Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD Fine Gael, Deputy Thomas Byrne (FF) Senator Ivana Bacik (Labour), Deputy Donnchadh O’Laoghaire (SF) Cllr Neasa Hourigan, (GP) Deputy  Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP)and Aengus O’Maolain, (Social Democrats), at the election debate on the future funding of higher education and research in Ireland  at the TCD Business School, in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Debate hears government gives more State funding to ‘horses than students’

Gearing up for their first time to vote: Lucan Community College students (back row) Megan Miclea, Seán Egan and Lucy Rhodes; (front) Sheik Bah and Lia Stokes. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Some quarter of a million young people can vote on February 8th for the first time

New laws around admission to schools will ensure greater transparency, equity and consistency in school enrolment generally. Photograph: iStock

A ban on putting baby’s name down for school, limits on places for children of past pupils and rules for opting out of religion: t(...)

Girls scored higher than boys in skills requiring control of the body such as balance and skipping, a new study found. Photograph:   Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Findings emerged from data gathered as part of project involving DCU and GAA

“If children don’t have a solid foundation of basic movement skills how can we expect them to do more complex skills as part of organised sport?”  Photograph: Getty Images

DCU research shows children’s skills in running and jumping plateau at the age of 10

The Irish Primary Principals Network’s annual conference in Dublin  heard that many schools are struggling to source substitute teachers to cover short-term absences. Photograph: Alan Betson

Temporary move may ease teacher supply ‘crisis’ – Irish Primary Principals Network

Cillian Murphy and students:  empathy scheme seeks to show  young people “everyone has a different story and everyone’s story is valuable”.  Photograph; Nick Bradshaw

Actor Cillian Murphy promotes plan to bring empathy training to secondary schools

Trinity College Dublin’s old library. Students and third level colleges have united to call on political parties to commit to invest more in higher education to prevent Ireland “losing ground” against nternational competitors. Photograph: iStock

Group call on politicial parties to commit to extra funding to address ‘crisis’

Lee Devery: 'For me it’s the best way to learn: it’s hands-on and you practise what you learn'

Lee Devery is completing a two-year apprenticeship in property services. He is one of thousands of school leavers to choose 'earn (...)

The bulk of apprentices are still in traditional craft areas which continue to be dominated by men.

Rising number want to ‘earn and learn’, but women make up just 3% of 17,500 apprentices

Irish Times education columnist Brian Mooney, Dr Maurice Manning and publisher  Phyllis Mitchell at the recent publication of Ireland’s Yearbook of Education.

Science Foundation Ireland told of ‘clear risk’ its strategy is out of step with national plans

The Government has previously imposed financial penalties on the ASTI as they were considered to have ‘repudiated’ a public service agreement by taking industrial action.

Home-help staff may stage separate strike a day before election to push for pay restoration

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: it would be “regrettable” if teachers went ahead with the strike.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

TUI stoppage on February 4th aimed at making two-tier pay rates an election issue

Leyla Kaya, a student at Ratoath College: The school is dropping its iPad-only policy for junior cycle students. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ratoath College to change policy that led to a campaign by parents concerned at screen time

Instead of revising the marking scheme, an examiner is directed to select a number of scripts with a view to changing grades. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Claim exam scripts close to ‘grade boundaries’ deliberately manipulated up or down

An exam hall in a Dublin school between State exams. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Sources say some grades are changed to ensure consistent results each year

One student was awarded an ‘estimated grade’ after being distracted by ants on their desk. Photograph: iStock

State exams body says practice aims to ensure students not unfairly disadvantaged

Student Rhona Butler had to sit a Leaving Cert exam the day after her mother, Margaret, died. Photograph: Courtesy of Rhona Butler

Hundreds of pupils have received estimated grades under a little-known system

The State exams body said the volume of such grades awarded – typically between 100 and 150 in a given year – should be seen in the context of exams with just under 120,000 candidates and more than 1 million grades. Photograph: iStock

Measures used in exceptional situations where errors occur outside students’ control

Records indicate that last year a total of 148 students were awarded   estimated grades. Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

One Leaving Cert student given estimated grade after complaining of ants on desk

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: under new regulations parents may only apply for a place in a school in the year prior to admission.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Admissions legislation comes into force from September 2021

Fianna Fáil has called on the Minister for Education to clarify issues around the fairness of the Leaving Cert marking process. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

State Examinations Commission paper illuminates process of grade consistency

an internal report produced by the State Examinations Commission highlights key aspects of marking process where the issue of fairness is seriously questioned. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Process is generally seen as inherently fair in that every candidate is seen as the same

Using what is referred to as a bell curve, the commission adjusts marking schemes at an early stage in the marking process to ensure a similar proportion of students secure H1s, H2s and H3, etc, year after year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Marking schemes altered to ensure similar proportion of students achieve same grades

Sorting and despatching of  Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate exam scripts   at the State Examinations Commission in Athlone. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Analysis: Unpublished report highlights concerns over fairness, accuracy of system

The commission’s method of altering marking schemes is very unusual internationally. It involves diverting marks  from questions that are “easy” if too many students score high grades.

State Examinations Commission paper illuminates process of grade consistency

Creches and pre-school facilities will close on a midweek day in either late January or early February.

Organisers say under-funding of sector has resulted in unsustainable services

Minister for Education Joe McHugh with pupils of St Malachy’s NS,  Finglas (from left) Timur Sevcenko (8), Kian Franzoni (9) and Ella Groves (9), for the announcement of pilot project. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Pilot project will provide free books for 15,500 pupils in disadvantaged schools

The study shows almost two-thirds – 64% – of children reported that they have never had an alcoholic drink, an increase of 6 percentage  points since the last report in 2014. Photograph: iStock

Concern over bullying and drop in life satisfaction among girls

Elaine Dunne of the Federation of Childhood Providers said underfunding of the sector had reached crisis point and was resulting in poorly-paid staff and unsustainable services. Photograph: iStock

Childcare facilities likely to close for one day in late January or early February

TUI members during a demonstration in 2016. Industrial action is likely to rear its head again this year. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Industrial strife, mergers and Leaving Cert reform will be prominent in coming year

 Fianna Fáil’s education spokesperson Thomas Byrne: “I fully accept that a surplus is required to be maintained for lean years. However, a surplus amounting to one year’s levy should be sufficient.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Scale of skills underspend emerges as third-level sectors facing investment ‘crisis’

There are 156 full-time chaplain posts – mostly Catholic – allocated to Education and Training Boards secondary schools and colleges. The annual cost is €9.8 million. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty

Campaigners say funding discriminates against secular and minority faith parents

A total of 45 women-only posts are to be allocated over a three-year period. Photograph: iStock

Mary Mitchell O’Connor says the gender equality move is ‘game-changing moment’

Trinity College Dublin is planning a new campus at Grand Canal Quay. Photograph: TCD

Cabinet approves report recommending €150m for innovation district in Dublin

An initiative to tackle teacher shortages by allowing secondary schools to jointly hire staff in key subjects has not resulted in a single shared teaching post. File photograph: Getty Images

The Government initiative has not resulted in a single shared teaching post, figures show

Minister for Education Joe McHugh (centre) receiving a petition earlier this month calling for the development of a comprehensive policy for Irish in the education system. Also pictured are  Cliodhna Ní Dhufaigh of the  Union of Students in Ireland; Julian de Spáinn, general secetary, Conradh na Gaeilge; Antoine Ó Coileáin Gael Linn; and Aodhán Ó Deá, Conradh na Gaeilge.  Photograph: Damien Eagers

Joe McHugh to develop new blueprint to support Irish-medium education

Alexandra College Milltown, Co Dublin, charges  €7,534 per year in day fees. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Parents make major financial sacrifice in scramble to secure places at oversubscribed schools

St Columba’s College in Dublin is the most expensive private school, with charges of  €8,654 for day pupils and €23,952   a year for boarders. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Day pupil fees rise above €8,000 for the first time, while boarding fees rise to €23,000

Poverty has fallen off the radar for most voters and policy-makers in recent years. Photograph: iStock

It’s hard to convince people of the importance of child welfare policies – but there are ways

The Government  is planning to hire an additional 1,000 SNAs next year.   Image: iStock

Move by department aims to ensure pupils with disabilities can access help

Minister of State for higher education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has criticised a ‘lack of transparency’ around spending by a NUI Galway fundraising charity. File photograph : Laura Hutton/The Irish Times .

Students condemn ‘wasteful and frivolous’ spending noted in Charities Regulator report

Six new secondary schools are to be established in the greater Dublin area in September 2020. Photograph: iStock

Harold’s Cross and Goatstown secondary schools to be run by Educate Together

While women outperform men in the Leaving Cert and at third level, pay for men outstrips that of women by, on average, €14 per week within a year of graduating. Photograph: iStock

Pay for male graduates outstrips that for women by €130 a week eight years after college

While women outperform men in the Leaving Cert and third level, they earn €14 less each week a year after leaving college, rising to €130 after eight years. File photograph: Getty

Medicine, statistics and engineering graduates earn up to twice that of arts, humanities

Fianna Fáil said ‘a delay in the processing of home-tuition grants can lead to the most vulnerable children in our education system missing weeks of education’. File photograph: Getty

Claim that home-tuition grants were deliberately delayed is rejected by Government

The data shows that postgraduates from arts and humanities fields comprise the five lowest earning subjects. File photograph: Getty

Irish students set to face highest college fees in the European Union following Brexit

Funding of almost €750,000 will be available for facilities and items such as sensory play equipment and toys, assistive technologies and autism-friendly signage. Photograph: iStock

Funding announced for sensory play equipment, toys and assistive technologies

Prof Andrew Deeks, president of UCD, with Rising to the Future, the university’s strategy document for  2020-2024: ‘We  rethought our Plan B and Plan C in order to come up with this ambitious, but achievable, plan.’ Photograph: Jason Clarke

Prof Andrew Deeks says students are increasingly expected to be resilient

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said the ethos of schools would be protected. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ethos of religious schools will be protected, Minister for Education says

 Prof Andrew Deeks, president of UCD,  Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor,  and Marie O’Connor, chairwoman of the UCD governing authority, launching the UCD Strategy 2020-2024 Rising to the Future. Photograph:  Jason Clarke

University to hire 500 new academic staff and enrol thousands more students

The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) has been formally authorised to use the title of ‘university’ for the first time in 235 years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dublin institution says change will help it secure top staff, research funding and students

At NUI Galway, Laoise McNamara received funding for the study of Bone disease; and Dimitrios Zeugolis for research on cellular tissue.

Trinity, NUIG and Maynooth secure funding from ‘gold standard’ of academic research

Secondary school managers have warned the Department of Education that time-tabling meetings during class time will lead to a ‘staggering’ loss of teaching hours. Photograph: iStock

Schools advised to begin teachers’ meetings during class time in bid to diffuse row

Transition year students at a Languages Connect event at the Convention Centre in Dublin. File photo.

Supporting ‘heritage languages’ boosts wellbeing of pupils from different backgrounds

Total cost of the State’s contribution to redress for survivors of residential institutions is likely to be in the region of €1.5bn.

Religious congregations provide €110m in cash but owe twice that amount in property

Secondary school students at the Languages Connect event at the Convention Centre in Dublin on Friday.

3,000 students attend transition year languages event

Newly elected Chancellor of the University and former president of Ireland, Prof Mary McAleese (front left) in Trinity on Friday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

From one former president to another as role is inherited from Mary Robinson

Fintan O’Toole; Joan Freeman;  Prof Mary McAleese, Patrick Prendergast,  Prof Terry Hughes,  Mary Harney and  Michael Gazzaniga at the ceremony on Friday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Former tánaiste Mary Harney and Joan Freeman among other recipients

Prof Daire Keogh is to take over as DCU president next year, succeeding Prof Brian MacCraith. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Prof Dáire Keogh will take over as DCU’s fourth president next July

Until recently, official recruitment and appointment procedures did not allow  job interviews to take place using video conferencing. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Move aims to make it easier for qualified educationalists based abroad to move home

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin  has announced changes  aimed at moving the focus of sacramental preparation away from schools and towards parishes. Photograph: iStock

Archbishop of Dublin announces reforms aimed at moving sacramental preparation to parishes

Accenture says the research results point to a need to build awareness of Stem jobs in Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Research suggests students’ participation in Stem subjects ‘stagnating’ despite job growth in sector

Fifteen-year-olds in Ireland are among the best in the world at reading and are significantly above average for maths and science, according to the latest Pisa results. Photograph: iStock

Irish teens are among world’s best readers, but could do better in maths and science

Irish 15 year olds perform strongly in reading literacy, according to the latest Pisa rankings.

15-year-olds above average in maths and science, but low number of high achievers

Half of the 25 schools which sent the highest proportion of their students to third level this year were fee-paying schools

Feeder Schools list: Dominance of fee-paying sector likely to spark debate on €90m in State subsidies

A spokeswoman for the Department of Children  defended the regulations and said funding is being provided to help childcare providers with any costs. Photograph: Getty Images

Hundreds of creches must submit ‘essential’ documents if they are to reopen in new year

A representative group said some smaller childcare facilities would require costly modifications or rebuilding work if they were to get fire certs. File photograph: Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images

Many smaller facilities warn they may not meet mid-December deadline for documentation

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, gets a quick music lesson from  students during the launch of ‘Know the Score’ – a new educational resource on drugs and alcohol for senior cycle students, at Rosary College,  Crumlin. Photograph: Alan Betson

New HSE resource aims to improve pupils’ knowledge about risks of alcohol and drugs

Experts issue warnings about sharing of smartphone screens amid ‘major infestation’

Irish Times education columnist Brian Mooney receiving an honorary degree from the National University of Ireland,  pictured with NUI registrar Dr Attracta Halpin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Irish Times columnist recognised for ‘exceptional contribution’ to Irish education

Department of Education inspectors’ reports released under the Freedom of Information Act show dozens of examples of schools breaching these rules. Photograph: iStock

Campaigners say vulnerable children are losing out on vital supports as a result

Peter Kearns, director of the institute, said it was taking the move in response to growing demand from parents and students. Photograph: Brendan Duffy

Institute of Education says it is offering a more ‘academic’ fourth year due to demand

Supporters of the Save Clondalkin Convent Campaign demonstrate against plans to develop the Presentation Convent. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Locals demonstrate against Clondalkin plan involving developer Richard Barrett

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s general secretary John Boyle says schools will not be able to deliver inclusive education without sufficient resources.

Teachers criticise measure which is set to apply to enrolment policies within two years

Educate Together said it will not not apply to become a patron for two of the new schools to be established next year – Donabate and Saggart. File photograph: Getty

Parents unable to choose language of instruction in schools, says Educate Together

Poor policy support, a failure to attract world-class academics and an unhelpful policy on immigration are factors feeding  scepticism over Government’s plan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Scepticism over Government plan to build ‘best’ education system in Europe

Minister for Education Joe McHugh intends to commence legislation by 2021 which will prohibit schools from asking parents whether their children have disabilities. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Any move to close special schools and classes will require ‘careful consideration’

The NCSE says a change is needed to help remove the soft barriers that special-needs pupils face when trying to find school places. Photograph: iStock

State should consider moving to ‘total inclusion’ model, Minister to be advised

Philip McGiff and his autistic daughter Nicole, who is six and has no school place. Photograph: Alan Betson

Divisions on whether mainstream classes should accommodate all special needs pupils

Nathan Henchy, Dean Murray, Nicole Mannion and Tomas Griffin, at Jigsaw, national youth mental health service, in Pearse Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Climate change and a relentless digital revolution are taking their toll on today’s youth

A new study found just over a third of adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years (34 per cent) reported spending more than three hours online per day. Photograph: Adam Hester/Tetra/Getty

Study shows overall rates of anxiety and depression on the rise among young people

22 per cent of adolescents surveyed reported severe anxiety. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mental health study captured the views of more than 19,000 Irish young people

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has identified more than 80 children in the area who require a place in a special school or special class in the south Dublin area this year or next, but do not have one. Photograph: iStock

Minister for Education activates new law which direct schools to open special classes

Prof Michael Draper of Swansea University has published a report on the sharp rise in “essay mills”. His research indicates that as many as one in seven recent graduates may have paid someone to undertake an assignment for them.

Conference hears one in seven students have used ‘essay mills’

Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, with pupils from St Brigid’s National School in Castleknock, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Most school-age children are out of shape and need more exercise, studies find

A school in Co Dublin built by Western Building Systems which required remedial work. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Joe McHugh refuses to reveal remediation costs of Western Building Systems schools

Ayrton Kelly from Donegal on the campus of UCD. He speaks about the experiences of LGBT teens in secondary school. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Despite recent changes, many schools are not welcoming places for LGBT students

More than a third of LGBT students reported being shoved or pushed because of their sexual orientation, while just over one in 10 reported being punched, kicked or injured. Photograph: iStock

Report paints ‘bleak picture’ of life for many LGBT students, says support group

Minister for Education Joe McHugh says he wants  help schools to instil a  familiarity with the language in the next generation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

PE, art and maths to be taught through Irish in almost 20 schools

Department  report shows students in fee-paying secondary schools more likely to have access to more languages. Photograph: iStock

Fee-paying schools more likely to teach languages such as German, Spanish and Chinese

The publicly-funded school transport scheme, which buses almost 120,000 children to school, urgently needs to change,   the Department of Public Expenditure has warned. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Department calls for review of scheme as costs set to rise to above €200m next year

Scoil Bhríde in Ranelagh, Dublin, which has been closed since its heating system broke down this week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Scoil Bhríde in Ranelagh has been closed for several days since heating system broke

‘In 2016, almost half of Irish pupils said they rarely or never used computers at home for schoolwork, compared to an international average of 23%.’ Photograph: iStock

Fewer pupils using computers for homework as ‘digital divide’ opens between home and school

Ana Kriégel. Photograph: RTÉ News

The school where her murderers went has been supporting students through the year

Participants  in a new study felt senior cycle should embed ‘life skills’ in the curriculum to better prepare young people for further or higher education, employment and adult life

ESRI report finds strong appetite for senior cycle reform among pupils, parents and teachers

Suaad Alshleh:  ‘I would say, never lose your ambition, work hard and . . . you’ll get there.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Suadd Alshleh who came to Ireland with her mother ‘hopes to be a success story for others’

Pat Doyle, chief executive of the Peter McVerry Trust said the research will provide ‘robust evidence’  for  the future education strategies of the State. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Report calls for better student support instead of expelling or suspending pupils

Some of the steepest decreases in enrolments  are set to be in the west and southwest (-29 per cent), Dublin (-28 per cent), midwest and southeast (-24 per cent). Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dublin set to record decline of 28 per cent in primary schoolgoing children

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