The INTO says  class sizes in primary schools should be capped at 20 pupils to ensure teachers can give students the individual attention and support they need. Photograph: iStock

INTO calls for cap of 20 pupils per class to ensure children reach their full potential

Teachers from several unions protest in 2018. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Department, unions issue statement suggesting review mechanism may be agreed

A TUI lunchtime protest outside Greenhills College, Dublin, over pay inequality last year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Union says graduates are rejecting profession, leaving teaching gaps in key subjects

Minister for Education Joe McHugh speaks at the Irish Primary Principals’ Network’s annual conference in Citywest last January. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Former teacher Joe McHugh is popular with educators – but is he too close for comfort?

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said that there is “unfinished business” to be addressed on the issue of pay equality. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

New entrant pay rates set to dominate teachers’ conferences this week

Panels of substitute teachers are to be employed on full-time salaries to help primary schools source teaching cover at short notice. Photograph: iStock

Many schools say they are forced to rely on unqualified or retired staff to provide cover

A satellite view of a 9.5 acre site in Goatstown that was  formerly an Irish Glass Bottle recreational facilities. Photograph: Google Maps

Site for primary and secondary schools likely to be among most expensive in country

Schools may have to close facilities outside of school hours due to restrictions on hiring caretakers. Photograph: iStock

Recruitment embargo on maintenance staff is raising health and safety concerns

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has been called upon to seek urgent policy advice from the National Council for Special Education on the issue of school exclusion. Photograph: Jim Coughlan

Children with autism have been expelled or withdrawn due to inadequate supports, say families

Nicole Duggan and her son Riley: ‘He’s the funniest person I know. He’s obsessed with Supervalu’

Nicole Duggan has been trying to find a place for her son since he was three months old

‘The school tried its best, but they were struggling and ill-equipped’: Suzanne Voakes and her son Rian (6). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Hundreds of children with autism are being failed by the State education system

Alison Field and her son James (5). She has been refused a place for her son in 10 schools in the north Dublin area. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

James Field is due to start school next September but is unable to get a place

The institute found that more than two-thirds of students identified anxiety, self harm and suicidal ideation as the most common issues students were presenting with. Photograph: iStock

Demand for support rising for self-harm and suicidal ideation in secondary schools

Laura Mulvey, whose daughter attends Scoil an Duinnínigh, in Co Dublin, is frustrated by unclear answers about the divestment process. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Everyone agrees churches run too many schools, but nobody wants theirs to leave first

The Teaching Council’s draft guidelines say teachers should ‘never accept or initiate Facebook friend requests with current students’. Photograph: Getty

Draft guidelines require teachers not to make Facebook friends with students

A vote was due to take place next week by parents to measure their interest in divesting from a Catholic school to another patron body in the area. Photograph: Thinkstock

Catholic Archdiocese says parents should be fully informed amid claims Christmas ‘will be cancelled’

Student numbers in higher education are forecast to grow by up to 25 per cent over the coming decade due to a demographic bubble.

Irish Universities Association warns of intolerable strain on university system

Minister for Education Joe McHugh hits out at  claims  that students would be prevented from celebrating events such as Christmas or Easter under a multidenominational patron. Photograph: Jim Coughlan

‘Inaccurate claims’ about patronage creating fear and uncertainty, says Minister

UCD: The report was commissioned by the Irish Universities Association, which has been highlighting what it says is the absence of a sustainable funding model for Irish universities.

Study shows students receive €100,000 more over lifetime than if they had forgone degree

Christmas crib. The parents’ association of St Oliver Plunkett’s School in Malahide has warned that the loss of the school’s religious ethos could lead to the cancellation of nativity plays and carol services. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Catholic schools in north Dublin are resisting plan to divest their patronage

At St Oliver Plunkett’s School in Malahide, the parents’ association warned that the loss of the school’s religious ethos could lead to the cancellation of nativity plays and carol services. File photograph: Thinkstock

Resistance to Government request to divest Catholic patronage in north Dublin

Schools are to be equipped with new energy-efficient windows, heating systems, lights and renewable technologies under a new pilot project. Photograph: iStock

Government-funded pilot project is model for national programme to retrofit schools

More work is needed to ensure greater equality of access to third level, the president of the Associaton of Community and Comprehensive Schools has said. Photograph: iStock.

School management body president says equality of access needed in higher education

Under the pilot project, SNAs will be automatically provided to schools at the start of the school year based on their profile rather than number of pupils diagnosed with disabilities. Photograph: iStock

Pilot scheme breaks link between a diagnosis and access to special needs assistants

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is not inclined to go down the road of increased student contributions or a student loan system. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Leo Varadkar rules out student loans or increases in annual €3,000 contribution

Students, in particular, support continuous assessment via regular class tests. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Proposed shake-up could result in biggest changes to State exam in half a century

There is a strong consensus on the need for change to the Leaving Cert.

With rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence, skills for work success are changing fast

The observations will feed into a report to the Minister for Education Joe McHugh. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Consensus emerges for more technical and creative pathways for Leaving Cert students

A petition signed by more than 500 TCD students calls for the funding of the University Times to be cut to €3,000, the current equivalent of a single edition. Photograph: iStock

Move follows row over use of a recording device to report hazing allegations

Actor Daragh O’Malley delivers  the speech of his father, former minister for education Donogh O’Malley, in which he announced free second level education ove 50 years ago.

Actor Daragh O’Malley delivers father’s seminal 1967 announcement

Toilet in classroom at Charleville CBS Primary, Co Cork, where part of the roof recently fell in.

Charleville CBS Primary school demands plans for new building within weeks

The Court of Appeal inherited a large volume of work from the Supreme Court when it was established as a new court in 2014, while it is also dealing with significant numbers of new cases.

Delays of almost two years for civil cases to be heard

Kevin Donoghue, of Forsa, Karl Byrne of Siptu, Séamus Lahart, President TUI and Zak Aboukrhes of ISSU with Síona Cahill, president of USI at a protest in Trinity college Dublin to highlight concerns  about investment in Irish higher education. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Students and lecturers stage lunchtime protests to highlight ‘growing crisis’

Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim-Roscommon border, after it had been damaged by fire a month ago, on January 10th. File photograph: Brian Farrell

Decision not to open centre at former hotel follows ‘difficulties with lease agreement’

A  handbook on how to create safe spaces for LGBT teens in secondary schools has been launcged by Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Finn. Photograph: Som / CIT LGBT Society

Handbook for secondary schools on how to set up LGBT-friendly after-school clubs

Schools across Ireland are being encouraged to sow Lumper potatoes this spring to commemorate the Irish Famine.

Variety which millions of Irish depended on was destroyed by blight from 1845 onwards

Catholic schools still account for 90 per cent of primary schools across the State. Photograph: iStock

Multidenominational is the fastest growing category of school by ethos

Eilish Meagher of St Audoen’s school, Cook Street, Dublin, says she has concerns for the safety of pupils due to drug dealing, addicts injecting outside the school and street fights. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Principal of Dublin national school says authorities are ignoring impact on pupils

Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor says harassment and assault are experiences too common for many third-level students. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Report ordered by Minister recommends ‘transparent and accountable’ protocols

UCC students posting a mural  which tackles rape myths and normalised everyday abuse to the wall of the Boole Library. Photograph: Clare Keogh.

Analysis: Sexual harassment and rape remain major issues on campus

Louise Crowley, a senior lecturer in law, says UCC’s bystander initiative is helping to create a safer campus. “We are seeking to shatter the false consensus over the normality or acceptance of inappropriate behaviour.”  Photograph: UCC

UCC’s ‘bystander intervention’ is being made available to all 22,000 students

The Leaving Cert higher level Irish paper

Is it fear or loathing that made 9,500 students sit out the test in 2016 – and does it matter?

Several thousand school children rally in a climate protest  in Bergen, Norway. Photograph:  EPA

Any move to endorse walkouts poses welfare and safety risks for students

A TCD Hist member speaking on the opposition side against the motion 'This House Would Vote for Mitt Romney to be the next President of the United States of America'. File photograph: Alan Betson

Trinity College Dublin Historical Society to celebrate its gilded, and star-studded, history

Alan Hawe murdered his wife Clodagh and their three sons - Liam, Niall and Ryan - before taking his own life in August 2016.

Castlerahan NS says reputation of staff damaged by claims killer accessed porn on premises

More than 3,000 students without official exemptions opted not to sit the Irish Leaving Cert exam in 2016.

New data shows thousands of pupils without exemptions are choosing not to sit exam

The Government has previously committed to freezing fees for UK students starting undergraduate courses in 2019. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Demand up for language, humanities courses and down for journalism, theology

Prescription drugs were linked to seven out of 10 deaths, or 238, by overdose in 2016. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Just 5% of drug-related deaths are among people who inject drugs

The most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show that women were paid 14 per cent less than men in Ireland in 2014, based on gross hourly earnings.

European Commission report calls for greater steps to narrow gender pay gap

The Health Information and Quality Authority carried out an unannounced inspection last August into Woodvale Group, a residential service for 12 adults operated by the Daughters of Charity.

Report finds some staff not trained to give medication to residents

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Education Joe McHugh and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor  at the launch of the Government’s  education plan  at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Varadkar says making too many subjects compulsory risks overloading curriculum

While the Government has previously pledged to freeze fees for UK students starting undergraduate courses in 2019 only, an amendment to the Brexit Omnibus Bill would maintain this system indefinitely. Photograph: iStock

Amendment to Brexit Bill will protect existing fees regime in event of hard Brexit

Engineers Ireland says  the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet current and future needs.  Photograph: iStock

55% decrease in civil and building engineering graduates over the last five years

Sara Morais, 19, a Leaving Cert student in Gort, Co Galway, has appealed to authorities to help resolve her legal status so she can attend university. Photograph: RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Brazilian students arrived in Galway during boom years with their working parents

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the Cabinet has agreed to legal changes which will pave the way for the college to be awarded university status. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Change will help in securing ‘top-level’ staff, research funding and students, CEO says

‘The ASTI has repeatedly refused to amend the wording of its advice, particularly in relation to teachers’ responsibilities to  provide for students with disabilities,’ said Adam Harris of the AsIAm charity. Photograph: iStock

Autism charity issues warning following ASTI and TUI instructions to members

This survey indicates that nearly 40% of third-level students  say colleges are poorly funded and this sentiment rises among those with post-graduate degrees. File photograph: Getty Images

Simmering debate on loan scheme sidelined in latest survey which endorses status quo

Clodagh Hawe and her three sons were murdered by Alan Hawe before he took his own life in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, in August 2016.

Minister to meet mother and sister of woman murdered, along with three sons, by husband

Many students say the Leaving Cert is causing stress, burnout and mental health problems. Photograph: The Irish Times

Students say senior cycle pressure is causing stress, burnout and mental health problems

Some 2,250 children are waiting for specialist mental health treatment, according to the Children’s Rights Alliance. Photograph: iStock

Children’s Rights Alliance expresses concern over impact of delays on young people

The teacher-sharing scheme will start from the beginning of the 2019/20 school year and will be reviewed after the first year of operation

Many schools struggling to hire teachers in subjects such as maths, science and languages

An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study indicates that 6% of university graduates are functionally illiterate. Photograph: Getty Imagfes

‘Some of the stuff I was grading was the worst I’ve ever seen – even from good students’

Minister for Education  Joe McHugh  and President of Maynooth University, Philip Nolan at the opening of the new school of education at Maynooth University. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Science and maths teachers hired to work abroad despite acute shortages in Irish classrooms

The patron bodies for 12 new primary schools will all be non-denominational or multidenominational in nature.

Educate Together awarded patronage of seven new commuter belt schools

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board chief executive Dr Deirdre Keyes will attend the Dáil public accounts committee on Thursday.

Criminal probe into concerns over spending of taxpayers’ money

Despite the OECD findings, latest employers’ surveys indicate that most businesses are happy with the standard of Irish graduates. Photograph: iStock

Up to 6% of Irish university graduates are functionally illiterate

A total of 78 per cent of graduates are in employment or due to start a job nine months after leaving college, the latest figures show.

Starting salaries rising, employment rates climbing and emigration going down

Overall, 78% of the class of 2017 were in employment within nine months of graduation.

Of working graduates, 90% find employment in Ireland with average starting pay at €33k

Nine months after graduating,  those whose studied education and teaching have the highest reported average salaries, at €38,701.

Higher Education Authority reports 90% of graduates get jobs in Ireland

Health benefits: “Kids who exercise have better attention spans and can store, retrieve and process information better than those who don’t.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Some 15-year-olds are less healthy than their grandparents. How do we avoid an epidemic?

The changes are being introduced in the wake of a High Court challenge taken by Wexford student Rebecca Carter. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Changes mean students will have to wait just 48 hours for offers after results

Employers rate further-education graduates slightly higher than college graduates in areas such as team working, commercial awareness and entrepreneurial skills. File photograph: Getty Images

It seems increasingly clear that student aptitude should determine learning pathways

Many colleges have low minimum entry requirements for what are often highly demanding courses. Photograph: Getty Images

ETBI chief says many students may flourish in more hands-on further education courses

In advice to members late last year, both the ASTI and the TUI told members not to implement individual education plans. Photograph: Getty Images

Department of Education issues warning to secondary teachers’ unions

In some individual courses, only a handful of students are making it to the end.

Significant number of students with low CAO points are struggling

A gender gap is present across all institutions and levels of study, although it  varies significantly across different colleges and levels of study. Photograph: Getty Images

Study shows male students with lower Leaving Cert points more likely to drop out

The highest non-completion rates were in courses such as computing (45 per cent), hospitality and services (35 per cent), and engineering/construction (33 per cent). Photograph: Getty

High non-completion rates in certain areas of ‘huge concern’ to education authorities

Minister of State for higher education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said about 4,000  Irish students in the UK and Northern Ireland were postgraduate students. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Irish students may stay home from UK over fees uncertainty, Oireachtas committee hears

The concluding semi final of The Irish Times Debate took place in UCD on Monday night. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Student teams debated decision to invite Pope to Ireland in hotly contested competition

Many students give up sport in the lead-up to the Leaving Cert.

Age indicates a trend towards neglecting fitness in the lead-up to the Leaving Cert

Trinity College Dublin has had a number of cases of mumps confirmed over the past week or so. Photograph: Getty

Cases of the virus confirmed in Trinity College and some schools

The Royal College Surgeons’s new medical education building on York Street.   The RCSI is set to become the country’s eighth university under legislation likely to pass through the Oireachtas shortly

Status matters more than ever in fiercely competitive global education marketplace

 RCSI is planning to expand to create a ‘university quarter’  in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

New legislation would enable 235-year-old college to secure university status

Appeal documents filed on behalf of the Minister for Education Joe McHugh show he will argue that no such right to a third level education  exists Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister promoting greater access to third level while arguing no one has a right to it

Rebecca Carter: won a landmark case in the High Court after her points were inaccurately added up.   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Court ‘erred’ in Leaving Cert student’s case over CAO points, Joe McHugh believes

Some union and school management bodies have suggested that oral   exams should be held during the Easter break, which could make it easier to source teachers. Photograph: Getty Images

State Examinations Commission may recruit teachers right up to start of exams

A study into the implications of longer working lives says employers will need to invest in redesigning offices or factory floors to allow older workers to thrive for longer. Photograph: Getty Images

DCU report says proportion of workers aged over 65 is set to increase dramatically

More  than 73,000 people have applied through the  CAO for a place in higher education Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Modest 400 applicant increase reverses last year’s fall in applications

Last year, some 2,971 students availed of exemptions from Irish for entry to the NUI, an 8 per cent increase in just three years. Photograph: Alan Betson

Long-standing policy has been under review in light of diverse student population

Minister for Education  Joe McHugh said overtaxed substitute teachers will be repaid in full as soon as possible. Photograph: Alan Betson

Temporary staff have had hundreds of euro wrongly deducted from their wages

A total of 80 per cent of TUI members at Cork Institute of Technology (above) and 68 per cent of members at IT Tralee voted in favour of the merger.

Formal application to create technological university for Munster likely within weeks

A total of 14,000 young people,  including hundreds of Irish,  are taking part in education and training programmes in the UK under the Erasmus+ programme Photograph: iStock

Hundreds of Irish students participating in Erasmus programme had faced uncertainty

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Trinity College said the university “takes matters such as these very seriously and absolutely condemns such practices”.

Initiation ceremony allegedly involved members being told to strip to their underwear

‘Funding per student has declined, and third-level capital infrastructure is underfunded.’ Photograph: iStock

Research finds Ireland is one of only two European countries where system is at risk

Mark Ronan, the new headmaster of King’s Hospital school in Dublin. Photograph: Chris Bellew/ Fennells

King’s Hospital: 350th anniversary, bullying allegations and growing numbers of boarders

In particualr, children in commuter-belt areas are seeing longer journeys to school, earlier in the morning, than previous years. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Children with long commutes or in need of pre-school care travelling earlier than before

In international reading assessments,  Irish children are the best readers in Europe and among the best in the world Photograph: iStock

Young ‘digital natives’ more likely to skim longer pieces and not take notes when using screens

The consent workshops, developed by researchers at NUI Galway, will be offered to transition-year students

NUI Galway researchers devise new national ‘active consent’ programme

Narrowing the education gap: pupils at Francis Street CBS primary school, in Dublin, in a yoga class

In Irish schools, middle-class girls thrive but boys from working-class backgrounds struggle

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has signalled he will establish panels of substitute teachers who would be employed on full-time salaries to provide cover in schools at short notice.

Many schools now rely on unqualified or retired staff to fill posts, conference hears

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