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

Minister for Education Richard Bruton with Prof Brian MacCraith

Minister plans to ensure Stem teaching is delivered by qualified specialist teachers

 Minister for Education Richard Bruton and  Peter Cassells, chairman of the expert group on future funding for higher education, speaking recently at DIT.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Peter Cassells says student loan scheme is one of a number of viable options

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

Schools are less likely to be closed indefinitely if union resumes industrial action

Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon:  new Bill needs to “fully consider children’s rights and dignity” and to take account of Ireland’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Photograph: Eric Luke

Legislation fails to address ‘baptism barrier’ in certain schools, says Niall Muldoon

A  fostered boy could not secure a school place for two years despite applications to 28 schools. File photograph: Getty Images

Ombudsman for Children raises concern over vulnerable children missing education

The relatively small number of primary and secondary students performing at an “advanced level of proficiency” in maths is another concern cited in the report. Photograph: Thinkstock

Review advises greater support for teachers who lack formal science qualifications

Minister for Education Richard Bruton is due to publish the new Education (Parent and Student Charter) Bill over the coming weeks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

New Bill could also see secondary pupils becoming members of boards of management

Dr Patrick Prendergast: TCD’s membership of the league will have a positive impact on  students. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

23-strong League of European Research Universities is major player at EU level

University presidents say a student loan scheme would be the fairest way of securing vital funding to tackle a “crisis” in higher education. File photograph: Getty Images

Graduates could repay €16,000-€20,000 in tuition fees over a 10- to 15-year period

 People Before Profit Alliance TD Gino Kenny and Cllr Madeleine Johansson, middle, with teachers at an ASTI picket  in recent days. Photograph: Facebook

Concerns raised over People Before Profit Alliance members joining ASTI picket lines

There is no solid evidence that specific selection mechanisms produce the “best” teachers, the report states. Photograph: Getty Images

Diversity still poses challenge with few men or disadvnataged people becoming teachers

ASTI is fighting battles on the issues of working additional hours, supervision and substitution duties, new-entrant pay levels and junior cycle reform. Photograph: Eric Luke

Union and Department of Education in third-party talks with arbitration body

ASTI picket at Monkstown Park College in South County Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

More than 500 of the State’s 736 secondary schools were closed on Tuesday

ASTI on the picket line outside Monkstown Park College in Dublin.  Photograph: Eric Luke.

Hundreds of secondary schools set to stay shut for the week in row over supervision duties

Minister for Education Richard Bruton: “It beggars belief that the ASTI will close schools over 33 hours a year.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Failure to end dispute over pay for new teachers could ‘derail’ State exams, FF warns

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: said Garda pay proposals fell within the parameters of  Lansdowne Road agreement. Photograph: Alan Betson

Divisions emerge in Cabinet over how €40m Garda pay settlement will be funded

ASTI members on a picket in Dublin, Monday,  November 7th, 2016. Photograph: Colm O’Neil/PA Wire

Government and ASTI are at loggerheads over who is to blame for school closures

The scene Monday outside Colaiste Eoin, Stillorgan, Dublin, one of hundreds of schools shut down in the ASTI pay dispute.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

More than 200,000 students affected by pay dispute over ‘extra hour a week’

ASTI president Ed Byrne at a protest outside Dominican College in Dublin 9 earlier in October. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Disruption comes as tensions mount in Government over Garda pay increases

The ASTI delegation arriving at the Department of Education on Marlborough Street for talks. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Leadership of ASTI seems caught in trap of its own making

Teachers on strike on Griffith Avenue in Dublin last week. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

More than 400 schools to shut indefinitely as ASTI members plan industrial action

The GMIT  campus in Galway: it  is one of the institutes identified as  “vulnerable” and facing an immediate sustainability challenge. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Higher Education Authority review shows six face immediate sustainability challenges

CIT lecturer Susan Flannery says the sector is trying to balance reduced funding and growing demand.  Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney

The scale of the impact of funding cuts and fewer resources highlighted in a new report

“Children spend such a huge amount of time in the school environment it is especially important that they are safe and protected. However, we have quite a way to go in regards to the protection of children in Ireland”

All teachers to face periodic checks under new rules

ASTI shop stewards have been asked to distribute this poster to staff members and to display it in “a prominent position in their classrooms”.

Union’s move to have teachers display anti-reform materials in school ‘inappropriate’

ASTI  shop stewards have been asked to distribute this poster to staff members and to display it in “a prominent position in their classrooms”.

Up to 40,000 students may lose 10% in English exams as a result of dispute

Student sitting the Leaving Cert exam: a new CAO points system aimed at easing the pressure is due to come into force next summer. Photograph: Eric Luke

Those who obtained D1 grade are to be eligible for entry to honours degree courses

Staff outside Loreto Secondary School, Bray, Co Wicklow, on Thursday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Midterm is the last window of opportunity for talks to avert further school closures

ASTI president Ed Byrne at a protest outside Dominican College in Dublin 9 yesterday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Talks aimed at averting large-scale disruption due to start early next week

Fiona Smyth, a teacher in  the Dominican College in Dublin: “Many young teachers are working for years without full hours.” Photograph: Carl O’Brien/The Irish Times

‘I earn up to €8,000 less a year than my colleagues because I qualified after 2011’

Staff at Loreto Secondary School, Bray, Co Wicklow stage industrial action. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Garda sergeants and inspectors to hold second day of action Friday

ASTI officias at the organisation’s headquarters prepare for the industrial dispute.

Government determined to hold firm line in row over pay rates for new staff

 ASTI delegates arrive at the Department of Education on Wednesday. From left: general secretary Kieran Christie,  president Ed Byrne,   Máire G Ní Chiarba and vice-president Ger Curtin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government prepares to remove teachers from payroll if dispute is not resolved

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said it would be very difficult for some schools to remain open if the ASTI industrial action goes ahead. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Union leaders met with Government officials in attempt to avoid strike

ASTI protesters outside Leinster House earlier this month. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thursday’s one-day strike action likely to close more than 500 secondary schools

People attending the ASTI protest outside Leinster House, Dublin, earlier this month. The ASTI is now left fighting battles on multiple fronts – Croke Park hours, junior cycle reform, new entrant pay – with little sign of placing any realistic solutions on the table. Photograph: Eric Luke

Union backed itself ever deeper into a cul-de-sac with little space to manoeuvre

A recent ASTI protest outside Leinster House: all ASTI members will forfeit a day’s pay while the strike takes place. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Teachers not planning to strike will be paid if declarations are signed

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland are due to hold the first of seven one-day strikes on Thursday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Special treatment for striking gardaí and teachers ‘unacceptable’, Impact cautions

O’Reilly Hall,  UCD: The Higher Education Authority’s interim chief executive Dr Anne Looney said more work was needed to signpost pathways into higher education beyond the CAO route.

Research shows lack of transparency over third level places for students in training courses

Teachers with the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland protest outside Leinster House. The first of the ASTI’s seven one-day strikes in the dispute is due to take place next Thursday, and is set to close up to 525 – or two out of three – secondary schools.   File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

TUI adamant members will not carry out any duties usually done by ASTI colleagues

Hundreds of secondary schools are unlikely to reopen following the mid-term break unless a teachers’ dispute is resolved, school managers have warned. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Secondary schools may close on health and safety grounds over teachers' dispute

State could become global hub for research but underfunding has hamstrung colleges

Notre Dame, a junior and secondary school which has been based in Churchtown in Dublin for more than 60 years, has told parents it will commence an ‘orderly wind-down’ over the coming three years. Image: Google Streetview.

Some 230 pupils affected by plan to close school by June 2019 due to financial difficulties

Teachers with the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland protest outside Leinster House. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Union concerns on pay up for discussion but separate talks to tackle junior cycle reform

Senior officials have cautioned Ministers that the public sector pay framework will collapse if pay claims are successful, the consequence of which would be an unwinding of the budget. Photographs: The Irish Times

Senior officials say if demands of gardaí and teachers are met budget will unravel

Teachers with the ASTI protest outside Leinster House. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

TUI’s executive committee due to meet on Friday to provide guidance for members

Contingency plans during looming industrial action by teachers will give priority supervisor cover to Leaving and Junior Cert classes. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Parents in schools affected by industrial action will get supervisor application forms

Teachers with the ASTI protest outside Leinster House on October 13th. Union president Ed Byrne has said the pay gap for new teachers would be €2,775 even if it signed the Lansdowne Road agreement. Photograph: Eric Luke

Two unions are willing to wait for pay parity, but the ASTI is demanding a timetable

St Oliver’s national school, Killarney, Co Kerry: third-class pupils Wikoria Sloniany, Killian Sugrue, Cleo O’Connell and Jocelyn Hickey clearing the school’s woodland to have their own forest playground.  Photograph: Valerie O’Sullivan

St Oliver’s national school in Killarney is part of a network of schools challenging teaching conventions

Asti has announced seven days of strikes which will close most secondary schools. Photograph: The Irish Times

Government plans to hire parents as supervisors to avert closure of hundreds of schools

Schools are planning to hire hundreds of parents and other members of the public as supervisors for €19.18 an hour in a bid to keep schools open during the ASTI’s planned industrial action. Photograph: Eric Luke

Up to six weeks of funding for supervison to be available to schools hit by ASTI action

Announcement comes amid Brexit uncertainty among 10,000 Irish students in UK

Michael Horgan, the new chairman of the Higher Education Authority, has said Ireland’s top colleges should not place their strategic focus on trying to rise up international university league tables. File photograph: Getty Images

Higher Education Authority head says colleges should focus on their strengths

The ASTI’s vote in favour of industrial action means the union is set to cease providing supervision and substitution cover, which could close hundreds of secondary schools.

Timing of directive over withdrawal of supervision and substitution duties will be crucial

Members of the ASTI protesting outside the Dáil earlier in the year. Photograph: The Irish Times

Up to 525 schools may close as union prepares to withdraw supervision cover

Numbers entering primary school and secondary level are set to grow by an extra 12,000 next year alone. Photograph: iStock

Richard Bruton has ambitious plans but cuts and a growing population stand in his way

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said an additional €36.5 million will be invested in Education as part of Budget 2017.

Critics say extra €36.5 million falls well short of €100 million needed to boost sector

Health Education Authority said University of Limerick was suffering considerable reputational damage and would continue to do so while the allegations remained unresolved

Claims relate to staff concerns over alleged financial irregularities or HR practices

As public funds are involved and politicians are taking an interest, it seems likely the next step in this rolling controversy may play out before an Oireachtas committee. File photograph: Getty Images

Among allegations were that some staff got mileage for trips between homes and UL

Minister for Education Richard Bruton and Peter Cassells, lead author of report into funding: the Cassells report found the current  system was not fit for purpose.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

International expert says Irish authorities should avoid a UK-style student loan scheme

Richard Bruton, Minister for Education, will ask the ASTI that English teachers be given a derogation to “avoid disadvantaging current students any further”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Up to 40,000 students face losing 10% in their English exams due to union dispute

Support groups and teachers say a lack of special needs assistants means that some children have reduced access to education or, in more extreme cases, are forced to stay at home

Some 34,000 teachers recruited prior to 2006 also face Garda checks for the first time

Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a photo with young Tom Cox after the official opening of Temple Carrig School, Greystones. Also pictured is Alan Cox (L)  school principal. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Temple Carrig in Greystones says it caters for the educational needs of entire community

Niall FitzGerald chairs Leverhulme Trust, one of the largest funders of academic research in the UK. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

UK-based businessman Niall Fitzgerald says colleges in British face an existential crisis

Teachers on strike in 2014. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

ASTI ballot on supervision and substitution could affect more than 500 secondary schools

ASTI secondary school teachers are balloting for industrial action over a number of issues, including the pay of recently-recruited teachers and penalties imposed on them by the Government for “repudiating” the Lansdowne Road agreement. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Teachers’ withdrawal from supervision duties could lead to widespread disruption

A key part of the strategy will involve emphasising that Ireland will be the largest English-speaking member of the European Union following the UK’s Brexit vote.

International education strategy targets students in China, India, Brazil and Gulf region

Prof Fitzgerald, a clinical academic, has earned wide-spread recognition for his research into platelets and thrombosis in coronary artery disease.
Photograph: UL press office

Prof Des Fitzgerald’s appointment strong signal UL is seeking to move up in world rankings

Fourth-class boys at St Laurence O’Toole CBS during a class on the solar system. The school uses art as a way of teaching a range of subjects. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Teachers at most creative when using art and drama to instruct literacy and numeracy

Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fáil’s education spokesman: ‘No child should be punished nor their exam marks put on a negotiating table.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Up to 40,000 students to lose 10% in English exam if they cannot take part in assessments

The ESRI and the Arts Council study notes that being read to, and having access to books, enhances vocabulary development, while watching television can be linked to greater socio-emotional difficulties. Photograph: Getty Images

Children from middle-class families spend less time watching TV than those from less well-off backgrounds

Junior Cert students stand to lose up to 10 per cent in their English exams because of  a union row over classroom assessments. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Up to 40,000 to lose 10% in English exam if they cannot take part in assessments

Parents queue outside Clonturk Community College, in Whitehall, Dublin, in order to secure secondary school places for their children. Photograph: Clonturk Community College/Facebook

Clonturk Community College Educate Together facility oversubscribed within hours

Minister for Education Richard Bruton says there are no plans to amend the junior cycle to avoid students in ASTI schools losing 10 per cent of their marks. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Second level teacher union tells members it is doubtful authorities will allow English exam loss

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’

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