By second year,  females from middle-class professional backgrounds maintain interest in education while another group begins  actively disengaging from school work. Photograph: Getty Images

Children return to school today after the Christmas break and for many of those in third year the mock Junior Certificate exams are only weeks away. (...)

  Some 400 hours  are to be dedicated to a new subject called ‘wellbeing’, in contrast to 240 hours for maths. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Pisa, the OECD summary of how well 15 year olds perform in science, maths and reading, has found that enquiry-based learning does not result in higher(...)