Liam  (10), Johnny  (4)  and Patrick Howard (7).  Their father Brendan is worried they will not be able to attend the same school due to the end of sibling-first admission policies at their local school.

Brendan Howard says the move does not reflect the needs of working parents

A group of parents protest over an end to sibling-first policies outside Our Lady’s Grove National School in Goatstown. Parents say it risks splitting up families and forcing children in the same family to attend different schools. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Controversy follows call by Archdiocese of Dublin to end sibling-first admission policies

The figures are contained in the HSE’s weekly Covid-19 schools mass testing report based on figures collected last week between November 15th and November 21st. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Some 31 positive cases last week following mass testing of 2,284 students and staff

Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil in Glanmire, Co Cork closed earlier this week after Covid-19 cases were detected across a number of classes. Photograph: iStock.

17 positive cases across several classes leads to closure of Co Cork school for two weeks

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said every effort should be made to resume more on-campus activity for first year and final year students. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

On-campus sporting activity likely to resume subject to public health advice

Third level colleges are to be required to measure cases of sexual harassment and bullying of staff and students as part of new ‘zero tolerance’ initiative to create safe campuses for all. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Move forms part of ‘zero tolerance’ initiative to create safe third level campuses

Due to Covid-19 regulations – which limit access to changing rooms – students are allowed to come to school wearing their training gear on the days that they have PE. Photograph: iStock

Principals worry about misinformation and public rush to judgement over internal issues

Minister for Education Norma Foley said it was her firm intention’ for the conventional Leaving Cert exams to be held in 2021. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Test results may be used to determine State exam grades if summer exams are cancelled

Prof Kerstin Mey, who was appointed interim president of University of Limerick earlier this year. She says it is possible for women ‘to knock at and shatter the glass ceiling’. Photograph: Sean Curtin/True Media

University of Limerick president Prof Kerstin Mey says more women need to be appointed to senior roles

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said he wants to boost on-campus activity for first year students, in particular, early next year amid concern over a potential increase in drop-out rates. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Simon Harris keen to boost on-campus activity for first year students early next year

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris TD said current legislation on higher education governance is ‘not fit for purpose and does not reflect the world in which we live’. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Higher education governance legislation is ‘not fit for purpose’, says Harris

Review finds almost 70 outbreaks where it is likely the virus spread within school

The ASTI general secretary said a survey of its members indicated that a vast majority of schools did not have a ventilation system and many were keeping windows open to increase air flow. Photograph: iStock

‘There’s no point in protecting us from Covid if we all end up getting pneumonia’

John Boyle, general secretary of the INTO, says all staff who work in schools should be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Families who go abroad at Christmas must isolate before returning to class - INTO

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris  announced refunds for college students in Budget 2021 to compensate for the shift towards online learning. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students will be eligible for payment

The Department of Education has confirmed that there are no plans to extend the school break at Christmas despite calls from a teachers’ union to do so. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP

TUI says early closure could allow families to gather more safety over the festive period

Lorna Fitzpatrick, president of the Union of Students of Ireland, said a sharp decline in State investment in higher education per student has led to universities becoming over-reliant on student fees as a source of income. Photograph: Alan Betson

Students from abroad campaign for rebates on their fees of up to €25,000

Minister for Education Norma Foley  rejected any suggestion of secrecy around Covid cases in schools. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Minister says there are no plans to extend Christmas break despite ‘wellbeing’ concerns

A recent OECD report shows that Irish primary schools are second only to Israel in the amount of time spent on compulsory religious instruction. Photograph: iStock

New law requires schools to tell parents arrangements for children not attending class

Kate Ryan, one of about 2,000 students due to sit the delayed Leaving Cert exam, outside the school she attended, Coláiste Iognáid at Sea Road in Galway city. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Just 2,800 candidates registered for exams which begin on Monday evening

School principal, Padraig Lohan, at Derryoober National School, Gurteeney, Woodford, Co. Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Rural Galway school defies trends by increasing enrolments, responding to changing work patterns

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris: ‘I am really worried about the mental health and wellbeing of students.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Thousands of extra college places created to ease CAO points pressure will be retained

The decline in primary school pupils is an opportunity to reduce class sizes in the State, according to schools leaders. File photograph: Getty

Official data show decline may mean surplus numbers of primary school teachers

The number of children receiving support peaked in August when 578 children accessed services, a 36 per cent increase on July figures. Posed photograph: Getty

Average of almost 2,000 women and 411 children in receipt of support each month

ESRI and HSE study finds many teens are not getting advice on sex from their parents

Minister for Education Norma Foley has stated on a number of occasions that it is the Government’s intention to hold the Leaving Cert exams next summer, subject to public health advice. Photograph: David Jones/PA Wire

Teachers’ union wants guarantee exams will not be replaced with calculated grades

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said an increase in the number of Pandemic Unemployment Payment recipients was anticipated and reflects the impact of moving to Level 5 of restrictions. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Overall cost of income support scheme to date climbs to €4 billion

An action by Freddy Sherry, a Leaving Cert student at Dublin’s Belvedere College, has been chosen as the lead challenge over the calculated grades process. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Belvedere College student’s case chosen as lead challenge due in court this week

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris: “My priority going into the new year will be in increasing on-campus activity as much as we can and as safely as we can.” Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Most third-level teaching has been taking place online since colleges reopened

Phoenix Park last month as the leaves on the trees began to change. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Science Week research shows almost half don’t want to return to old way of working

Former principal of Gonzaga College Patrick Potts was due to go on trial charged with three counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency when vice-principal of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Patrick Potts found dead days before his trial was due to begin

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan said, “Recent months have been very difficult for staff and students, and we want to work with our schools to ensure that the necessary special class places are available for those who need them.” Photograph by Crispin Rodwell for the Irish Times

Dozens of children with conditions such as autism unable to access school places

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris  with Irish Times education editor Carl O’Brien  and Solas’ Dr Mary-Liz Trant  speaking at The Irish Times Higher Options exhibition. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Simon Harris says ‘cultural snobbery’ leads many families to discount further education

Minister for Education Norma Foley: ‘I would urge strongly any registered post-primary teacher with a potential interest in these subject areas to look into these programmes and assess their options further with the relevant higher education institutions.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Move aims to boost numbers of qualified teachers in maths, physics and Spanish

Public health authorities say latest data indicates schools safe settings with very low rates of transmission of Covid-19.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Secondary teachers’ union wants faster Covid-19 testing and tracing turnaround

New figures released by the HSE indicate a total of 599 cases of Covid-19 detected among pupils or staff in primary or secondary schools since they reopened in late August. File photograph: Getty

Data is described as ‘reassuring’ and indicates schools are not incubators of the disease

Some 2.5 per cent of close contacts of Covid-19 cases in schools tested positive, testing data shows, compared to 10 per cent in the wider community

Authorities reviewing the mandatory use of face masks at primary-school level

The Department of Education has asked schools to withdraw more than 50 hand sanitisers, wipes and detergents from schools after it was unable to guarantee if they were safe to use. Photograph: iStock

Department of Education unable to guarantee if products are safe to use

Members of the ASTI union have voted in favour of industrial action up to and including work stoppages unless the Government  addresses a number of concerns regarding Covid-19 in schools. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

ASTI members vote for industrial action unless concerns over Covid-19 in schools are addressed

Teachers also supported industrial action over lower pay rates in place for more recent entrants to the profession ‘to be taken in conjunction with one or both of the other teacher unions’. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Second-level teachers vote in favour of industrial action over Covid-related concerns

While latest data released by public health authorities indicates that schools are safer than the wider community and are not driving transmission of Covid-19, ASTI members still have concerns. Photograph: Alan Betson

Analysis: Union demand for stronger safety measures and equal pay will not be met any time soon

The ASTI said members had serious concerns about a number of matters following the resumption of teaching

ASTI members demand action from Government on number of issues

Covid has been found to have spread significantly in fewer than 10 schools, says Nphet. Photograph: Getty Images

Most school cases likely due to community transmission, say health authorities

Many families say they cannot risk sending their children back to school as it would put vulnerable family members at high risk. Photograph: Getty

More than 1,000 families applied to homeschool children in August and September

Zara Flynn and Tim Mackey with James (14), Alice (6),   Sam (2) and Chewy.  Photograph: Tom Honan

Zara Flynn says she has no choice but to keep her children James (14) and Alice (6) at home

Lucia Ryan, principal of Hartstown Community School:  The school  splits up larger classes and uses the  gym as a temporary learning hub where students learn remotely. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Hartstown Community School took initiative while waiting six days for contact notification

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the third level sector  has responded swiftly and effectively to the challenges that have arisen over recent months. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Courses open to returners to the workforce, those in employment and recent graduates

Teachers’ unions have called for rapid Covid-19 testing

Health authorities considering use of rapid Covid-19 testing for pupils and school staff

 Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris: “Our society and the world of work are changing rapidly, and if anything this will be accelerated by the pandemic. Universities will have an important role in equipping us to manage this change.”   Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Harris says agility and flexibility of colleges are key strengths, and this required an appropriate level of autonomy

St Patrick’s Boys’ National School in Drumcondra and Gaelscoil Ros Eo in Rush, Co Dublin among those to close. Photograph: iStock

Some schools forced to close due to short notice over product recall

Data compiled by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows a total of 46 outbreaks – two or more cases – were detected in primary and secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland last week, almost twice the number recorded a week previously. Photograph: AFP/Getty

HSE says coronavirus cases not being ‘amplified’ within schools themselves

File photograph: Students from North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School protest outside Leinster House, Dublin last year over the lack of suitable long-term school accommodation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Delays securing accommodation in some new schools worsened student experience

Tarbert Comprehensive School in Co Kerry has been ordered to reopen by the Department of Education after deciding to close due to an ‘alarming increase’ in Covid-19 cases. Photograph: Giacomo Antonio Lombardi

Seven students at Kerry secondary school test positive while 45 are close contacts

Maintaining low levels of infection in schools will depend on how well the wider community does in holding off a broader spread in the population. Photograph: iStock

Frustration is mounting among school staff over testing and tracing delays

Minister for Education Norma Foley has said school communities ‘can be absolutely assured’ that any necessary resources and measures will be put in place to ensure a safe return to school after mid-term. Photograph: Maxwells

Minister promises new teams to assist schools when Covid-19 cases are identified

Minister for Education Norma Foley: ‘Transmission rates of Covid-19 in schools are low, much lower than the rate currently in the community.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘Overwhelming’ evidence schools remain safe settings, says Minister for Education

The south county Dublin  school site includes a two-storey period house, known as Abilene, which was owned for almost 80 years by the prominent Findlater business family.

Plans include 1,000-pupil school for south county Dublin and one each in Cork, Wexford, Meath

The appeals process is separate to the discovery in recent weeks of about 15,000 errors in the Leaving Cert calculated grades process. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Low number reflects limited nature of appeals process for calculated grades

Members of Fórsa’s school secretaries branch protesting outside the Department of Education earlier this year. The union has deferred plans for fresh industrial action. Photograph: Damien Eagers / The Irish Times

Fresh talks to take place between Fórsa and department aimed at resolving dispute

Businesses will need to show more leadership by allowing employees to work from home wherever possible, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Minister says adherence to guidelines may offer ‘chance of a Christmas, although it might be a different one’

Lucy’s mother said that while Lucy has a communication device, neither she nor her family know how to use it effectively. Photograph: iStock

Ombudsman report highlights cases of children waiting years to have their needs met

Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon says ‘grossly unfair’ delays are robbing children of their potential and may affect children for the rest of their lives. File photograph: James Forde

Less than 10% of vulnerable children are getting assessments within legal time limits

The closure of schools in the Republic is not under consideration at present  Norma Foley has said. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Education says transmission of coronavirus is not amplified in schools

The vast majority of primary school principals feel overwhelmed by the scale of extra tasks and challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study. Photograph: iStock

A majority feel their schools have performed well and adapted to new conditions

Under Budget 2021, an additional 565 teachers will be hired. Photograph: David Sleator

Pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools set to fall to new low with hiring of 565 teachers

Trinity College Dublin Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast and law student Anna Grace in the college’s front square. Posters for clubs and societies have replaced stalls for Freshers’ Week this year. Photograph: Alan Betson

The pandemic has profoundly altered the college experience for students this year

A selection of religious symbols on display at Citywest and Saggart Community National School, an Education and Training Board (ETB). Photograph: Eric Luke

Move aims to emphasise multidenominational ethos of hundreds of schools

A study by researchers at Dublin City University found that only 8 per cent of teens are getting the daily recommendation of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Photograph: iStock

DCU research explores link between physical inactivity and mental health issues

Ireland’s schools may have a longer mid-term break to halt the spread of coronavirus. File photograph.

Unions call for full consultation on any decisions about potential disruption of schools

Research which draws on the Growing Up in Ireland study shows that from an early age girls’ performance at maths is underestimated by teachers and parents relative to boys.

Perception girls not as numerate as boys takes root from as young as nine

There is a need for a broad conversation on how we move young adults from secondary school to their desired career pathway, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has said. Photograph: Julien Behal

Minister says Ireland is behind the curve in attracting students to apprenticeships

The postponed 2020 Leaving Cert exams are due to take place between November 16th and December 11th. Photograph: David Jones/PA Wire

Some 424 students whose Leaving Cert results were upgraded to receive CAO offers

The RCSI, UCD and Trinity College have the lowest proportion of students on Susi grants with between 5 and 25 per cent entitled to grant assistance. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Half of 18 and 19-year-olds in higher and further education in receipt of Susi grants

Minister for  Higher Education  Simon Harris TD and the CAO held a meeting on Monday to discuss the number of places which are likely to be required for upgraded students.

Calls to reveal how many students lost college places due to high grades issued in error

Students with these higher grades will not be downgraded as exam candidates are not penalised for such errors.

Concern that high grades ‘squeezed out’ some students from their CAO choices

 Ibec  has called for publication  of the evidence that is underpinning the latest  recommendations. File photograph: Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty

Teaching unions seek review on whether it is safe for schools to stay open amid rise in cases

Minister for Education Norma Foley expressed regret to students for what had happened at a press conference

Disclosure prompts calls for a full inquiry to establish if there are further errors

 Leaving Cert students protesting against calculated grades outside the Department of Education in Dublin in September.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

It may not prove possible to take up new CAO offers for certain very high-demand courses

Admissions figures show private schools and high-performing non-fee paying schools turned away hundreds of applicants last year. Photograph: Getty Images

High-achieving schools forced to turn away hundreds of applicants each year

A group of parents protest over an end to sibling-first policies outside Our Lady’s Grove National School in Goatstown. Photograph: Laura Hutton

The archdiocese of Dublin says the policy is aimed at making schools more inclusive

The registered address for Polymetrika International Inc is a residential home in Ottawa, according to company records. Photograph: Aedan Helmer

About 6,500 students awarded grades lower than they should have received, says Minister

The registered address for Polymetrika International Inc is a  residential home in Ottawa, according to company records. Photograph: Aedan Helmer

Department of Education made payment to Canadian company without tendering process

The precise number of students who will receive higher grades will not be available until a series of verification checks are completed. Photograph: The Irish Times

Independent firm currently conducting rechecks of calculated grades system

Minister for Education Norma Foley speaking at a press conference on the coding errors found in the Leaving Cert calculated grades system. Photograph: Maxwells

Number affected by coding mistake in grade calculations will not be known for days

Minister for Education Norma Foley says “every effort” will be made to ensure these students can start in the coming year, and higher education institutions have said they do their best to accommodate students. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Anywhere from a few hundred to 1,000 new college places may be needed, writes Carl O’Brien

Minister for Education Norma Foley. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Disclosure will further raise anxiety among students

“These are errors which should not have occurred. However, the error will not disadvantage any student,” Minister for Education Norma Foley said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Government will work with colleges to give places to those who missed out

Many second-level students in Irish schools lack access to digital devices or an effective online learning platform, according to new data. Image: iStock.

OECD report highlights education disparities between Irish schools and other developed nations

Some schools say significant numbers of students have not yet returned due to health concerns linked to Covid-19. Photograph: iStock

Annual school census due Wednesday will determine staffing numbers for next year

Almost 100 Leaving Cert students had six or more of their teachers’ estimated grades lowered under the Department of Education’s calculated grades process, new figures show. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Applications to sit the Leaving Certificate 2020 in November open this morning

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris announced the addtional restrictions on third level colleges on Friday. Photograph: PA

Colleges warn students that breaches of Covid-19 regulations may lead to expulsion

Thousands of Leaving Cert students are due to have access to class rankings which their teachers’ assigned them online from next Monday. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Teachers’ unions concerned about releasing information to all students online

A number of schools have said their results in many subjects this year were significantly lower than their historical performances despite overall grade inflation.  Photograph: Getty Images

Some high-achieving schools have said students’ results suffered by taking out key data

All social and club activities on-campus will be suspended. File photograph: Alan Betson

Social and club activities to be suspended until further notice

An empty primary classroom in  Israel which has closed its schools as part of a lockdown in Tel Aviv. There have been 13 outbreaks of Covid-19 in Irish schools since September which have led to some classes being as to self-isolate. Photograph: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Teachers’ union says delays getting test results are severely disrupting schools

Leaving Cert students can access their class rankings as estimated by their teachers by sending a personal data request to the Department of Education. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Students are legally entitled to obtain data by making ‘subject access requests’

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