Teaching Council congratulates teachers, pupils and parents on PIRLS 2016

The Teaching Council wishes to congratulate teachers, students and their parents / guardians on the findings from the PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) 2016. The results, announced on Tuesday (5 December) by the Minister for Education and Skills, show that Ireland is best in Europe and among the best in the world for literacy levels at 4th class. 

PIRLS is is the world’s largest comparative study of literacy levels at primary school level. PIRLS 2016 was conducted across 340,000 pupils, 330,000 parents, 16,000 teachers and 12,000 schools. Ireland was one of 50 countries to take part and one of only 14 take part in ePIRLS.

Commenting on the results, Ms. Noelle Moran, Council Chairperson said:

“I am delighted to see the hard work of teachers being acknowledged in this way, as illustrated by international research. This is an historic development for Irish education and we should all celebrate and acknowledge what Irish pupils have achieved, supported by their teachers and parents. It is a fantastic collective achievement which will have positive consequences for our children’s education and future. 

I note with interest that the gender gap in literacy levels has narrowed in Ireland since the last study in 2011 and look forward to further progress in this area.”

Tomás Ó Ruairc, Council Director, commented:

“It is great to see that Ireland is now being acknowledged as world class in the quality of its education. Teachers have played a vital and central role in this achievement and it is important that we recognise that. 

I also welcome the recognition which has been given to the extension of the programmes of Initial Teacher Education in contributing to this success. The Teaching Council sets the standards for these programmes and is responsible for their review and accreditation. In tandem with the other changes which we are overseeing in teacher education, we look forward to collaborating with the Department of Education and Skills and all stakeholders in maintaining and enhancing the quality of what PIRLS clearly demonstrates we have achieved at a global level – excellent teaching and learning.”