DCU professor Brian MacCraith says the modern workplace increasingly requires citizens with transferable skills who are “resilient and adaptable, and capable of reflective and critical thinking”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DCU initiative part of trend among universities to focus on employability of graduates

Dr Des Fitzgerald: Has outlined his plans to put new management and governance systems in place. Photograph: The Irish Times

President says ‘anaemic’ management may have played role in way claims handled

Two suspended whistleblowers in UL’s finance department said they were looking forward to co-operating fully with the review. Photograph: Press 22

College’s governance, human resources and financial practices to be examined

Most teachers are contractually obliged to provide classroom cover for teachers who are sick or involved in school activities such as games and field trips

Warning from Department of Education ratchets up tension in long-running dispute

The Christian Brothers are planning to sell two-thirds of the sports pitches, 7.5 acres of land surrounding Clonkeen College in Blackrock, Dublin, to help fund its financial commitments to the State.

Anger among parents as 7.5 acres of land at Clonkeen College is to be put up for sale

The numbers taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just above 5,700 in 2013. Photograph: iStock

Low take-up contrasts with Germany where 60% of students take up ‘earn-and-learn’ options

Leona O’Callaghan pictured in the University of Limerick. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Claiming expenses: ‘If you were on the VIP list you played by different rules’

The UCC campus. Several universities, including UCC, have tens of millions of euro in private trusts and foundations which they have resisted declaring in their accounts. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Audits also reveal extra payments to staff and non-compliance with procurement rules

Applicants who hold primary teaching qualifications  awarded outside Europe must apply to have their qualifications assessed by the Teaching Council. Photograph: iStock

The Teaching Council determines if qualifications meet criteria under Irish legislation

The first wellbeing classes, starting next September,  are aimed at enhancing students’ physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing. File photograph: Getty Images

Fianna Fáil labels as ‘ridiculous’ reduction in the teaching hours for German and French

The legislation will also give institutes of technology the power to award degrees in the same way as universities. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: move vital to ensure level playing field for students

The University of Limerick campus. The Department of Education has announced details of a review into the governance, HR and financial practices at UL.

University of Limerick’s governance, HR and financial practices to be investigated

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie (left): ’Boat has sailed’ on retrospective pay. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Department tells union ‘boat has sailed’ over retrospective pay worth some €3,000 per teacher

Mustakeem Shah (9), Theodora McDonnell (9), Zoe Brennan (9) and Fergus Linehan (9): the Humanist Association of Ireland together  with Educate Together has launched humanism lesson plans for Educate Together schools.  Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Pupils to learn about the non-religious belief system humanism, atheism and agnosticism

A lack of the basics in Spanish  prevented many candidates achieving a high grade last year,  the State Examinations Commission has said. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

State examiners criticise the decision of some secondary pupils to take higher-level exams

The case histories are drawn from reports published online by the National Review Panel.

Case reviews flag missed opportunities, poor practice and pressure on social workers

An average of 21 vulnerable young people in contact with social services have died each year, according to an independent body tasked with reviewing critical incidents in the care system. Photograph: iStock

Deaths reveal pressure facing social work departments, says independent report

University of Limerick: Its new president is understood to have pledged in recent days to make sweeping changes at senior levels. Photograph: Press 22

Former staff member alleged to have made sexual references in class

ASTI delegates pictured at the  conference in Killarney in April. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Association claims the union’s brinkmanship risks derailing the education system

Forget about course choices until after the Leaving Cert. There will be plenty of time to finalise college options after the exams. Photo: iStock

There is plenty of time after the exams to finalise options for third-level study

Limerick billionaire JP McManus is to spend €32 million on third-level scholarships for more than 1,000 students from less well-off backgrounds. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

All-Ireland programme open to 125 less well-off students annually over next decade

The Department of Education is to launch an independent inquiry into a series of allegations of misconduct at University of Limerick (UL).

Government to order independent review after bullying and irregular expenses claims

“The Minister’s intention is to press ahead on these complex issues as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said. Photograph: Getty Images

Richard Bruton signals further discussions over 'complex' issues

The new primary schools were announced in November 2015 to serve a number of locations under increased demographic pressure. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Patronage announced for four schools will create more than 1,700 new places

Secondary-school action: ASTI teachers “are questioning our campaign of passive resistance due to the pain it is inflicting on members”, according to Noel Buckley, a Tipperary-based teacher. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Leadership has criticised move and urged teachers to respect previous ballot

Trinity College Dublin is one of three Irish universities which feature in the Reuters list of Europe’s top-100 most innovative universities. Photograph: iStock

State’s three institutions in Reuters top 100 the best result in Europe on per capita basis

Under pressure: students may get the points, but can they get the finance  to go on to third-level education?  Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee hears concerns over debt burden under loan proposals

Students at Mount Carmel School in Dublin listening to Cathriona Hallahan from Microsoft at the opening of the school extension. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

An extension to an old Dublin school caps a remarkable turn-around in its fortunes

Richard Terry, an ASTI member in the union’s Fermoy branch: “Passive resistance hasn’t been working. It’s time to admit that.” Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Biggest second-level teachers’ union losing members in context of internal divisions

A   graduate may  expect to pay  €150-€160 a month until they reach 33 years  if a “study now, pay later” loan scheme is introduced. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Study finds income-contingent loan scheme cheapest way for State to expand third level

A number of ASTI members have begun gathering signatures from teachers in a bid to debate a motion to suspend the union’s industrial action and restore losses and contracts to teachers

Leadership resists move and urges members to respect union’s previous ballot

Actor Cillian Murphy and Prof Pat Dolan, director of the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway

Scarred by his school experiences, the actor is helping to promote empathy education

Sophie Beveridge, Diarmuid Geever and Jessica Fahy from Ballaghadereen Foróige club in Roscommon with the Aldi Foróige Youth Citizenship trophy in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin.  Photograph: Mark Stedman

Ballaghaderreen group takes top prize at Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards in Dublin

“Many of our students get by with two sets of uniform in five years. In many cases they can and are passed down through families. Not so with the generic brands you are promoting”

Conference told move is a fig leaf to hide the chronic underfunding of schools

The ranking table is based on Higher Education Authority figures for posts in universities in 2014, with University of Limerick having women in 33 per cent of senior posts. File photograph: Press 22 The new body will oversee research and advise on prioritisation of key skills gaps across industry and how they can be met

National Skills Council to be chaired by Minister for Education

Richard Bruton: the Minister hopes to increase the contribution employers make to higher education and training. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Isme says quality of college graduates appears to be on the decline

Students on UCD’s campus: Overall non-progression rates of 15 per cent compare favourably to international rates. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Highest drop-out rates in construction, computer science and engineering courses

Science graduate  skills in short supply chiefly relate to niche  areas typically associated with the pharmaceutical, biopharma and food innovation industries. Photograph: Getty Images

There are not enough skilled workers to meet demand in computing, engineering and construction

ASTI is the only public sector union not signed up to the Lansdowne Road agreement. This has triggered financial losses for members and delayed access to contracts for new entrants to teaching

Some members gathering signatures for special convention to reverse strategy

Children from five schools in Tipperary gather at the Department of Education to hand a letter in to Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Teachers say vulnerable students from deprived areas are losing out on vital supports

Schools report major problems finding qualified teachers in areas such as Irish, European languages, home economics and maths.

Growing school population fuels concerns over supply in science, maths and Irish

Susie Hall, a teacher with  Dublin northeast branch, questioned why Irish policymakers had to “slavishly” follow bad policy  made in  UK. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Conference rejects department policy focus on ‘ideological-driven autonomy’ for schools

ASTI delegates pictured at the ASTI conference in the INEC, Killarney on Tuesday.Photo Don MacMonagle

Proposal would have disrupted thousands of pupils in run-up to State exams

Delegates pictured at the ASTI conference in Killarney on Tuesday. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

ASTI suspended normal business on Wednesday after criticism of its strategy

‘While ASTI’s leadership has claimed a principled stand on the rights of new entrants on lower pay, these younger members are the hardest hit as a result of the union’s strategy.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Members argue the union needs a strategy beyond resisting compromise at all costs

The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) passed a motion at its annual conference calling on the Department of Education to arrange a second set of exams in the summer or autumn. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

ASTI conference supports motion calling for students to be given opportunity to repeat exams in summer or autumn

Delegates at the ASTI conference in Killarney: The meeting heard claims that the union lacked a clear strategy. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Members are losing thousands of euro in increments and allowances due to pay freezes

ASTI president Ed Byrne at the ASTI conference in  Killarney. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Teachers’ union to meet in private to discuss ‘haemorrhaging’ of younger members

 Seán Fox says grants for newly-built houses encourage developers to push up prices. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Seán Fox says it is impossible for young teachers to afford to pay a mortgage

Delegates  at the ASTI conference: union president Ed Byrne said it  had railed against injustice in an age of conformity and orthodoxy. Photograph:  Don MacMonagle

Majority of delegates at conference oppose any deal that does not guarantee pay equality

A 10-year strategy to be published shortly by Minister for Education Richard Bruton includes ambitious targets to increase the number of students studying a foreign language. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo

Government plan sets ambitious targets to raise numbers studying foreign languages

ASTI Fermoy branch member Richard Terry, who complained of members being ‘left out in the cold’, is instructed to leave the podium after exceeding his speaking time.  Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Teachers’ union maintains campaign for equal pay despite backlash from some members

The ASTI has ‘stood alone against injustice, inequity and the unethical,’ said union president Ed Byrne (right), with union’s general secretary  Kieran Christie. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ed Byrne says it has ‘stood alone’ among teacher unions against injustice, and the unethical

Minister for Education Richard Bruton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Tiny overall investment’ could remove cost of books, transport and contributions

The Minister for Education Richard Bruton will attend a dinner at the ASTI conference but there will not be a speaking opportunity. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will not address ASTI due to ‘logistical constraints’

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: issuing a circular in the coming days requiring the school authorities to adopt “principles of cost-effective practice”. across a range of key area. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mandatory book rental scheme among plans being introduced to help parents

The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland have suffered after reputiating the Lansdowne Road agreement, while the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation have benefited from pay increments. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Unions under pressure to dismantle two-tier pay gap and achieve full pay restoration

Irish classrooms: “Every child is entitled to be taught by a fully qualified teacher,” Rosena Jordan said. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

INTO president says shortage of substitutes leading to use of unqualified teachers

The vast majority of teachers surveyed said bureaucratic duties regularly deflect from their teaching. Photograph: PA Wire

TUI survey highlights morale and workload issues among second-level teachers

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

Experts believe the Republic’s exam-obsessed model is failing Irish students

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said he will allocate almost €2.5m in initiatives to attract a diverse range of young teachers. Photograph: Alan Betson

Recent research showed that most teachers are white, female and middle-class

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie (left)  and president Ed Byrne at a recent meeting. Mr Byrne says young teachers are highly educated and motivated, but have inferior conditions and pay. Photograph: Eric Luke

ASTI says situation poses ‘critical threat’ to future of second-level education

Social Democrat Róisín Shorthall, alongside fellow party-member Catherine Murphy. Ms Shorthall says the party’s Bill would, if enacted, “eradicate one of the great discriminations of Irish society”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Social Democrats say current legislation amounts to ‘blatant discrimination’

Louise Tobin, a principal at St Joseph’s Primary School in Tipperary town. She says she was shocked when her school was excluded from a scheme to help disadvantaged schools. Photograph: John D Kelly

Many schools believe they have been unfairly excluded from disadvantage scheme

Ministers Richard Bruton and Leo Varadkar  with students at the announcement of  expansion of the  School Meals Scheme 2017. Bruton said 79 schools were to be added into the Deis programme. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fianna Fáil calls on Minister to make statement over Deis selection ‘farce’

A new private school will be based at South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Co Dublin. Image: Carl O’Brien

The operator of the south Dublin school typically charges about €20,000 a year for second-level day students

It’s likely that some affluent Irish families may well be attracted by the fact that an alternative to the Leaving Cert will now be available. Photograph: Alan Betson

Backers are targeting children of mobile executives and diplomats rather than locals

State officials in the IDA and elsewhere have been working hard to tempt London-based banks to move operations to Dublin to keep a foothold in the European Union. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

School in Leopardstown targeted at children of mobile executives stationed in Dublin

Chairman of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee Seán Fleming: He says Nama chair and “senior Dáil officials” tried to limit committee’s findings into Project Eagle. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Seán Fleming alleges moves to limit findings of a report into the Project Eagle loan book

The app allows users to view anonymous, and often insulting, messages left about them by typing in their name. Photograph: Thinkstock

Popular anonymous chat app blocked following wave of criticism over cyberbullying

Former minister for education Ruairí Quinn, Jacob Kestner, head of EduCo International’s Irish operations, Maynooth University president Philip Nolan and DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith

EduCo International Group setting up in Ireland to attract international students

Waterford Institute of Technology’s current president, Willie Donnelly, was vice-president of research at the time of the sale.

WIT president says his involvement with software firm FeedHenry was fully declared

 Minister for Education Richard Bruton: Proposed reforms to primary schools are based loosely on some of the features of top-performing education systems in countries such as Finland, as well as new research on how children learn. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Children would not study traditional subjects until aged 10, under new proposals

DCU president Brian MacCraith: “In this post-Brexit, Trumpian world, the most important thing we can do for this nation is talent development.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Brian MacCraith says employers want creative leaders, not first-class honours nerds

One Dublin  school told parents the app allows individual children to be targeted easily. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The app lets users view anonymous, and often insulting, messages left about them

A survey of 90 secondary schools found 96% reported difficulties recruiting part-time or temporary teaching cover

Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools says staff situation a ‘nightmare’

 Seán Fleming, chair of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, said parents will no longer be able to appeal resource decisions to the National Council for Special Education. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Parents will not be able to appeal decisions over support for special needs children

Latest figures show the number of students applying to study in the UK has dropped by almost 20 per cent since the Brexit vote, down from 4,750 students last year to 3,900 this year

Higher international fees may lead to thousands of students staying at home

Schools would still be able to prioritise members of their own faith if they live within the catchment area. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Catchment areas would not remove Baptism barrier and may create administrative block

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton has said he wants to introduce changes to the ‘Baptism barrier’ as soon as possible. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

New catchment area proposal is frontrunner in plans to tackle the ‘Baptism barrier’

 Of the 76 countries analysed, Ireland came 36th for religiosity. Photograph: Getty Images

Time spent on religious education seems to affect student attainment in some areas

Tomás Ó Ruairc, director of the Teaching Council, said vetting was vital in upholding public confidence in the profession. Photograph: Getty Images

Up to 600 long-serving teachers may miss deadline to complete retrospective vetting

ASTI picket at Monkstown Park College in Dublin last year: thousands of ASTI members have lost out on incremental pay rises, and a €800 payment for supervision and substitution duties.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Teacher union narrowly rejected ‘final’ settlement proposals for dispute earlier in year

Arts graduates are among the least likely to be in employment nine months after graduating, and among the most likely to be studying for a post-graduate qualification. Photograph: Getty Images

While science is ‘sexy’ these days, employers say arts courses develop crucial skills for the modern workplace

 University College Dublin is reforming  its arts degree programmes to improve employment prospects for graduates. Photograph: Alan Betson

UCD plans major changes to biggest third-level course in the country

The State Examinations Commission is satisfied pupils will have sufficient time to complete the Junior Cycle English exam despite concerns among students.

State Examinations Commission responds to widespread concern among candidates

Tara O’Sullivan, a Junior Cert student whose campaign to extend the time allocated for this summer’s English exam has attracted thousands of supporters.

Online petition aimed at State Examinations Commission gets thousands of supporters

Minister for Education Richard Bruton visits St Francis Street CBS in Dublin, with principal Fiona Collins and pupils Sean Salinger (12), Dean Browne (8), Bradley Lawless (9) and Calum Lennox (9).  Photograph: Maxwells/Julien Behal

Revised education strategy to focus on enhanced numeracy and digital skills

Ireland is a good location for international studies, as it has a proven record as a friendly, social and academic environment to study and live in. Photo: iStock

Universities offer a range of foundation programmes for international students

Children in pre-schools are used to a teacher/pupil ratio of one to 11; at primary level, this leaps up to about one teacher for 28 pupils. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Free pre-school year, awareness of child development and class sizes play major roles

Children may now avail of the free preschool scheme from the ages of three up to five-and-a-half:  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Free preschool year key factor behind older age of junior infants, according to experts

Junior and senior infants at Dublin’s Gardiner Street Primary School. A new survey finds that 73% of junior infants are at aged at least five. Nick Bradshaw

Facts from new database of pupils attending national schools

There were 558,000 pupils enrolled in 3,250 primary schools as of September 30th, 2016.

New database reveals most detailed picture yet of national school population

The scale of contract cheating is difficult to estimate, though there have been about 1,000 cases of students in Ireland being disciplined for plagiarism since 2010

While current guidelines deal with plagiarism, they do not address ‘essay mills’

A shrine on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, where    babies and toddlers were found buried. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The conditions that created the Tuam mother and baby home scandal continue today in the form of unaccountable authorities, misplac(...)

Maynooth University has recorded its highest ever level of first-preference applications. It says its arts programme is now the most popular course in the country when measured by the number of first-preference applications

Nursing and education also down, while law, construction are up

University College Dublin: UCD ranked in the top 100 for 13 subjects while Trinity College Dublin saw its share of top-100 places decrease from 16 to two. Photograph: Eric Luke

UCD leads way with positions in global top 50 for veterinary science and English

The Department of Education. The assistant secretary general at the department said Mr Bruton’s legislation would boost the Ombudsman for Children’s capacity to investigate issues

Jim Daly says school boards of management defend principals over parents

After nearly a decade of spending cuts, rising student numbers and falling numbers of academic staff, the higher education sector is under acute pressure. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

Some academics worry that colleges are increasingly reliant on industry support

Employers pay about €360m a year into a National Training Fund through a payroll levy. Photograph: Getty Images

Move may spark concern over close relationships between industry and education

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