A national assessment  has found that reading scores of pupils in  schools where 10 per cent or more of pupils do not have English as their first language perform  “significantly lower” than those where all children were native English speakers. Photograph: Getty Images

Poor reading skills linked to schools with higher number of non-native English speakers

The authors of the study of 8,000 children say long periods of unsupervised time using the internet, watching TV or playing computer games have a negative impact on students.

Parents have big impact with overuse of computer games linked to poorer performance

The findings are contained in a study of 8,000 primary school children in 150 primary schools across Ireland which assessed students’ reading and maths performance. File photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Report recommends greater emphasis on teaching children problem-solving

 Three fishermen were rescued from a sinking boat about 32km off the west Cork coast on Monday evening. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat comes to the aid of men on board sinking vessel

Homeowners in the South Dublin County Council area will not face any increase in their property tax next year. File photograph: PA

Cork County Council votes to keep tax at national rate to ‘protect public services’

Research has found the main method of preparing for the Leaving Cert exam was to predict questions, prepare answers and learn them off. File photograph: Peter Thursfield/The Irish Times

TCD research: Key skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving ‘starkly absent’

Trinity College Dublin, which ranked 160th in the Times Higher Education university list last year, was omitted at short notice this year due to an error which saw it tumble down the rankings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Trinity’s slip from the top 200 is blamed on a data error. Does that make it a dunce?

Prof Niall Moyna: “Schoolchildren should be taught about good lifestyle choices and not just biology that they learn from a book.” Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/ ©INPHO

New research reveals ‘frightening’ findings over health of sedentary schoolchildren

’Ireland top universities have been sliding down global rankings due largely to issues linked to long-term underfunding, worsening staff to student ratios and greatly diminished capacity for research.’ File photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Almost a decade of spending cuts and falling staff numbers seem to be taking their toll

Trinity College Dublin was omitted from the rankings as it supplied incorrect data. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Trinity College Dublin omitted from scale due to blunder over incorrect data

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has said Ireland’s reputation will take a ‘hammer blow’ if Irish universities continue to fall in global rankings. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes issues warning ahead of new Times Higher Education list

Overall, the areas which saw the biggest increases in student application numbers - construction, nursing, engineering/technology, architecture, business, pharmacy - have seen the higher points increases for courses. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

More evidence of institutions inflating CAO points by putting on niche courses

Students celebrate getting their Leaving Certificate exam results at Muckross Park College, Donnybrook,  Dublin: The number of degree courses requiring 500 points or more has jumped to a record high in this year’s CAO listings. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Engineering, architecture, construction and business up as arts falls to new low

 Ian Bethel, Ian McCrae and Fionnuala Moran, former 6th year students of Mount Temple Comprehensive school, Clontarf, after receiving their Leaving Certificate results. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Maths one of just six subjects at higher level where boys perform better

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: “I would be concerned. I know the chief examiner has looked at this and there do seem to be difficulties in areas such as trigonometry and algebra.” Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Minister concerned at ordinary level failure rate and says need for change will be assessed

Mia Colleran (left) and Shona Ní Aodhagáin, Blackrock, celebrate getting their Leaving Certificate results, at Coláiste Íosagáin, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, last year. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Leaving Cert 2016 results will be closely analysed by students, politicians, teachers and industry figures

Ordinary-level maths failure rate likely to pose fresh questions over the quality of maths tuition and recent reforms. Photograph: Getty Images

Over 55,000 students will today receive their results

Those applying for third-level courses will not know for certain whether they have secured their first choices until next Monday, when offers through the Central Applications Office (CAO) are made. File photograph: Getty Images

Leaving Cert results: Points increases likely for construction, science, tech and business

A record 80,880 people have applied to the Central Applications Office for college places, with many flocking to courses linked to the economic recovery, such as architecture, engineering and technology. File photograph: Getty Images

Scale of demand clear as tens of thousands of Leaving Cert students set for exam results

Of almost 800 honours degree – or level-eight –  courses, 60 per cent had fewer than 30 places.

Some ‘niche’ courses offer just 10 places

Prof Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University: “What we see when we talk to students – even among the highest achievers – is that they are on a learning journey.”

Maynooth University and UCD have benefitted by providing students with broader entry routes

The rise in popularity of higher-level maths at Leaving Cert is seen as a welcome development by policymakers. Photograph: Getty Images

Concern mounts that additional points for higher-level maths is distorting choice

There have been a number of proposals to set up a school that would teach children the international baccalaureate rather than the Leaving Cert. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

International baccalaureate would be taught to children of multinational executives

The Leaving Cert is considered “deficit-based” and forces students to take subjects which they may not be able for. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

How does the international baccalaureate compare to Ireland’s traditional State exam?

Elizabeth Bartholomew and her daughter Katherine (11), outside the Cross & Passion College, Kilcullen, Co Kildare. Photograph: Eric Luke

Elizabeth Bartholomew says a shortage of school places in Kildare is very worrying

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland said the union was prepared to hold two ballots for industrial action next month. Photographs: The Irish Times

ASTI chief warns closures loom in September in escalating dispute over pay and conditions

Numbers entering primary school are projected to peak in about 18 months time to almost 575,000 children

Demand for school places has shot up in recent years as the population surges

Preschools have warned that many of them may not be ready to provide the additional free childcare places required under Government plans due to capacity and recruitment challenges. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Childcare centres say they are not ready for the extension of the free preschool year

Students on the UCD campus in Dublin. Fiana Fáil’s Thomas Byrne said the previous Fine Gael-led government “did enormous damage to our education system”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Lack of support preventing thousands of students from accessing further education

Fionn Rogan working at Java Republic on Molesworth Street. He sparked a debate this week when he wrote about how his generation was being increasingly infantilised, due to soaring rents and a loss of financial independence. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Young people are eschewing the traditional milestones of adulthood – in favour of relying on their parents

ASTI  members outside the Dáil. Over 1,000 teachers who do not belong to a trade union face losing allowances and salary increments  because they work in schools staffed mainly by ASTI members. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Over 1,000 unaffiliated educators to lose pay increments as they work in ASTI schools

Una McDermott who rents out rooms in her home to students at NUI Galway: “I’ve had 13 students come through the house and I have never had a bother with any of them.” Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Universities say the return of digs is the fastest way to tackle accommodation crisis

Shauna Hurley,  structural engineer with Arup: “Everyone was saying there were no jobs available, but I was thinking long term.” Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision.

Shauna Hurley (24) was told there would be no jobs but now there is huge demand

Engineering Leaving Certificate students Emily Cullen, Luke Casey, Ted Daly, Liam Glavin, and William Kelly at St MacDara’s Community College, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Republic is not producing enough graduates in the sector to meet projected demand

About 96 per cent of the State’s primary schools are under the control of religious denominations. Photograph: iStock

The State’s advisory body on the school curriculum is due to publish advice about time allocations for teaching a range of subjec(...)

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: Justforests.org

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

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