

Catholic primary school body insists problem was linked to shortages of school places

Michael Barron, director of campaign group Equate, with Minister for Education and Skills  Richard Bruton at the School Admissions seminar organised by Equate at the Alexander Hotel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister says issue not being put on ‘long finger’ and Dáil has appetite to deal with it

The four broad options proposed by Mr Bruton – which focus on catchment areas, quota systems and an outright ban on using religion in admissions – all have potential pitfalls. Photograph: Eric Luke

Plans to remove ‘baptism barrier’ to publicly-funded schools likely to be controversial

Minister for Education Richard Bruton is to set out four possible approaches for dealing with the “baptism barrier” issue in schools. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister to set out four options to ensure children have access to local schools

The survey of 854 students around the country, organised by Griffith College, found that lack of career guidance and difficulties comparing courses and colleges were big obstacles. Photograph: Getty Images

Applicants say they can’t decide what to study and have to make big career decisions

Thousands of teachers will undergo  vetting checks by the Garda this year. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Richard Bruton says move is an ‘important milestone’ to ensure safe school environments

Philip Nolan of Maynooth University says greater flexibility and support was  helping to boost student engagement and combat drop-out rates.

Figures show most Maynooth University students opting for broader range of subjects

Plans for an academic conference at University College Cork which will debate the legal legitimacy of Israel has sparked a major row. Photograph: iStock

Plans to hold similar conference at UK university were cancelled over ‘safety concerns’

Dr Graham Love, new chief executive of the Higher Education Authority: “These are challenging times for higher education, but there are also exciting opportunities.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dr Graham Love says Ireland’s higher-education sector faces series of challenges

 Trinity College Dublin. University courses tend to have the lowest drop-out rates.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Drop-out rates highest among low-points courses at institutes of technology

Courses with non-progression rates of more than 70 per cent include computing with software development at IT Tralee; computing and games development at IT Sligo; industrial physics at DIT; and computer forensics and security at Waterford IT

Non-progression in some computer courses of particular concern due to skills shortages

The latest talks follow industrial action which led to the closure of hundreds of secondary schools last year. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Union to ballot this month on proposals to settle dispute over pay and curriculum reforms

Secondary school students taking part in group work as part of the new junior cycle.

Critics claim the State is about to take a wrong turn on secondary school education

Hundreds of primary schools do not have access to State psychologist services, new figures show. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil education spokesman expresses concern over ‘alarming’ gaps in resources

Aicha Djeffal (5) from Scoil Bhríde (Cailíní) in Blanchardstown, Dublin, at the launch of research into the impact of the ReCreate social enterprise. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Study shows ‘creative reuse’ project is having positive effect on creativity in schools

New proposals suggest there should be a greater focus on creative play during the early years of primary school. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

New NCCA proposals give schools more freedom to focus on other areas of study

Children in Ireland begin formal lessons – and up to 11 subjects – from the moment they start primary school at age four or five. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Greater emphasis is put on learning through play instead of traditional formal lessons

Students taking part in group work as part of the new Junior Cycle curriculum.

Students could lose 10% in English exams due to ongoing dispute over education reforms

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty says a very small minority of parents withdraw their children from the patron’s programme of religious education.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Submissions on NCCA plans for curriculum argue parents happy with faith-based model

While third-level institutions have been successful securing EU research funds, there are concerns over a decline in Irish investment in this sector. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Rising student numbers and falling investment linked to larger classes and fewer supports

New school admissions legislation will do nothing to change the ‘Catholic first’ enrolment policies of the vast majority of schools, an Oireachtas committee has heard. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Admissions legislation will not address enrolment issues, Oireachtas committee hears

Irish universities such as Trinity College Dublin have slipped in international rankings. It is “unwise and undesirable to give the league tables so much weight”, said the Hepi report. Photograph: iStock

UK think-tank says concentration on research and not teaching skews the results

Brian Mooney, second from left, at the launch of the 2017 Education Matters yearbook, with Maurice Manning, chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Eucharia Meehan of the Irish Research Council and Prof Brian MacCraith, president of DCU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister Bruton makes pledge in new edition of ‘Education Matters’ yearbook

Many preschools say they are under acute financial pressure and do not have the capacity to cope with the expanded  free preschool year. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill

Here are 12 issues you are likely to hear plenty about in Irish education next year, ranging from the baptism barrier to student l(...)

Natasha Lynch in Cork: the French-language teacher used social media to teach students online during the recent school strikes. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

The social media app has become an unlikely ally in boosting teaching and learning

Ireland has the highest proportions of young people in Europe progressing on to higher education. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Students unsuited to higher education being shoehorned into universities by parents

 Ibec, however, told the committee that an income-contingent loan system was the only “equitable and sustainable” option. Photograph: Frank Miller

Graduates who emigrate may be ‘too afraid’ to return home, Oireachtas committee told

The OECD Pisa study results also show gender differences, with with girls performing better than boys in reading. Photograph: iStock

15-year-olds rank third in OECD study for reading, but science performance a concern

First-year students at NUI Galway: some schools did not send any students to high-points courses.  Photograph: Patrick Heneghan

Number of fee-paying schools dominating high-points courses is on the rise

Minister for Education Richard Bruton (left), with Fine Gael TD Jim Daly, who worked on development of an Education Ombudsman, which is being incorporated into the new Education (Parent and Student Charter) Bill. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Penalties in exams avoidable if teachers back proposals to avert industrial action - Minister

Students taking part in group work as part of the new junior cycle

Some children could be at risk of losing 10% in their English exam due to a union dispute

Kieran Christie and Ed Byrne (right), president of the ASTI central executive: Mr Byrne suggested at the weekend any industrial action would be likely to focus on minimising disruption to students. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thousands of junior cycle students would lose 10 per cent in the English summer exam

First-year students Abby O’Riordan and Noah Dasle, members of Cork Educate Together’s board of management, meeting principal Colm O’Connor, and teachers Pam O’Leary and Laura Nagle Kiwanuka. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Yes, says a Cork school where students are represented on the board of management

Consultation with younger students will be achieved  through engagement with the student council or other “age appropriate” means of hearing the voice of the child.  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Minister proposes charters to make schools child-centred and accountable to parents

NUI Galway is about the commence the recruitment process for a successor to its current president Dr Jim Browne.

Members of university’s governing authority say criteria was limiting pool of candidates

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie and president Ed Byrne. Photograph: Eric Luke

Union urges members against deal and says disruptions will target department, not pupils

The ASTI is to hold a special meeting of its central executive committee on Saturday to consider a deal following mediation talks with the Department of Education. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

ASTI members face pay freezes and loss of posts of responsibility if proposals turned down

The scale of the union’s actions raised expectations in the ASTI that it would secure significant gains. Those hopes were quickly dashed when committee members combed through the eight-page deal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Will union swallow its pride and take offer or resume industrial action?

The King’s Hospital’s child protection policy lists headmaster John Rafter as the school’s “designated liaison person”.

Secondary schools have clear obligations on how to protect the welfare of children

The ASTI is  to consider proposals to avert school closures at a special meeting of its central executive on Saturday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Potential agreement offers pay rise for new entrant teachers and opt out on supervision

ASTI members would be required to  work additional “Croke Park” hours  under proposals aimed at averting further school closures. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

But ASTI teachers must agree to work extra hours introduced under Croke Park deal

The ASTI’s standing committee is due to consider proposals aimed at resolving an industrial dispute which closed hundreds of secondary schools earlier this month. Photograph: Getty Images

Students at risk of losing 10% due to union’s opposition to classroom-based assessments

Minister for Education Richard Bruton is seeking an extra €136 million for his department this year, the bulk of which will go on progressing school buildings, along with minor works grants for primary schools. Photograph: Alan Betson

Additional staff retirements for schools adds to funding pressures

The findings are contained in the 2015 results of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. Photograph: Thinkstock

Concern over under-performance of high- achieving students

ASTI members outside Monkstown Park College in Dublin during recent industrial action. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Some members have warned action may resume if significant deal is not brokered

Traditional subjects may be removed from the initial years of primary schooling. Photograph: David Sleator

School boards may be allowed to decide how much time is spent teaching religion

Peter Cassells, right, chairman of the expert group on higher education. He called the funding model for the sector  broken. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

System would not deter students from disadvantaged areas, Oireachtas committee told

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