The Irish education system has had a long, troubled history and needs to be transformed, says a report.
The report from the Institute of Education was released yesterday.
In the first report of its kind, the report called for a review of the funding and support available to primary schools, and for a reduction in the number of students attending for their studies.
It also recommended a focus on more flexible teaching opportunities, and more emphasis on student development in secondary education.
It comes after a damning report into the funding system published last month by the Department of Education.
The Department has said that the current funding model is a major reason why the numbers of primary school students have been declining.
It is now estimated that just over 10 per cent of children in primary school today are on free school meals.
The report’s authors said they wanted to make clear that education reform is a long term project that needs to take place, and that the system must be changed in order to maintain the quality of education in the country.
But they warned that the process of reform was taking time and that there was little sign of improvement in the funding available to the schools.
“It is also clear that we need to recognise the importance of providing support to primary school teachers in order for them to be able to make a difference to the lives of their pupils,” said Professor James O’Connor.
Read moreThe report found that the number and proportion of primary schools receiving free school lunches was at its lowest level since 2000.
And while the number in primary schools that do receive the payments is increasing, the number receiving full-day accommodation, which includes meals and transport, is at its highest level since 2010.
It also noted that the numbers receiving vouchers for primary school courses are at their lowest level in decades, while the proportion of the population in these institutions receiving free or reduced-price meals has increased over the last decade.
As well as highlighting the problems with funding, the authors also said that schools need to focus on a new funding model which would provide more flexibility and better support for teachers.
They suggested a change in the way that money is distributed.
According to the report, teachers could use a “new financial support model that would provide support in a flexible way that enables them to manage the needs of their staff and students, and provide flexibility to ensure that their students have access to the best possible education”.
The report also recommended that schools should consider increasing the number that are required to work in the school in order that more can be done to support the school’s staff.
“If primary schools are to deliver the quality education that they claim to provide, it is important that schools do more to engage their staff in this role and support their teachers,” it concluded.
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