Campaigners call for reform of ‘broken’ system for pupils with complex needs

 Location of two schools due to be built in Saggart, Co Dublin.

Gated community claims part-ownership of Citywest land earmarked for development

The first Leaving Cert economics paper based on a new syllabus was “fair but challenging”, according to teachers. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

First exam based on new syllabus is fair but challenging, say teachers

Students preparing for this year’s Leaving Cert exams. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Excellent variety of questions allowed candidates play to their strengths, say teachers

Students who  sat the accounting papers were rewarded with “uncomplicated and very straightforward” questions. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Additional choice this year significantly eased time pressure for candidates

The Leaving Cert physics exams provided students with plenty of choice to make up for sections of the curriculum they may have missed due to school closures. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Students face ‘real world’ questions on cooler boxes, radios and mobile phones

Students at Lucan Community College continue classes amid pandemic related precautions. File photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Infection prevention and control measures in schools to remain in place

The Dáil committee heard that all school inspections from January 2022 onwards will include a specific focus on bullying. File photograph: Getty

Authorities now dealing with more school refusal cases since reopening earlier this year

Funding for this year’s Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes has been announced in Dublin today. Pictured at the European Parliament Liaison Office  are Lorraine Gilligan of  Léargas; Erasmus+ participant Conor McKeon; Gerry O’Sullivan of the Higher Education Authority and Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps coordinator Kay McCabe. Photograph: Barry Cronin.

Surge in application numbers as learners ‘locked out by lockdown’ seek to travel

The State Examinations Commission says quality issues relating to this year’s Leaving Cert oral exams will be addressed in the marking process to the ‘greatest degree possible’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Examiners say siginificant numbers of students marked down ‘through no fault of their own’

Oral exams: The examiner said a majority of 64 candidates who were interviewed by the same teacher lost marks because key questions were not asked.

Shortcomings in oral exams undermine fairness, openness and accountability

One examiner for the German orals marked 78 candidates and estimates a majority lost marks due to omissions on the part of teachers who conducted the interviews. Photograph: Getty Images

Examiners say they were instructed not to flag concerns over shortcomings in the interviews

Laurel Hill Secondary School  has been donated  antigen tests by Louth-based Cooley Supplies Ltd, which claims research shows they are up to 96%  accurate.  Photograph: Getty Images

Leaving Cert exams get under way with public health measures in place

All desks must be at least two metres apart and in well-ventilated areas. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Some 55,000 students expected to sit written exams, which begin today

President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Academic freedom and breadth of teaching at universities under threat, says President

Trinity College Dublin has retained its status as Ireland’s top-ranked third-level institution. Photograph: iStock

Rising student numbers and freeze on staffing a factor behind drop in performance

Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris is expected to bring plans for a higher education reopening framework to Cabinet next week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Students to have monthly-payment option for accommodation in case of fourth wave

A Leaving Cert exam hall. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Harris says there is a ‘huge need’ to review Leaving Cert after pandemic ends

There will be strict limits on the numbers of fans who can attend the trial sporting events. Photograph: Inpho

Attendees must wear face masks, remain seated and stay within social bubbles

College applicants are due to receive CAO first round round offers four days after the Leaving Cert results are released. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Applicants will have less than a week to accept round one college offers

Minister for Education Norma Foley said additional teachers could be used to ‘reimagine’ how teaching takes place at primary level. File photograph: Getty

Fresh data show fall in pupil numbers could mean 13,000 extra teachers by end of decade

The Government has said the pupil-teacher ratio at primary level will fall to its lowest recorded level in the coming academic year when it falls to 25:1. Photograph: iStock

Plan to retrain primary teachers as special education tutors at second level

Leaving Cert students will have to wait until early September before receiving their results and CAO offers. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Some third-level institutions to delay enrolment of first years due to later results date

Minister for Further and Higher Simon Harris said  Covid-19 has accelerated us towards a “digitally dominated economy”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Retrofitting homes to be focus of re-training and new bid to tackle student digital divide

Days off school due to snow may be a thing of the past with teachers set to conduct online classes in future in the event of unforeseen school closures. File photograph: Dara MacDónaill / The Irish Times

Failure to cooperate with reforms would trigger pay freezes for union members

The programme for government commits the Coalition to establishig a citizens’ assembly on the future of education “ensuring that the voices of young people and those being educated are central”. Photograph: iStock

The Government has pledged to establish a citizens’ assembly to reform the education system – but what issues should we address? W(...)

Eric Kinsella, executive chairman of Jones Engineering Group, and his wife Barbara donated €30 million to the development of the new Trinity East campus near Grand Canal Dock.

Eric and Barbara Kinsella give funds for development of new Trinity East campus


Pupils in more than 100 schools to learn foreign languages from third class

When asked what positive elements of online learning students would want to keep when on-campus studies resume, most students referenced recorded lectures. Photograph: Getty Images

Survey finds many students feel disconnect from college, and have had issues finding work spaces

The Department of Education said it will arrange for the provision to schools of carbon dioxide monitors ‘over the coming months’. Photograph: iStock

Move highlights unsuitability of many schools for modern era, say teachers

Sixth year student at Laurel Hill  Secondary School in Limerick, Fiona Kinnevane, is presented with an award by school principal Michael Cregan as part of a  virtual graduation ceremony.

Mixed emotions for Leaving Cert students who have missed out on key milestones

Eric and Barbara Kinsella have already previously provided funding for the Kinsella Hall study facility in the Ussher Library. Photograph: The Irish Times

Eric Kinsella and wife Barbara make largest single philanthropic donation in Ireland

The Department of Education said it was working  with schools to ensure they have the resources and supports necessary to successfully run the programmes. Photograph: iStock

Government says it is working with schools to provide necessary resources and supports

While physical bullying is decreasing, online bullying and mental health problems are growing among pupils, an Oireacthas committee has heard. Photograph: iStock

Schools face rising ‘interpersonal issues’ which often occur on social media

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris formally awarded technological university status to LIT and AIT earlier this month. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Third level institution is to be established from merger of Limerick IT and Athlone IT

At Lucan Community College ‘we’re still here, we’ve great memories – the good, the bad and the ugly – and we’ll take them and grow with them’. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Anxious, resilient and grateful: for many it has been a time of growth and reflection

Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: ‘It is far from inconceivable that a parent or somebody connected to a student could canvass or lobby a teacher or a member of school staff on behalf of a student without the student’s knowledge.’ Photograph: Tom Honan

‘No penalty’ for parents in draft laws, which provide for withholding students’ results only

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris pictured during a video conference with the presidents of the Connacht Ulster Alliance to discuss plans for a new technological university for the west and northwest.

GMIT, Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo submit bid to create new university in January 2022

Syrian refugees revise their lessons inside their family’s tent at a refugee camp in  Lebanon. The Irish government has announced it will increase overseas aid aimed at boosting access to education for millions of children in developing countries. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP

Colm Brophy says aid budget rising this year, despite the economic shock from Covid-19

Minister for Education Norma Foley meets  students and staff at  Pobalscoil Neasáin in Baldoyle to wish them well in the upcoming exams. Photograph: Maxwells

Pupils with Covid-19 symptoms advised to self-isolate and not attend exams

Many students are not receiving an adequate sex education at school and are relying on the internet for information, an Oireachtas committee has heard. Photograph: iStock

Oireachtas hears of fears among teachers in addressing sensitive topics in class

Any Leaving Cert student who refuses or fails to wear a face mask will be refused access to the exams, under official guidance being issued to schools.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mingling with other students before and after exams to be banned on school premises

Youth conference hears that creative thinking is increasingly vital for young people and wider society. File photograph: Getty

Government programme aimed at inspiring ‘brilliant young actors, musicians and artists’

The number of Covid-19 outbreaks in schools rose to 61 during the May 2nd-May 8th period, up from 29 the previous week. Photograph: Alan Betson

1.7% of close contacts in schools test positive, latest weekly HSE figures show

Schools are more important than neighbourhoods in influencing adolescent behaviour, according to new ERSI research. Photograph: iStock

Youths attending disadvantaged schools had higher levels of truancy, antisocial behaviour

Unless schools can make up for the disruption, the ESRI study says learning loss during the closures are expected to “ripple through students’ educational trajectories and into their later life”.

Some 70% of secondary schools reported less pupil involvement during Covid-19 closures

Children with disabilities are up to three times more likely to be bullied and up six times more likely to experience violence than their peers, according to research. Photograph: iStock

Many children with additional needs targeted because they are ‘different’

Students from Greystones Community National School, outside the newly-built school which has been lying idle for a year, pictured with Michelle Boehm, chair of the  school’s parent-teacher partnership. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Talks to resolve row over fire safety issues between department and WBS fail to reach agreement

All students in special schools, special classes and those with complex needs in mainstream schools will be eligible to participate in the summer programme. Photograph: iStock

Ministers announce €40m supports for pupils with special needs or at risk of disadvantage

Government sources say they hope the addition of about 4,000 extra third-level places this year will absorb pressure. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mature students, overseas applications push third-level applications to new high

Many Leaving Cert students  are “terrified” about testing positive for Covid-19 or being designated a close contact and jeopardising their chances of sitting the written exams. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Candidates and families urged to avoid situations which could expose them to risk

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris: ‘This is a monumental day for higher education.’ File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Institutions fear emphasis on ‘control’ in significant shake-up of third-level governance

Socially distanced exam arrangements in Dublin’s Gonzaga College during Leaving Cert exams last November. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Socially distanced written exams mean thousands of supervisors must be recruited

JK Rowling dominated the leaderboard of most popular books at primary level. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/ Getty

Marked uplift in reading enjoyment levels during pandemic

Lar (6) from Bennekerry, Co Carlow, holding a copy of the application document for Waterford Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Carlow to become a technological university.  Photographer: Shaun Dowling

WIT and IT Carlow submit application to merge and create new institution

Michael and Jan Rynne with  Daniel (12) and Emily (15), who have not returned to school because of their mother’s medical condition.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

Mother says children cannot attend school due to her medical condition, but are not entitled to remote tuition

The Department of Education. Figures provided  by social services and the department  show that most of 4,500 children who failed to return to school did so for Covid-19 reasons. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Ombudsman voices concern over ‘forgotten families’ without access to education

The Department of Education has confirmed that many primary schools are entitled to take next week off by using “discretionary days” even though a mid-term break is not scheduled. Photograph: iStock

Department of Education says schools entitled to use ‘discretionary days’ for holidays

UCD sociology lecturer Dr Paul Stokes cited a ‘self-entitled’ attitude behind the complaints. File image: Collins

Dr Paul Stokes faces several ‘tribunals of inquiry’ after complaints over his teaching

St Gerard’s School on Thornhill Road, outside Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

A number of teaching staff and students at St Gerard’s test positive for Covid-19

Thousands of apprentices have been waiting for up to a year for essential training due to difficulties accessing further and higher education campuses. Photograph: iStock

7,500 trainees such as plumbers and electricians unable to access off-the-job training

Photograph: iStock

‘Puberty is a gift from God’ states Flourish, a new course for children from Irish bishops

Eoin Dolan, principal of St Malachy’s  in Finglas which is due to lose a teacher due to a dip in enrolment. Photograph: Alan Betson

Principals fear losing teachers due to Covid-linked disruption and pupil absences

Tom Felle, head of journalism and communications at NUI Galway, at a flag raising to mark the launch of the Global Migration Media  Academy.

Programme aims to boost media literacy by training students to identify misinformation

 Waterford IT’s governing body is due to meet on Tuesday, while IT Carlow’s is scheduled for Thursday. Photograph: iStock

Move follows rejection from Waterford staff of terms for proposed merger

Leaving Cert students have a final chance to choose their exams and subject levels next week for the receipt of accredited grades. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Online portal will open from noon on Tuesday until 6pm on Friday, April 30th

A computer-generated image from the Department of Education’s design guide for sanitary facilities in new or refurbished schools.

Department of Education guide says new schools will not have traditional toilet layout

Sixth year students at St Joseph’s CBS  in Nenagh  have been classified as close contacts and asked to self-isolate following a number of positive cases

HSE engaging with two schools where positive cases have been detected

The provision of gender neutral toilets is seen as an inclusive measure. Photograph: iStock

Official design guide says most facilities in future will include self-contained cubicles

It is understood  concerns were raised in recent weeks to the HSE over prescribing patterns and access to appropriate therapeutic interventions concerning some young people in south Kerry.  Photograph: PA Wire

HSE reviews files of 1,500 young people amid fears adult doses of medication prescribed

Adam Harris, chief executive of autism charity AsIAm, said  there appeared to be a ‘hierarchy of rights’ operating in some affluent schools. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Few special classes provided in wealthy parts of south Dublin, Oireachtas committee hears

Jeremiah Cronin (21) with his father Daniel and mother Margaret Cronin. Ms Cronin said she was shocked to learn that her son’s records were being used by the Department of Health without her consent.

Margaret Cronin says she has been fighting for her son Jeremiah’s rights for 21 years

Students and parents at Clonturk Community College  protest last week over students not being allowed sit the Leaving Cert Applied. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Clonturk Community College says it has secured resources to deliver the programme

The 68-page senior-cycle reform report acknowledges that the emphasis on final exams is seen by many as causing a ‘negative backwash’ in teaching and learning. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Senior-cycle reform includes access to apprenticeships, voluntary work and life skills

Apprentice mechanic Samantha Kao at  Bus Éireann’s Broadstone depot in Dublin. “We really all do learn differently. You get a chance to put into practice what you’re learning all the time.” Photograph: Naoise Culhan

‘ I can’t recommend the earn-and-learn route enough. We all learn differently’

The range of apprenticeships is set to broaden to include dozens of new roles. Photograph: iStock

Five-year strategy aims to boost ‘earn and learn’ options in green skills, software, finance

The findings are contained in a preliminary survey of more than 700 secondary teachers who were involved in last year’s calculated grades process, which required teachers to assess their own pupils for State certification for the first time. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/Irish Times

Vast majority of teachers felt they were fair to students in estimating marks, study says

Minister for Education Norma Foley has invited applications from both primary and secondary schools. Photograph Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Successful applicants will receive up to €15,000 to bring ideas to fruition

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has announced a €9m fund to boost the research capacity of technological universities and institutes of technology in the area of science and technology. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government is investing in programme that also covers institutes of technology

It is critical that we seize the opportunity to overhaul the Leaving Cert, says Minister for Education Norma Foley. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Overemphasis on Leaving Cert written exam is bringing stress and challenges for students

The Government has said it will provide an additional 2,000 third-level college places in high-demand courses this year.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Government has pledged to expand college numbers in bid to ease CAO pressure

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is working on a plan  to ensure the cost of mandatory hotel quarantine for students returning to Ireland from Erasmus can be covered for students. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

€1 million plans will apply to those studying in European programme in Austria, Belgium, France and Italy

Principal Fiona Lennon welcomes fourth-year students back to St Mary’s Academy CBS in Carlow as the last cohort of students returned to schools in Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One million students and staff return to classrooms as schools fully reopen

State Examinations Commission figures show 87 per cent of this year’s 60,000 candidates have chosen a combination of both written exams and accredited grades. File photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Total of 81% intend to sit English with Irish the least popular at 58%

Erika Gallagher (17), a student at Newpark Comprehensive School in Dublin: ‘I think we’ll all have a newfound appreciation of being back at school.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Schools reopen fully to one million students and staff for first time since Christmas

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the move represents the ‘opening of a conversation’  with students and staff of our higher education institutions. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Colleges required to record and report cases annually under new safety initiative

Black and white photographs of prisoners of the Khmer Rouge regime in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, located  where the S-21 prison once was. Photograph: Omar Havana/Getty

Media outlet removes article where smiles were added to the faces of some victims

Prof Linda Doyle

Simon Harris congratulates new Provost – ‘a glass ceiling has been shattered’

The all-female shortlist for Trinity College Dublin’s next provost includes Prof Linda Doyle, dean of research; Prof Linda Hogan, a theologian and former vice-provost; and Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, a high-profile historian. Photograph: iStock

Online election among 800-plus staff due to take place on Saturday morning

Staff in special schools in Wexford, Dublin and Galway have been vaccinated despite a Government decision to remove teachers from the priority vaccination list in favour of an age-based approach. File photograph: Alan Betson

HSE apologises for errors resulting in school staff being categorised as frontline health workers

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s (INTO) annual congress took place online this year, broadcast from a studio in Naas, Co Kildare. Photograph: Moya Nolan

INTO congress: Some school patrons believe gay teachers are ‘intrinsically disordered’

Mr Martin said the target is for 80 per cent of adults to have their first vaccine dose by the end of June. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

All three unions back motion to hold ballots on industrial action as Foley defends changes

Covid-19 vaccination at the HSE Vaccination Centre in the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Alan Betson

HSE apologises for error, says it believed staff fitted into category of frontline worker

 Grafton Street: The easings under consideration  would relieve pressure on the contact tracing system, allowing more resources to be focused on high-risk cases. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Nphet likely to consider lifting mask requirement as extra ‘vaccine bonus’

Mary Magner, president of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation speaking to delegates at the union’s virtual congress 2021 which is taking place in a studio in Naas, Co Kildare. Photograph: Moya Nolan

INTO annual congress backs calls for major investment in primary schools

Union leaders have variously said the policy change is a “bombshell”. Photograph: David Sleator

Analysis: Change to vaccination policy could hardly have come at a worse time

Minister for Education Norma Foley speaking to the media at the INTO’s virtual annual congress which was broadcast from the Killashee Hotel, Co Kildare. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Norma Foley says decision is not ‘value judgment’ of profession, is based on science

A queue at the HSE vaccination centre in the Aviva Stadium at the weekend. Photograph: Alan Betson

Anger over ‘downgrading’ of profession as rollout shifts to age-based model

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