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Low marks for Irish and maths teaching in inspector's report

TEACHERS' representatives have admitted there are flaws in the way some subjects are taught, following the publication of a report on Irish schools.

The Chief Inspector's Report 2010-12 has chalked up significant weaknesses in the education sector.

It found that there were problems in the teaching of Irish and maths.

And it said that schools must do better on their communication with parents.

The report is based on visits by inspectors to 93pc of primary and post-primary schools over two years.

The chief inspector expressed particular concern about the teaching of Irish at both primary and post-primary level.

Department of Education chief inspector Harold Hislop said a "very significant" 24pc of Irish lessons in primary schools were less than satisfactory.

It found that the quality of learning in Irish was problematic in 32pc of cases – as many as one in three students.

In 20pc of schools there were deficiencies in planning for teaching the subject, the quality of teaching was only "satisfactory or better" in 77pc of classes and the quality of learning was less than satisfactory in 26pc of lessons.


It also points to weaknesses in Maths teaching at post-primary level – but there is a hope that the new Project Maths syllabus will overcome those problems.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said while the report acknowledged all the good practices taking place on a daily basis in schools, it also showed a system "screaming for reform" in some areas.

Teachers unions reacted positively to the report – the TUI said that it endorsed the "high quality of teachers and teaching in Ireland, with 87pc of parents at second-level happy with the teaching standards in schools".

But the TUI said that there were major challenges for schools and teachers with growing student numbers and the increase in pupil-teacher ratios.

ASTI general secretary Pat King said that the report demonstrated that second-level teachers and schools work in a "transparent and accountable manner".

Mr King added that it must be seen in the context of severe cutbacks to second-level schools in recent years.