Languages to be introduced to primary schools on pilot basis

Posted in Teaching on May 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The teaching of foreign languages is to be introduced to primary schools from third class onwards on a pilot basis. The ‘language sampler module’ will be targeted at third- to sixth-class pupils in more than 100 primary and special schools …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 May]

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Study suggests overhaul of how maths is taught at primary level

Posted in Teaching on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Children’s progress in maths at the age of nine has a major influence through to Junior Certificate preparations and suggests a need to overhaul how it is taught at primary level, a leading education researcher says …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 October]

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New maths entry requirements for teachers to end marking anomaly

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“New maths requirements for entry to primary teaching training, due to be announced soon, should end the anomaly that left some high-achieving school-leavers out of the running for a course place this year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 22 August]

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Anger as maths ‘anomaly’ means some pupils fail to make CAO grade

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Aspiring primary teachers with high points will be angry over how the new grading system affects their eligibility for entry to their dream courses. An anomaly in the maths requirement for entry to their chosen profession could dash the hopes of Leaving Cert candidates who have achieved at the highest level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 August]

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Warning of teacher shortages if grades raised for trainees

Posted in Teaching on November 10th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Any sudden move to raise the grades that trainee primary teachers need in Leaving Certificate English, Irish and Maths will rule a large number of students out of entry to the courses, according to a new report …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 November]


More focus needed on maths in primary school, study finds

Posted in Teaching on September 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A greater focus on maths teaching at primary school may be needed to improve children’s performance at maths, a major study has found. While there has been a significant improvement in maths performance in recent years, the ability of children to tackle problem-solving has emerged as a real concern …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 September]

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Second survey on children’s ethnicity after ‘White Irish’ error

Posted in Legal issues on February 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Parents are getting a second chance to have their children’s ethnicity recorded in the controversial Primary Online Database (Pod). The move follows an admission by the Department of Education that it erred in only having one category of ‘Irish’ on the original questionnaire, namely ‘White Irish’ …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 4 February]

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‘Multi-racial’ oversight on school database questionnaire admitted

Posted in Legal issues on February 3rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A planned online database for primary school pupils has run into fresh controversy over the use of a narrower set of ethnic categories than those used in the census. Parents of children born outside of Ireland have complained that the only ‘Irish’ category included on the school questionnaire is ‘White Irish’ …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 3 February]

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Principals’ Conference: Keeping of pupil data policy ‘to be reviewed’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan says her department will continually review policy on keeping data on primary pupils, which it intends to hold until they reach the age of 30. The issue has been the subject of criticism in recent weeks, with Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon’s office still in talks with the department …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 31 January]

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Minister for Education: We will forget nothing, learn nothing

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 25th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“About two weeks ago, as letters started to arrive home in children’s lunchboxes, parents started raising issues with the Department of Education’s project to take children’s data (racial, psychological assessment, special needs, religion, PPS number and so on) and store it until they were 30 …” (more)

[Simon McGarr,, 25 January]

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Minister says data watchdog ‘fully satisfied’ with pupil database plan

Posted in Legal issues on January 17th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Data Protection Commissioner is fully satisfied with plans for a new primary school online database, which requires schools to hand over PPS numbers for all their pupils, Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said …” (more)

[Kathryn Hayes and Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 16 January]

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Parents cannot withhold kids’ PPS numbers

Posted in Legal issues on January 16th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Parents have been told they will be unable to withhold their children’s PPS numbers from a controversial new Department of Education database as the information will be found from the Department of Social Protection instead …” (more)

[Caroline O’Doherty, Irish Examiner, 16 January]

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Primary results due to better teachers and extra resources

Posted in Teaching on January 13th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Investment in teacher training is a factor in improving literacy and numeracy standards. Primary school pupils have benefited from additional spending over the past decade as well as a renewed focus on literacy and numeracy …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 January]


Primary pupils ‘significantly better’ at maths and reading than five years ago

Posted in Teaching on January 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Irish primary pupils are significantly better at maths and reading than they were five years ago. In fact, the first real improvements in literacy and numeracy standards among eight and 12 year olds in over 30 years have been recorded …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 January]

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Union says data collection not the work of teachers

Posted in Legal issues on January 9th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Primary school teachers were told by their union last October that collection of personal data belonging to pupils for a new database to be operated by the Department of Education was not work they should be doing …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 9 January]

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Minister for Education willing to examine 30-year retention of pupil data

Posted in Legal issues on January 8th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has said she is willing to look again at the proposed retention of personal information on primary school pupils, including their PPS numbers, ethnicity and religion, for a new primary school online database …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 8 January]

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Primary school database can keep personal information for 30 years

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Department says tool will be ‘valuable resource’ to monitor students’ progess. A new database of primary school students will gather personal information, including PPS numbers, information on ethnic and cultural background and religion. Some details will be kept for up to 30 years, it has emerged …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 7 January]

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Department urged to reinstate language programme at primary level

Posted in Teaching on October 23rd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Modern Languages in Primary School Initiative closed due to concern about ‘curriculum overload’. Calls have been made for the Department of Education and Skills to reinstate a modern language programme at primary level that was shut down two years ago …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 23 October]

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School principals calls for audit of teaching resources

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2014 by steve

“School principals have called for an audit of teaching resources as new figures published today confirm the number of primary school pupils has surged by almost 10,000 …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 June]

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Honours maths for primary teachers

Posted in Teaching on May 3rd, 2014 by steve

“Sir, – While I normally disagree almost 100% with the policies of Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, I am fully behind his proposal that candidates for primary teaching should have studied and passed higher level mathematics at Leaving Certificate …” (more)

[Des MacHale, Irish Times, 3 May]

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