10-year-olds improve maths results - but science suffers
Irish 10-year-olds have improved performance in maths over the past four years, according to an international survey.
Despite the success, there is still cause for concern about the outcomes for Ireland in maths and science, with certain consistent weaknesses identified.
Fourth class pupils in Ireland came ninth out of 49 countries in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) - up from 17th out of 50 in 2011.
However, they were placed 19th out of 47 countries in science, showing very little improvement from 22nd place four years earlier.
In the same study, Irish second year students ranked ninth out of 39 countries, and 10th in science.
There is no recent comparison, as it is 20 years since Ireland last participated in that element of TIMSS.
The TIMSS data allows for comparisons both on the average performance of pupils and how Irish students compare with their counterparts in other countries.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said that while the trends were encouraging there is major room for improvement in both maths and science.
"We have a long way to go to achieve our ambition of being the best in Europe," he said.
The minister said the TIMSS 2015 results showed the need to hone skills in areas such as geometry and physics.