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?

Minister for Education Joe McHugh and  Minister of State for Training John Halligan at the launch of the Springboard+ 2019 programme outside Government Buildings.

Employed people eligible for courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and virtual reality

Some parishes have introduced programmes aimed at boosting parental involvement around the sacraments.

After-school religion classes are common in multi-denominational schools

A survey  reveals a strong demand for parents and local parishes to play a much greater role in preparing children for sacraments. Photograph: Getty Images

Communion and Confirmation more like ‘social occasions’ rather than religious events

There is a strong demand for parents and local parishes to play a much greater role in preparing children for sacraments, according to the findings of a survey by the Archdiocese of Dublin. Photograph: Getty

Greater role for parishes and parents in preparing children for the religious rites of passage

Youth Work Ireland says its online survey of more than 1,300 young people shows a huge appetite for education on issues such as consent, the law and contraception. File photograph: iStock

Youth Work Ireland says current laws allow schools to omit key aspects of curriculum

The vast majority of students believe the Leaving Cert is stressful and does not prepare them adequately for third level or for the world of work

Jigsaw says anxiety and stress are most common issues as it sees demand jump 35%

Donogh O’Malley’s announcement of his intention to introduce free secondary education sparked the ire of the Department of Finance. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Policy initiative paved way for decades of prosperity despite resistance by mandarins

Minister for Innovation Heather Humphreys  said the investment is set to benefit the whole country and third level institutions in particular, who partner with the SFI research centres. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Government announces €230 million funding for six ‘world-leading’ research centres

DCU’s support services were  singled out by the review team for helping to boost leadership and life-skills among students. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

DCU is first university to face review by State education standards watchdog

Educate Together   has started discussions with City of Dublin Education and Training Board, which could lead to its involvement in running St Kevin’s College on the Clogher Road in Crumlin. Photograph: iStock

Move comes amid controversy over lack of multidenominational education in area

Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche community for people with intellectual disabilities, has died at the age of 90. Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty

First L’Arche community in Ireland for people with intellectual disabilities set up 40 years ago

Exam scripts being sorted and dispatched at the State Examinations Commission in Athlone. Photograph: Alan Betson

Education authorities struggling to recruit teachers to correct Junior and Leaving Cert

Students in study areas at UCD’s James Joyce Library: Photograph: UCD

UCC’s main library has been staying open until 1.30am before exams

Ireland differs from the majority of European countries, where most children are not admitted to school until they reach six years of age or older. Photograph: iStock

More parents waiting until their children turn five before starting primary school

College authorities have been adding more and more study places each year, but have been struggling to keep up with record levels of demand. Photograph: iStock

High rents and higher expectations impact on today’s third-level students

 Nicola Cunningham and her son Kaiden at their home in Blanchardstown. ‘He effectively had post-traumatic stress, which led to this self-injurious behaviour and taking chunks out of himself.’  Photograph: Alan Betson

Kaiden (9) is one of up to 90 children with autism in Dublin 15 with no school place

Parents of children with autism and other special needs at a  protest last week to demand equal access to education at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Collins

Parents say their children are being denied the right to appropriate education

It is estimated that the combined cost of losses for ASTI members totals about €15 million. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Teachers estimated to have lost between €1,000 and €3,000 following pay freeze

Junior Cert students from Temple Carrig School in  Greystones, Co Wicklow, get  a nice surprise  before getting their results  last year. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Carl O'Brien: 'There is no binary choice between having history or none during the junior cycle'

Minister for Education Joe McHugh declined to say whether he will follow the NCCA’s advice when he is given it. Photograph: Alan Betson

Optional status of history in new reforms has drawn heavy criticism

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: ‘I’ll also organise townhall meetings to meet with them and see what we can do.’ File photograph: Alan Betson

Staff shortage is ‘greatest challenge’ facing schools, Killarney conference hears

TCD students Jemil Saidi and John Moroney  emerge from Trinity’s Campanile while participating in a recent ‘chariots of fire’ run. Photograph: Alan Betson

Initiative aims to fund academic posts, student scholarships and new campus

Students sitting the Junior Certificate. File photo. Photograph: Eric Luke

State advisory body expected to tell Minister history should be kept optional

Members of the Enough is Enough Every Voice Counts Campaign during a protest  at Leinster House. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Protestors call for increase in appropriate school places for children with additional needs

Sex education was introduced to schools in 1995. Photograph: iStock

Report finds many students have little access to education on consent or LGBT issues

Ireland has one of the highest proportions of school-leavers progressing to third level in the world, and one of the lowest proportions opting for apprenticeships. Photograph: Getty Images

The Government aims to increase the numbers choosing ‘earn and learn’ options to one in five school-leavers over the coming years

Pupils say they receive little information about issues such as consent and sexual orientation. Photograph: iStock

Teaching must change to address issues such as consent, LGBT+ issues, and porn

Minister for Education Joe McHugh: ‘On foot of local concerns in relation to waiting lists for primary schools, my department reviewed the level of primary provision in Ashbourne.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Ashbourne parents forced to travel to Louth or Dublin to find schools with spare capacity

The role of special needs assistants is likely to broaden significantly under a new support scheme for schools. Photograph: iStock

Fórsa says role of SNAs likely to be broadened under reforms

Tara O’Sullivan and Helen Fields, Dublin North branch delegates at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation annual congress in Galway yesterday. Photograph: Moya Nolan

INTO delegates say no school should drop below a floor of two full-time teachers

Guidance counsellors can play an influential role by impartial one-to-one advice. Photograph: iStock

Mothers among the biggest influences on secondary pupils’ career choices

 Pupils of Scoil Muire Gan Smal in  Inchicore, Dublin, taking part in the Daily Mile. Photograph: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Simple idea to get children running for 15 minutes a day is yielding impressive results

ASTI delegates protest as Minister for Education Joe McHugh arrives at the annual convention in Wexford. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Comments come after conflicting signals from Government over teacher salaries

Josephine Byrne, a primary teacher in Edenderry, says leave should be available for anyone who suffers a miscarriage. Photograph: Carl O’Brien

Offaly teacher tells of feeling forced to return to school despite feeling ‘broken’

Delegates said a lack of time, increasing demands of the role were barriers to effective leadership. Photograph: iStock

INTO says workloads for principals have increased exponentially in recent years

The Government says there is “no comitment to address issues outside the pay agreement at this stage”. File photograph: PA

Teachers’ unions meet for annual conferences around country

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has pledged that moves to abolish two-tier pay scales for teachers will be given “full consideration” by the Government over the coming months. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Education says there is ‘unfinished business’ on new entrant pay

Delegates display their votes at the ASTI’s annual convention in Cork last year. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

New entrant pay looks set to dominate teachers’ Easter gatherings

Jackson Cooney (8) and Daniel Murray (8) pictured on the schoolyard buddy bench at Castlemartyr National School in Co Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Benches are aimed at tackling exclusion and boosting empathy among schoolchildren

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

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