Minister for Education Joe McHugh: says the reforms will make the process fairer and that safeguards are in place to ensure any decision to grant an exemption ‘should not be taken lightly’. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The heated debate on mandatory Irish in the classroom was rekindled this week

UCD acknowledged the 601-point course reflected strong competition for the course’s 50 places. Photograph: Alan Betson

UCD students union president says development `incredibly concerning'

Points for degrees in science, technology and engineering have jumped as students flock towards courses with strong job prospects. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Competition for high-points courses see first degree exceed 600 points

Ballybunion student Sarah O’Connor, who received 650 points in her Leaving Cert. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Boys fare better in maths, applied maths and chemistry, both at higher and ordinary level

Seventy one Leaving Cert students have not been given their exam results over fears they may have cheated.

Students warned over risks of bringing smartwatches and phones into exam halls

Latest data on first preferences shows where demand is up and down this year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Latest data on first preferences shows where demand is up and down this year

Minister for Education Joe McHugh visiting the National Parents’ Council Post Primary helpline in Croke Park, alongside  Beatrice Dooley, president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/ The Irish Times

Joe McHugh admits he was very disappointed with his own Leaving Cert results years ago

Ellen O’Carroll of the Presentation Girls’ School in Kilkenny scored eight H1s in her exams. Photograph: Facebook

Four boys and one girl from around country secure the maximum grades

With more than 421,000 additional CAO points awarded  because of the maths bonus points system, points for many highly sought-after programmes will increase.

More students sitting higher-level subjects but concern for 3,700 failing maths

Irish will remain compulsory in schools and opt-outs will continue to be made available for pupils with learning difficulties or who have spent long periods outside the State.

Irish language group warns measure could be a ‘back door’ to making subject optional

From left, Matas Martinaitis, Firhouse Community College; Caitlin Young, Institute of Education; Eric Ehigie, Moyne Community School; Caoilfhinn Ní Choiligh, Loreto College, Mullingar and Mark Seale,  CBS Westland Row, Dublin 2. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Students who appeal grades set to receive results three weeks earlier than normal

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: under the new rules students will be granted an exemption from the study of Irish “only in rare and exceptional circumstances”.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Psychological assessments no longer necessary to process applications for study opt-out

 Minister for Education Joe McHugh said the new system would make the system fairer and more supportive of students. Photograph: Alan Betson

School principals to decide on basis of standardised tests

Most third-level institutions prohibit the use of Fitbits, Apple Watches and other devices which allow users to upload and access documents. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Academics say use of electronic devices is difficult to police in crowded exam halls

Owners of purpose-built student accommodation have been accused of hiking prices ahead of new caps on rent increases coming into force next week. Image: iStock.

Prices in purpose-built facilities up by 10 to 15 per cent to €1,500 a month in some cases

Sixth-year students at Muckross Park College on their last day of school alongside nuns from the Dominican convent

Tributes to Dominican Sisters who pushed boundaries of education for young women

Dr Graham Love, former chief executive of the Higher Education Authority. ‘What is the point of having a specialist agency, conferring functions upon it and then ignoring or discouraging its advice?’ he writes. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former Higher Education Authority chief criticises Government ‘control’ over sector

The seven elected female members of Trinity College’s students’ union:  Shaz Oye, president of graduate students’ union; Gisèle Scanlon, vice-president of the graduate students’ union; Laura Beston, president of Trinity students’ union; Niamh McCay, education officer; Aisling Leen, welfare and equality officer; Muireann Kane, communications and marketing officer; Judith Robinson, entertainment officer. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Trinity’s all-female students’ union team a shift towards greater visibility in third level

SEC insists shorter timeframe will ‘not impact the quality or accuracy’ of results .

Examination body insists shorter time frame not to affect ‘quality or accuracy’ of results

A branch of Hyde & Seek in Dublin’s City Centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Parents of children at creches in RTÉ documentary to seek compensation

Minister for Education Joe McHugh:  he said   the Government was committed to tackling back-to-school costs. Photograph: Alan Betson

Legislation will require schools to consult with parents over ways to reduce expenses

More than 4,000 mature students are set to receive Central Applications Office offers (CAO) for third-level courses on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Most Leaving Cert students due to receive third level offers next month

Dozens of parents who protested outside a meeting of the Ratoath College’s board of management on Wednesday evening.

Dozens of parents protest outside meeting of Ratoath College’s board of management

Atheist Ireland said the failure of State schools to implement these measures means non-religious students are being discriminated against. File photograph: Getty

Department of Education directive was aimed at affecting up to 160,000 students

Helen O’Shea: ‘It shouldn’t be so hard to uphold a child’s constitutional right to drop out of religion.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Many State-run schools ignoring guidelines for accommodating non-religious students

An  interim report into a review of the senior cycle indicates a strong desire for the  Leaving Cert to be assessed on a staggered basis instead of facing a single set of summer exams. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Senior cycle review highlights high stress levels for students facing ‘high stakes’ exam

Sutton Park in Dublin 13 is the second most expensive private school for day pupils, with fees of €7,900 a year. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Enrolments in fee-paying schools return to boom-time levels

The annual hunt for rental accommodation is due to get under way  in a few weeks after the release of the Leaving Cert results. Photograph: iStock

Garda, banks and students’ union issue advice to avoid falling victim to fraud

About 150 doctors were affected by the cancellation of a Royal  College of Physicians in Ireland exam. Photograph: iStock

Doctors say they were forced to wait up to three hours for the exam to begin

Cork Institute of Technology has failed in its bid to secure university status with Tralee IT.

Lack of clarity over research activity may prove ‘problematic’ in future reviews

EnglishLanguage school pic

Government moves to introduce minimum employment standards for sector

Within five years of leaving college, graduates from information and communication technology courses were by far the highest earners, earning €815 a week on average. Photograph: iStock

Study tracks earnings of hundreds of thousands of graduates via PAYE system

Graduates with a PhD or doctoral degree earned the most within a year of qualification (€710 per week), followed by master’s (€560), honours degree (€475), ordinary degree (€380) and advanced certificate (€285).

Higher qualifications attract a significant earnings premium

University College Dublin. An outline of proposed legislation for reforming the Higher Education Authority Act was approved by the Cabinet in recent days.

Withholding of funds among the proposals in biggest regulation shake-up in almost 50 years

Minister for Education Joe McHugh. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Government insists moves will simply place key functions on a legal footing

A still image from a recent video by Gemma O’Doherty on YouTube. The company said her account has been terminated for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.

Move comes after video included criticism of ethnic minorities living in Ireland

Maurice Quinlivan: ‘It is absolutely scandalous that this money has not been invested in raising the skills of those in employment.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Department of Education insists investment has jumped dramatically in recent years

All six pupils at Cloghans Hill National School – ranging in age from eight to 11 – alongside school secretary Ann Shally

Ireland has an unusually high number of small schools, but many face an uncertain future

According to the Department of Children,  85 per cent of school-age childcare services operate within the new 1:12 adult-child ratio. Photograph: iStock

Some services have warned of aftercare price hikes of up to 40% in new school year

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said the Government’s National Broadband Plan would allow more people to work remotely and could help breathe new life into isolated rural schools as a result. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Joe McHugh in ‘intense discussion’ over improving pupil-teacher ratios

The European Commission says the new “European University” initiative will allow students, doctoral candidates, staff and researchers to move “seamlessly” between institutions. Photograph: Getty Images

Trinity and DCU selected as part of new ‘European University’ initiative

Minister for Education Joe McHugh is hosting a symposium with education stakeholders on Wednesday on initiatives to strengthen small schools. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Rural schools often the ‘heartbeat ’ of rural communities, says Minister for Education

Cork Institute of Technology: it is  understood to be refusing to take on the Kerry-based institute’s debts if it merges.  Photograph: Higher Education Authority

International panel raises concerns over financial viability of application

Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow are preparing a joint bid to merge and become a technological university.

Staff at IT Carlow vote to reject agreement which could pave way for merger with WIT

Minister of State for higher education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor says new women-only professorships are a “game changer”.  Photo : Laura Hutton

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

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: he said his personal view was  that there was a “unique role for history in the junior cycle curriculum”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Curriculum advisory body to issue report on implications of making the subject mandatory

Digital technology means bullying  can now follow children home. Photograph: Getty

Call for clear legislation to compel schools to have disciplinary codes against harassment

The school principal said the move was prompted by the school’s student council and had been agreed by the school’s board of management and parents. File photograph: iStock

Wicklow school to allow boys wear skirts or girls to wear trousers

Irish third-level institutions have been left in the slipstream of rival jurisdictions such as China which are benefiting from massive investment.

Analysis: More private funds and autonomy needed as third level curbed by legacy of cuts

University College Dublin climbed eight places to 185th in the latest QS World University Rankings. File photograph: Alan Betson

Crowded classrooms and limited research capacity hinder performance of institutions

Ro Lynam’s exhibit Slum room 400 euro permonth headspace not included. Based on her accommodation in Dublin, it is part of NCAD’s graduate show. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

NCAD director says creativity may be more vital than Stem subjects for jobs of tomorrow

Sharon Saunders, from  Tallaght, Co Dublin, pictured with her son Scott  (9). Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Scott Saunders (9) does not have appropriate school place for the coming academic year

Record numbers of third-level students are receiving counselling for mental health problems such as anxiety. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

New data shows sharp rise in cases of self-harm and identity issues among students

Julieann McGovern and sons Dylan (5) and Cillian (7) from Drimnagh at a  protest over special needs in Dublin organised by Enough is Enough. Photograph: Fran Veale

Parents protest in Dublin and Cork over shortage of special needs places in schools

Liam Edwards, owner of Jim Edwards restaurant, Kinsale, Co Cork. “I’m seeing restaurants closing a few days a week because they don’t have the staff or they’re trying to keep them fresh,” he says. Photograph: Provision

Restaurant association says education system is partly to blame for the staff shortages

Trinity access programme graduates  Mark Egan, Mary Geraghty, Karina Grustane, Mark Richmond and Rona Askins after receiving their certificates in Trinity College on Friday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley for The Irish Times

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds on course to complete degree programmes

Minister for Education Joe McHugh met with hundreds of Irish teachers in meetings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Thursday this week at a time when many schools in Ireland say they are facing a ‘crisis’ in teacher supply. File image:  Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Education visits United Arab Emirate as part of ‘fact-finding’ mission

The Ardagh Chalice, which featured in the Leaving Cert art paper.

Ardagh Chalice, Georgian architecture and impressionists feature in ‘very nice’ paper

 Fianna Fáil education spokesperson, Thomas Byrne:  Practice is  a ‘national scandal’. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Lack of data means practice is a ‘hidden scandal’ that is not being monitored

Niall Muldoon,  Ombudsman for Children, said safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that the use of a reduced timetable is time-limited, in the best interests of the child and put in place without putting any pressure on the child’s parents or guardian.

Ombudsman for Children urges Government to monitor practice in schools

Schools will receive 5 per cent more in capitation funding from September 2019. Photograph: iStock

Department of Education circular confirms 5% restoration of school capitation fees

Minister for Education Joe McHugh is due to meet with hundreds of Irish teachers at meetings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

McHugh visits teachers based in UAE as Irish schools struggle with staff shortages

Leaving Cert students  Jake Turley,Eleanor Hartnett and Annabelle Ponsonby following today’s exams at Sandford Park School, Ranelagh, Dublin.  Photo: Tom Honan

Higher level ‘easier’ but ordinary level more difficult than normal

PE teacher Agata Suszczynska (left), principal Declan Hughes and chairwoman of St Tiernan’s board of management Labour Cllr Lettie McCarthy. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Ballinteer Educate Together National School also gets go-ahead for new Dundrum home

  Anthony Lynam (80) from Inchicore, Dublin, who completed his Leaving Cert English exams. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dubliner Anthony Lynam is one of the oldest students to ever sit the State exams

When asked if the Government would consider more pay for teachers based in the greater Dublin area, the Minister replied that the cost of living was also an issue for other professions. File photograph: Getty

Minister promises to tackle obstacles preventing return but cautions on a ‘quick fix’

Irish teacher: Denise Somers, who has been teaching in Abu Dhabi for a year, can earn a lot more in the Middle East

Thousands of Irish teachers work in the Gulf states – and many are reluctant to return

Parents  sign a petition to review Ratoath College’s iPad-only policy, organised by a group of concerned parents, at the village supermarket. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Ratoath College’s iPads-only policy sparks controversy over use of technology

Minister for Education Joe McHugh is prepares to host a series of ‘town hall’ style meetings in the UAE next week to encourage emigrant teachers to return home. Photograph: James Connolly/PicSell

Moves comes as management bodies and teachers’ unions warn of a ‘crisis’ in supply

Sylvia Plath’s appearance in Leaving Cert English paper two prompted relief in exam halls across the State.

Students shared their relief on social media in the minutes following the exam

From left:  Katelyn Hart, Miruna Toma, Anna Piela, Andreea Sandy, with Casey Ralph and Geri Dornan, look over the Leaving Cert English paper at Mount Carmel Secondary School,  Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Leaving Cert English paper one and home economics

Caitlin Moran features in this year’s Leaving Cert English paper one. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Caitlin Moran features in this year’s Leaving Cert English paper one

Kate Clanchy: her evocative writing is a celebration of the most creative, passionate and influential of jobs

Review: Kate Clanchy provides piercing portraits of children in crisis and teenagers trying to fit in

Jack Lynch Blennerville and Alex O’Shea  of Brookfield College in Tralee prepare for their exams. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Minister for Education says changes to this year’s exams aim to reduce stress levels

The proportion of Leaving Cert students taking on higher-level subjects looks set to match last year’s record numbers.

Two additional days have been added to the timetable to minimise exam clashes

Minister Children and Youth Affairs Katharine Zappone. A spokesman for  the Minister said that “overall” her department did not expect to see an increase in “average” school-age childcare fees. Photograph: Eric Luke

Childcare providers warn that new adult-staff ratios will increase costs

It is estimated that by 2020 Ireland will have more than 70 different apprenticeships on offer, with awards ranging from certificate to PhD level. Photograph: Getty Images

Career opportunities: ‘Earn and learn’ options are proving more popular for students

Some 85 per cent of teachers surveyed said it would be unacceptable if the same template of syllabus design used at junior cycle was to be used for  the Leaving Cert

Survey of 700 science teachers says lack of clarity is leading to anxiety and frustration

Martha Byrne and Con O’Callaghan of Cuala GAA club with the Sam Maguire and Brendan Martin cups. Both players have benefitted from the new GAA initiative. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

GAA top brass sees Cuala-Amgen deal as offering a template for other sponsors

Parents of children at Ratoath College at a meeting on Thursday night who expressed concern over the school’s ‘iPads-only’ policy for junior cycle students.

Parents say children are distracted and spending too much time on screens

The idea emerged following a meeting between student Rhona Butler, who lost her mother during the exams  last year, and the Minister for Education Joe McHugh. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Students to be given option to be absent from exams and offered alternative exams in July

First year students with Surface Pro devices using tablet devices as a learning resource during their Spanish class at Coláiste Bhaile Chláir. Photographs: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Parents at a Co Meath school are refusing to buy tablets for their children

Angela Kaya and her daughter Leyla at their home in Ratoath, Co Meath. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Ratoath College’s tablet-only policy draws criticism from parents over learning concerns

Groups representing children with autism, intellectual disabilities and Travellers are due before an Oireachtas committee on Thursday.

Some children with behavioural problems face school day of just an hour a day

A protest outside Castleknock Educate Together National School over the planned use of a Catholic agency in delivering a day-long sex education class.

Protest over plan to use Catholic agency at Castleknock Education Together school

The 10-year National Development Plan provides for investment of €5bn in the higher- and further-education sector over the next decade. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Watchdog questions capacity of institutions to manage large-scale construction projects

There are a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses available for entry to teaching. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ask Brian: A variety of pathways are available whether you’re a school-leaver or mature student

There will be a record 15,950 special needs assistants in school in the coming year, supporting about 37,500 pupils.

Schools set to receive confirmation of individual allocations from midday on Monday

A major group of Irish citizens had no vote in this week’s elections and referendum: children

There is a  shortage of examiners just over a week  before the start of the Junior and Leaving Cert. Photograph: The Irish Times

Shortage of examiners looms just over a week before starts of Junior and Leaving Cert

The primary school principal said he had no political affiliation.

‘In my 25 years, nobody from Fine Gael has ever called to the school or even phoned’

Cork Institute of Technology. Photograph: Higher Education Authority

Lecturers at CIT and IT Tralee say management has not addressed their concerns

While there continues to be a significant surplus of applicants over available places for teacher training programmes, demand has fallen since 2012. Photograph: iStock

Academic calibre of trainee teachers has dipped but remains high

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology: In an email to staff on Tuesday, GMIT chairman Cormac MacDonncha said he had accepted Dr Barry’s resignation. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

President has been on sick leave from the institute since last summer

Three out of every four teachers feel some pupils in their classes are anxious about taking standardised tests and about half feel parents take the results too seriously. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

Pressure to perform can lead to pupils being ‘taught to the test’, study finds

CIT president Barry O’Connor. Photograph: Darragh Kane

CIT president understood to be strongly opposed to any 50-50 split in senior roles

New Institute of Technology Tralee sports academy: facing a capital deficit of €3-€4 million and will have running costs of €50,000-€100,000. Photograph: Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus

Analysis: Finance woes and management positions threaten creation of new university

The Institute of Technology Tralee has been running operational deficits of between €1-€2 million over recent years. Image: Google Maps

Financial problems pose threat to plans to create Munster Technological University

Cliodhna Halpin, a learning support teacher at St Joseph’s National School, Bonnybrook, along with pupils  Max Maples and Leannah McCarthy help launch a DCU initiative to celebrate the ransformative role of teachers. Photograph: Julien Behal

Public invited to share personal stories of exceptional teachers

Sport for all: Leinster rugby player Joe Tomane at the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Summer Camp at Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

So much choice – but should you cater to your child’s interests or challenge them?

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