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

A national review carried out by an expert group commissioned by the Higher Education Authority shows women are significantly under-represented in the senior ranks of most colleges and universities.  Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuter

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

A taskforce report has made 24 recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality at NUI Galway.

Move may have significant implications for other colleges and public sector employers

Elaine McCann with her daughter Chloe who took part in the Preparing for Life, parenting mentoring programme in North Dublin which was found to dramatically improve children’s IQ, health and behaviour. Photograph: Conor Healy Photography

Study shows young people less likely to be overweight and had fewer behavioural problems

University of Limerick: report found that the university had the highest proportion of full-time lecturer posts  (33 per cent), followed by DCU (27 per cent) and TCD (26 per cent). Photograph:  Press 22

Report finds up to two-thirds of third-level teachers not in full-time or permanent jobs

The Department of Education said  losses are based on increment freezes, non-inclusion of supervision and substitution payments and the withdrawal of improved pay scales for new entrants.

Intervention comes as ASTI ballots on whether to cease working ‘Croke Park’ time

Secretary general of the Department of Education Seán Ó Foghlú said the department would make information available online shortly regarding the potential consequences of repudiating the pay deal

Vote to reject ‘Croke Park’ hours could result in ASTI members losing thousands of euro

Students at Mount Sackville, Chapelizod, taking part in the Google Expeditions pilot project

Schools are getting to test Google Expeditions, a virtual reality tool that allows students to ‘visit’ far-flung places such as Ma(...)

Arts and humanities graduates consistently recorded lower employment levels. Photograph: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images

The picture painted in a survey of recent graduates is broadly positive – although only a third of arts graduates feel their educa(...)

A total of 10 per cent of the final junior cycle will be based on a written assessment task – which is linked to the second classroom-based assessment. Photograph: The Irish Times

Students who do not sit a second classroom-based test next year will lose out

Gráinne Macken, a member of the Department of Education’s junior cycle training team, introducing English teachers to reforms in Navan, Co Meath

New testing regime represented as big leap forward for conservative education system

Graduated findings are contained in a survey of Irish universities and colleges of education in 2014 – nine months after graduation, published by the Higher Education Authority. Photograph: Thinkstock

Employment opportunities knocking for college graduates, with salaries on upswing

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Teaching Council to begin long-awaited fitness-to-teach hearings following new legislation

Educate Together, an equality-based patron body for 80 schools, said the comments were “deeply offensive” and not supported by any “credible research”. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Patron body says comments were deeply offensive and not supported by research

Dublin City University has announced a €230million plan to expand its presence across four separate campuses in the north of the capital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Planned development on city’s north side will see student population approach 20,000

Fr Paul Connell, president of the Joint Managerial Body and the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools: he said Catholic schools have been playing a vital role in helping young people grow in faith. Photograph: Sally MacMonagle

Taking religion out of classroom could result in nihilism and self harm, says school manager

Fr Paul Connell, president of JMB/AMCSS: “I would appeal to all concerned to pull back and work in a spirit of dialogue to resolve these issues for the good of all our school communities.” Photograph: Sally MacMonagle

Secretary general says schools will close if ASTI votes to stop working agreed hours

The State Examinations Commission says a significant minority of candidates are struggling to complete simple procedures.

State Examinations Commission review finds some struggling with simple tasks

 (L to R) Abdi Mooge, Ciara Lynam, Julie Nguyen and Job Makiese, from St Ronan’s National School, Deansrath, Clondalkin, Co Dublin, at the Yellow Flag awards.

Yellow flags awarded to 13 schools celebrating inclusion in wider community

Naoise Koppel and Kate Carthy (both 10) of Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

DCU’s Lego innovation studio is developing creative approaches to teaching science and maths. It might sound like a gimmick but it(...)

Independent TD Katherine Zappone:  said a number of issues remained to be decided such as whether the childcare scheme would be available to part-time workers or those in education. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Scheme worth up to €2,000 for working parents with children under three years

Since the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown arrived in 1999, the number of school leavers in the Dublin 15 postal district who progress to third level has risen from none to almost half. Photograph: Harold Strong/

Far more pupils attend college in Tallaght and Blanchardstown since facilities’ creation

Across the entire second-level system, the total number of students with exemptions in Irish rose significantly, up from about 20,000 in 2004 to 32,000 in 2014. File  photograph: Eric Luke

Number of pupils not studying subject on grounds of disability grows by half in 10 years

A breakdown of student grant data shows higher third-level participation rates in the Blanchardstown and Tallaght areas, which have institutes of technology. File photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Local access programmes credited with boosting numbers in Dublin courses

ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie: In a letter to members Mr Christie said the union’s standing committee had decided that substitution which facilitated training for the junior cycle was “inappropriate” and a breach of its opposition to the reforms

Facilitating training for the junior cycle ‘inappropriate’, says ASTI’s Kieran Christie

Louise Richardson, Oxford University’s new Irish-born vice-chancellor. Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford University college, is launching a four year pilot offering a foundation year to students from under-represented backgrounds based on Trinity College Dublin’s access programme.

UK university’s Irish-born vice-chancellor plans to tackle elitism through new scheme

ASTI members protesting outside school in  Co Dublin last year. The union has threatened industrial action this autumn. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Teachers’ union on a collision course with Government on multiple fronts

DCU Business School has received official recognition from the world’s oldest accrediting body for business schools. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

School joins top 5 per cent of business schools internationally

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been briefing senior Israeli and Palestinian figures on peace talks. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Former taoiseach says the Middle East can learn lessons from the situation in the North

The NCCA says the requirement for questions based on the Koran are explicitly stated in the syllabus. Photograph: Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

A Syrian parent's complaint over religious content will form part of wider review of syllabus

Trinity College provost Patrick Prendergast. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Despite a funding crisis, Trinity College Dublin has ambitious plans to expand towards Grand Canal Dock. Provost Patrick Prenderga(...)

The first classroom-based assessments are due to take place in schools next month for second-year English classes. Photograph: The Irish Times

Principals sign up thousands but union directive prohibits participation

Prof  Patrick Prendergast: “So much of the tech industry is going on here. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb – and it’s all right beside where we have our technology and enterprise centre.” Photograph: The Irish Times

University hopes to establish new engineering, energy and environment institute

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington won landmark discrimination case against university

Tom Boland, chief executive officer of the HEA said achieving successful student engagement was not about enforcement and compliance. Photograph: Alan Betson

Higher Education Authority report advises against US ‘market model’ approach

The quadrangle at NUI Galway: Gender equality taskforce set up in 2015 after Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington  won a landmark Equality Tribunal case against the university

Move comes after Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington won key Equality Tribunal case

Student loans: After eight years of spending cuts and rising student numbers, senior staff at universities and third-level colleges say funding shortages are reaching “crisis” levels. Photograph:  Thinkstock

FG and FF propose to refer report to an Oireachtas committee to examine feasibility

The safety tool has been tested in parts of the world since last November but is being rolled out to all Facebook users this week. Photograph:  Yui Mok/PA Wire

Move comes as social media giant joins with Google to promote child safety

Reports on high-profile child abuse cases over recent decades share another key recommendation: the need to invest properly in supports and services for children and parents. File photograph:   Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

We don’t need to wait for a report to tell us where child protection system is failing

Spending cuts have pushed some third-level college courses to ‘crisis point’, with serious implications for their future sustainability, according to a new report. File photograph: Getty Images

Higher education review claims lack of resources will have serious implications

A handful of students are turning up to weekly Masses held in some third-level colleges, new figures show. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Colleges and universities spend €1.5m in public funds annually on chaplains

Teacher Noel Hogan: ‘Unless the Junior Cert dispute is resolved, I face being unemployed or victimised.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Teacher Noel Hogan says ASTI members are being forced into an ‘impossible position’

Secondary school teachers protesting against the junior cycle reforms last year.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

ASTI directive prohibits members from taking part in training for new junior cycle

President  Michael D Higgins said the pressures of the labour market are impacting on universities. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

He says colleges should foster dissent and allow for rejection of dominant ideologies

Those most likely to miss significant amounts of school time include students with emotional or behavioural problems, special needs or mental health issues. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

More than 500 parents threatened with prosecution last year over attendance

Maynooth University ranked the best of the Irish universities (68th place) in the “Times Higher Education” 150 under 50, which ranks colleges that have been established in the past half century

Maynooth University, DCU and UL feature in list recognising high-achieving colleges

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