Committee Reports::Report No. 02 - Gender Equality in Education in the Republic of Ireland (1984-1991)::01 March, 1992::Report





In October 1984 the First Joint Committee on Women’s Rights issued its first report on Education (PL 2671). At that time the Joint Committee chose Education as a priority subject for consideration because it felt that many of the inequalities between the sexes were rooted in the educational system.

The 1984 Report, which ranged widely over the educational field, gave special attention to

(a)education policy including co-education;

(b)the curriculum;

(c)educational provision for girls and young women;

(d)the initial and in-service education of teachers;

(e)the position of women teachers in the teaching profession;

(f)staffing levels;

(g)adult education provision;

(h)training courses and apprenticeships.

It made 17 recommendations which were broadly aimed at eliminating or reducing discrimination in the educational system.

In October 1988 the Joint Committee invited Mr Jim Gleeson, University of Limerick to carry out a study which would ascertain the extent to which the recommendations in the 1984 Report had been acted on and set out the changes which had taken place in gender equality in education subsequent to the 1984 Report.

In May 1991 Mr Gleeson submitted his study to the reconstituted Committee. The report identifies the progress which has been made since 1984 and the issues which remain to be resolved. The Joint Committee cannot claim that all these developments took place as a result of the findings of the 1984 report but it feels that that report gave an impetus to the examination of gender issues in education which has gone some way to improving the position as it then was.

Mr Gleeson’s study is a tribute to the diligence and care with which he approached his task. It is clear, comprehensive and wide-ranging and will stand, the Joint Committee feels, as a valuable reference work in the history of education in Ireland. The strategy adopted by Mr Gleeson whereby drafts of relevant sections, and in the case of the Department of Education of the whole report, were submitted to the appropriate agencies for comment, ensures the validity of the report. So that its value may be fully appreciated the Joint Committee decided that is should be produced as an Annex to this report.

It is not the intention of the Joint Committee to discuss Mr Gleeson’s study in detail but it has decided to comment on a number of important issues which emerge from his report.


The Joint Committee welcomes the various measures against sexism outlined in the Annex (p. 47) and in particular the Department of Education’s first policy statement on gender equity issued in March 1990. This is a significant development and we hope that it will be a milestone in marking the advance of gender equity in all aspects of education.

It is hoped however that this statement will not remain merely aspirational. Genuine measures must be taken if progress is to be made and the Joint Committee expects that progress in this area will be carefully monitored by the Department of Education. We will watch with great interest developments in this field.

The Joint Committee would like to see a climate of opinion in all sections of the community which would accept gender equity as the norm. Simply replacing men with women at various levels in the educational system is not sufficient in itself. What is required is that women and men in positions of power will influence changes in the value system of the community at large so that it recognises not only a woman’s right to equal treatment but accepts it as being desirable, reasonable and normal.

This Report is being published at a time when a major review of education is taking place. A Green Paper on education is in course of preparation and consultations are taking place on a new Education Act.

The Joint Committee hopes that gender equity will have an important place in all aspects of the current debates. In this regard, all future policy documents on education should include gender equity as a central focus. When policies are adopted to improve gender equity their implementation should be monitored to ensure that they are effective in achieving their goals.

While the terms of reference of the current report did not include the issue of sexual orientation, it is hoped to address it in the future in the context of reducing discrimination and promoting tolerance.

Any assessment of the progress made since 1984 in the educational field must have regard to the economic climate during this period. Improvements in schools, resource provision, pupil-teacher ratios etc., cost money and little can be done if the money is not available.

Since 1984 the burden of Exchequer borrowing has been reduced by cutting public expenditure on a wide range of public services. Moreover a limited embargo in 1981 on recruitment and promotion in the public service became a total embargo in 1987.

The result was that resources were not available to fund many of the changes which would have been necessary to implement the 1984 recommendations relating to education. The Joint Committee notes that many of the improvements referred to in the Annex in relation to curriculum, In-service education, pupil-teacher ratio, adult education and care for the disadvantaged are dependent on the full implementation of the PESP.


38% of primary school students attended single sex schools in 1988-89 (Annex p. 33) as against 48% in 1980, while 77.25% of primary schools were mixed in 1988-9 as against 75% in 1980 - see Table 5 on page 38 of Annex.

At secondary level there has been a significant increase (16.7%) in the school going population during the eighties. It is clear from Table 3 (Annex p. 36) that the population of girls’ schools has remained static during the period 1984-85 to 1988-89 and that there has been a slight drop in the population of boys’ schools over this period. The steady increase in the population of mixed schools (Annex p. 33) is particularly significant with 48% of all post-primary pupils attending single sex schools in 1988-89 as against 58% in 1980-81.

In terms of the complete transition to co-educational system at both primary and post-primary levels, overall progress is slow (Annex p. 126) notwithstanding official departmental policy as outlined on pp. 32-33 of the Annex. It seems that this transition depends principally on pragmatic decisions in specific areas relating to rationalisation of schools and facilities. This process is not helped where there is a reluctance on the part of school authorities to cooperate in order to achieve rationalisation. The recent ESRI study, The Quality of their Education, highlights the positive contribution of co-educational schooling to preparation for life.

The Joint Committee is aware of the on-going debate on whether girls fare better in single sex schools than in co-educational schools (see pages 40-42 of Annex). The establishment in 1989 of the Gender Equity Action Research Project (GEAR) which is considering this issue under conditions in this country is a welcome development; we await its findings with interest. In the meantime we feel that the management of co-educational schools should be alert to issues which disadvantage girls and should take appropriate measures to safeguard against them.


Although the Department of Education issued guidelines for publishers in 1984/85, unacceptable material is still in use which was approved before these guidelines were laid down. The Joint Committee is concerned that this material escapes the net of the guidelines and that no textbook has to date been withdrawn from schools on the grounds that it is sexist.

In 1985 the INTO asked for the establishment of a working party on sexism in school textbooks but it was not until 1989 that such a group was set up. It was only in March 1990 that the Minister for Education announced the establishment of a representative committee to examine textbooks and teaching materials used in post primary schools. The Joint Committee regards the failure to radically revise the Cúrsaí Chómhrá programme, which is universally acknowledged as sexist, as most disappointing in view of the susceptibility of young children and the important place of Irish language in the curriculum.


The establishment of the Interim Curriculum and Examinations Board and, subsequently, of the advisory National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the introduction of the Junior Certificate represent highly significant developments which have taken place since the 1984 Report was published. Some features of the Junior Certificate will help promote gender equity: the introduction of cross-curricular themes, the nomination of a science or technology subject as a core requirement up to the end of compulsory schooling, the new pilot Technology Syllabus and the changes introduced in relation to particular subjects (see Annex p. 50). The inclusion by the Minister in 1991 of gender equity in the terms of reference of the Council itself and of Course Committees is a particularly important development. These developments are welcomed by the Joint Committee as are the curricular initiatives arising from the TENET Project, the Girls into Technology initiative, the Pilot Project in Physics and Chemistry and the recent proposals regarding the amalgamation of existing practical subjects to form one single technology subject at junior cycle.

The Joint Committee is perturbed at the failure of the Primary Curriculum Review Body (notwithstanding the Minister’s directive - see Annex p. 56), and the Primary Education Review Body to address the issue of gender equity in education. This is particularly regrettable in view of the findings of the International Assessment of Educational Progress Report (1991) which found that, while nine-year-old girls performed as well as nine-year-old boys in mathematics, boys performed significantly better than girls at age thirteen (Annex p. 68).

The recent ESRI study on The Quality of Their Education highlights the very inadequate nature of political education in our schools. The Joint Committee expressed concern about this issue in its 1984 Report. Despite the subsequent proposals for the introduction of Social and Political Studies as an examination subject there have been no improvements in real terms. The adoption of gender equity and civic and political education as cross curricular themes in the Junior Certificate is a welcome development. The implementation of this decision deserves close monitoring. The Joint Committee is concerned at the continuing low participation rates of young women in active political life.

The ESRI study, referred to above, found that while young people rated preparation for adult and working life as being almost as important as the 3R’s they thought that schools were far more effective in the cognitive area than in preparation for life. The Joint Committee welcomes the development of alternative programmes such as the Transition Year Option and Senior Certificate which play a valuable role in preparing young people for life. It also welcomes the changes at junior cycle arising out of the Junior Certificate, the many pastoral care and Health Education programmes developed at regional/school level and the proposals of the NCCA and the Primary Curriculum Review Committee that health (including sex) education be treated as a cross-curricular matter. The introduction, on a pilot basis, of a psychological service in primary schools is also a very welcome development.

The Joint Committee welcomes the publication of the Department’s guidelines on sex education and notes that a most interesting shift has taken place during the 1980’s with regard to teenage pregnancies (see Annex p. 86, Table 10); there has been a decline of 35% in the total number of births to teenagers and an increase of 34% in the number of births to teenagers outside of marriage so that only 16% of all births to teenagers in 1989 were in marriage as against 60% in 1980.

Existing provision in the areas of child sex abuse, drug abuse, emotional disturbance and specialist counselling is grossly inadequate. It is evident from the media, from research reports and from the Teacher Unions that the incidence of such problems is increasing significantly. While many of these problems require specialist help, the situation is exacerbated when one considers that Guidance and Counselling Services in schools have been curtailed due to the cut-backs of the mid eighties.

The Joint Committee notes the remarks of the Secretary of the Department regarding gender and subject choice (Annex p. 46). It is pleased about the increase in the number of girls’ schools providing Physics (especially) and Higher Mathematics and about the elimination of sexism in the allocation of subjects [apart from technical subjects] in mixed schools. While the trend is in the right direction from the point of view of subject choice (the crucial factor) there is still a lot of work to be done. The analysis of Leaving Certificate results for 1990 (Annex p. 67 ff) suggests that, while the overall achievements of girls in Mathematics/Science/ Technology compare favourably with those of boys, boys achieve proportionately more A’s in Higher Mathematics (Leaving and Inter) Chemistry and Physics to a statistically significant degree (see Appendix Tables 8). Girls out-performed boys in Intermediate Certificate Science.

Recent research into participation rates in the Aer Lingus Young Scientist Competition reveals that, while two-thirds of participants to-date have been female, young women are under-represented in the list of category prizewinners and in the list of overall award winners. This research found that young women show a preference for group projects (see Annex p. 67).

The Joint Committee is also concerned about the clear evidence of sex stereotyping in relation to fields of study at third level (see Annex pp. 73-78) and would welcome a review of the criteria being applied for entry into certain courses.

The findings of pilot projects in the field of gender equity suggest that, for change to be effective, it must be integrated into a review of policy at institutional level. This means that whole school review is an important strategy and that gender equity must be one of the issues addressed in any such review.

The Joint Committee is particularly disappointed that the conditions for participation in the Vocational Leaving Certificate (see Annex p. 68), a programme supported by the European Social Fund with an emphasis on the use of new technologies, effectively rule out female participation by requiring participants to take two of the following subjects in the Leaving Certificate: Construction Studies, Engineering, Technical Drawing. In regard to Technology at Junior Certificate the Joint Committee requests that information regarding the gender of participating teachers and students (in the case of co-ed schools) be made available, that gender differences be taken into account in the development and evaluation of the pilot programme and that external evaluation reports be commissioned and made available to all interested parties.

The findings of recent research identify a bias towards the technical development of pupils, competitive individualism and autocratic/bureaucratic school organisation. The Joint Committee is particularly concerned about the apparently singular focus on instrumental goals in boys’ schools in view of the pattern to date whereby the great majority of our decision makers in politics, public service, industry and commerce are products of such institutions. There is much work to be done in relation to boys’ schools if gender equity is to be achieved in society.

The findings of the Physical Education Association’s study in relation to gender are worthy of attention. In view of the important social and physical functions of PE these findings deserve to be seriously considered at school and central level.

The general message seems to be that, in an examination and points led system, learning experiences in non-examination areas such as the physical and politico-moral are sidelined.


The Joint Committee notes that, while gender issues are dealt with in all pre-service training programmes for primary teachers (Annex p. 25), no teacher training institution can be said to have a coherent and systematic programme on gender issues (Annex p. 12). The practice whereby all-in service courses at primary level must include a module on sexism and sex stereotyping since 1988 is welcomed.

Overall, little seems to have been done at post-primary level in this regard in recent years. While the subject-based nature of much in-service work at this level makes the treatment of gender equality more difficult than at primary level, the recognition of gender equality as a cross curricular theme means that more attention will have to be devoted to it in the future. Table 18 (Annex p. 107) shows that, out of a total of 220 teachers who attended Department of Education seminars in 1984 on gender equality in education, only four came from single sex boys’ schools. Only a limited number of seminars has taken place since 1984 and we hope that it will be possible to increase their number in future.

In 1986 the overall level of expenditure on in-service work, as a proportion of total expenditure on education, was 0.03% at primary level and 0.15% at second level (Annex p. 111). This level of provision is grossly inadequate.

The Joint Committee recognises that an EC Action Research Project to Integrate Equal Opportunities in the area of Teacher Education (TENET) has sponsored a number of extremely valuable projects at pre-service and in-service level (Annex p. 102). The Committee is concerned that adequate resources be made available for the dissemination of the work of the TENET projects.

Much remains to be done in stimulating awareness of the importance of gender issues. This is indicated by the fact that, when a sample of primary teachers was invited to rank seven educational issues in order of priority, gender equality was ranked as a top priority by only 2.1% of them (Annex p. 104). The attitude of secondary teachers would seem to be more or less similar (Annex p. 105).

The Joint Committee feels that the Department of Education should evaluate the responses of teachers to gender issues dealt with at in-service courses.

The Joint Committee notes the statement of the Irish Presidency of the EC (Appendix 5, p. 214 ff) regarding the Enhanced Treatment of Equality of Educational Opportunity for Girls and Boys in the Initial and In-Service Training of Teachers. This statement must now be translated into concrete action to achieve equality of opportunity for girls and boys in education. This could be done by placing greater emphasis on gender issues in pre-service and in-service training courses. Now that the Department of Education has established an In-Service Unit it is hoped that concrete action is not far off. Traditional models of In-Service Education for Teachers (INSET) insofar as they are based on the “information deficit model” are inadequate in themselves to tackle what is fundamentally an issue of attitudes and values.


There is an obvious relationship between staffing levels and gender equality. The cut-backs of the middle eighties have resulted in a worsening of the pupil-teacher ratio and, as can be seen from the Report of the School Guidance Committee, of guidance provision in schools (see Annex pp. 114-121 and 135-143). Diversification of subject and career choice depends on increased subject availability and on positive guidance provision as suggested by the Joint Committee in its 1984 Report. It is recognised that individual schools and authorities reflect their values and priorities when it comes to allocating resources in straitened circumstances. The improvements promised in the PESP and partly delivered in the 1992 Budget are most welcome.

The Joint Committee notes the findings of the study on Educational and Vocational Guidance Services for the 14 - 25 Age Group and of the Transition Projects (Annex pp. 123-125) which highlight the patchy provision of guidance, the lack of follow-up for school leavers and the new roles for counsellors, something which is being suggested also by the Department of Education (Annex p. 82).

The Joint Committee notes with interest the recommendations of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors regarding the importance of working with young males in single sex schools with a view to raising their awareness of gender equity issues.


The Joint Committee welcomes the Pilot Intervention Project in Physics and Chemistry which provides an attractive and cost effective model for future development and which appears to be bearing fruit in terms of the increased uptake of Physics on the part of young women at second level.

The levels of inter-institutional co-operation are very low (see Annex pp. 127-130), particularly in view of the comments of the recent OECD report which appears to suggest that such co-operation is more desirable than the abolition of small schools. We are recommending below that such collaboration should be made more attractive to schools.


The Joint Committee is dismayed that the number of female apprentices is so low. In 1989, (see Annex, Table 41, p. 149) female apprentices comprised only 1% of the total number of registered apprentices and this figure represented an improvement on preceding years.

This seems to be due to a number of factors including a marked reluctance on the part of young women to apply for apprenticeships, failure by parents in many cases to support them in their decision, the failure of industry to sponsor female apprenticeships in any numbers, the difficultly young women find in staying the course and the difficulty they have in finding employment on qualification.

In April 1990 FÁS published its Positive Action Programme in favour of women. The Joint Committee supports the objectives of this programme but feels that there should be a commitment to regularly monitor its effectiveness.

The Joint Committee feels that a long-term remedy for this situation can only be found by changing attitudes in the homes, in the schools (beginning at primary) and in industry so that young women will be encouraged to take up a career of their choice and make a success of it.

As a first step and to assist FÁS in its positive action programme the Joint Committee recommends that the State should make it financially attractive for companies to sponsor female apprentices in non-traditional trades and to offer places for those women who qualify.

The Joint Committee notes the continued existence of sex stereotyping in the area of Vocational Preparation and Training at second level and the absence of recent research data in this area. The hugh growth in participation rates in post Leaving Certificate courses in recent years (see Annex p. 159) suggests that this issue deserves urgent attention.


The Joint Committee welcomes the increase in grant allocation for adult literacy during the period 1985-90. It recognises that the Vocational Training Opportunity Scheme (VTOS), which continues to expand, provides a possible ladder to third level for those seeking a second chance and welcomes the reduction in examination fees for students taking less than three subjects in the Leaving Certificate.

Women take a considerable interest in these courses and Aontas, which carried out research on adult education in 1988 and 1989, has described women’s education as “the most vibrant, dynamic and innovative area of education”. The Joint Committee recommends that present courses be extended as far as possible to cater for the needs of adult women and men who wish to avail of them.

The Joint Committee welcomes the existence of a scheme to grant £1 000 per annum per person to 20 women (1991-2) who are pursuing a course of studies at third level as mature students. The operation of this scheme should be improved, however, in a number of respects. The conditions of eligibility relating to income should be reviewed and the desirability of paying grants in instalments as the academic year progresses should be acknowledged.

The possibility for adult women to attending day-time educational courses is limited by the fact that adequate creche facilities do not exist. The Joint Committee feels that definite action in this regard should be initiated by the Department of Education to establish creches which could cater for the children of teachers normally employed during the day at both primary and second level and for the children of adults pursuing day courses.

The high level of participation in adult courses suggests that there is a potential demand for educational courses on radio and television. The Minister for Communications should review the present broadcasting arrangements to insist that licences under the Broadcasting Act are granted on condition that a stipulated minimum time is devoted to worthwhile educational programmes designed to appeal to adult women and men. Levels of educational broadcasting on RTE are extremely low.


The Joint Committee notes the serious under-representation of women in almost all posts of responsibility at primary, post-primary and third level education, particularly at the level of principalship/senior lecturer.

In relation to primary schools, Table 51 (Annex p. 198) shows that, while more than three out of four teachers are women, more than half the principals in primary schools are male. This is due, in part, to the fact that women have not been applying for principalships in proportion to their numbers. The Joint Committee welcomes the initiative of the Teachers’ Unions in campaigning to improve the situation. It is generally perceived in the profession that women, and especially women with young children, are at a disadvantage when applying for principalship.

In the period 1983/84 to 1987/88 appointments to primary school principalships tended to be roughly in proportion to the number of applications by gender. Figures for the first six months of 1989 (Table 52, Annex p. 188) show that for the first time more women than men applied for principalships and likewise the number of women appointed to principalships exceeded the number of men.

In post-primary schools women in general and especially lay women are not adequately represented in posts of responsibility. The most obvious anomalies occur at principal level. Again there is a marked reluctance on the part of women teachers to apply for principalship.

ASTI research found that there are important differences in the motivation that men and women bring to teaching (see Annex pps. 194-196). The factors identified by the ASTI as discouraging women from applying for promotion should form a platform for positive action by the Association to deal with these issues having regard to the fact that 55% of all teachers in the secondary sector are women.

The lack of creche facilities at both primary and secondary level is a disincentive to women to apply for promotion. The Joint Committee repeats its recommendation that child care facilities be provided in such schools to help address the present situation.

Table 61 on page 197 of the Annex shows for 1984/85 the proportion of women academic staff in Universities (14.5%) and designated institutions (18%). Women are concentrated in the humanities, in junior lecturing grades and in part-time work; in fact the representation of women in senior lecturing grades was lower then than in 1970/71. Like teachers at primary and second level women are less likely than males to seek promotion; they are less likely than men to register for post-graduate degrees and more likely than man to be constrained by family commitments in terms of mobility. Both factors are relevant in considering their under-representation in senior grades. The Joint Committee is appalled at the lack of progress in this area.


The Joint Committee is concerned that there are only 27 women Inspectors of any rank in the Department of Education compared to 147 men (see Table 60, Annex p. 196). There are no women Inspectors in the top three grades and there is only one woman out of total of 14 in the grade of Senior Inspector. All the other women are working at recruitment level. The OECD Report for Ireland has also commented on this.

The Department should look at the reasons why so few women are employed at any level of the Inspectorate. If there is a shortage of female applicants this issue must be addressed to see what steps can be taken to make the Inspectorate more attractive to women.


The Department of Education has published guidelines relating to the appointment of primary school teachers and principals. The Joint Committee is in no doubt that monitoring the application of these guidelines is a matter for the Department of Education. As the Department is responsible for approving the appointment of teachers the Joint Committee recommends it should also approve the advertisements which invite applications for these posts and ensure, where necessary, that the official guidelines are respected. It should not be too difficult to produce a standardised form of advertisement for various posts.

The available evidence suggests that the management bodies at second level are becoming more aware of gender equity as an issue in recent times.

The Joint Committee welcomes the organisation of seminars to deal with non-discriminatory interview techniques and appointment procedures and recommends that such seminars should be organised on a regular basis and should cover as wide a range of persons as possible. We should work towards a stage where participation in such seminars would be a prerequisite for membership of selection boards.

The Joint Committee wishes to see a situation where all advertisements for posts in education carry the “Equal Opportunities Employers guarantee. The absence of information regarding the make up of Interview Boards by gender is a source of regret and this data should, in the opinion of the Joint Committee, be available in future.


The Joint Committee recommends that:

1.The implementation of the Department of Education’s first policy statement on gender equity be monitored annually by an external agency.

2.Gender equity be addressed in official discussions about the forthcoming Green Paper and in all future policy documents on education.

3.The establishment of co-educational schools be expedited and the management of such schools be made fully aware of the factors which can disadvantage girls in the co-education setting.

4.The findings of research conducted by the GEAR Project should be made available as a matter of urgency.

5.Steps should be taken by the Department to identify and withdraw from use textbooks containing sexist material which are currently in use in primary and post-primary schools.

6.The Department of Education should monitor all state examination papers to ensure that they do not contain sexist material.

7.The Irish language programme Cúrsaí Chómhrá, for use in primary schools, be revised as a matter of urgency.

8.Course Committees be directed to give particular attention to the inclusion of womens’ achievements and womens’ issues on their various syllabi at primary and post-primary levels.

9.The implementation of the proposed cross-curricular themes should be carefully monitored and appropriate in-service training must be provided.

10.There should be increased emphasis in schools on preparation for life. Schools which are particularly effective in this regard should be identified and encouraged.

11.All schools should be required to undertake whole school review. Such review should include in its focus issues such as preparation for life and gender equity. The necessary support should be provided for school managers and principals.

12.The treatment of gender equity in boys’ schools should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

13.Research should be initiated to establish the reasons for

(a) the lower performance of girls in mathematics at age 13 given that no gender differences exist at age 9.

(b) the statistically significant gender differences in the distribution of A grades in Higher Level Mathematics (Leaving and Inter), Chemistry and Physics.

14.The results of the pilot project on psychological services in primary schools should be published and acted on.

15.Provision for dealing with child sex abuse, drug abuse, emotional disturbance and specialist counselling needs should be put in place as a matter of urgency.

16.The condition for participation in the Vocational Leaving Certificate should be reviewed immediately so as to allow for greater female participation.

17.There should be a review of admission requirements into those areas of third level education where young women are seriously under-represented.

18.The Junior Certificate Technology programme should be externally evaluated with particular attention to gender related issues and the report should be made available to all interested parties.

19.Provision should be made for the controlled dissemination of those projects which have proved effective in the area of gender: TENET, Girls into Technology, Physics and Chemistry Project. The successful strategies developed during these projects should be extended to other areas.

20.Arising out of many of the above proposals the funding allocated to In-Service Training should be increased substantially. The model used in future should provided for consciousness raising and alternative methodologies such as active learning.

21.Where the issue of gender is addressed at in-service courses an evaluation should be carried out to consider the effectiveness of the approach adopted and to identify issues and alternative strategies.

22.The issue of sexual orientation should be considered in all future developments regarding sexism and stereotyping.

23.The main provisions of the statement of the Council and the Minister for Education, issued under the Irish Presidency of the EC, should be adopted as an agenda for practical action in the areas of pre and in-service teacher education and the treatment of gender issues at third level.

24.Help should be given to all teachers in the development of their guidance role and the concerns of the European Report on Vocational Guidance should be addressed.

25.Incentives be put in place to promote increased inter-institutional co-operation between second-level schools.

26.The implementation of the FÁS Positive Action Programme in Favour of Women should be monitored by an external agency.

27.Companies should be given attractive incentives to sponsor female apprentices.

28.Gender equity should be included as an issue in all programmes designed for the re-training of trainers.

29.Research should be carried out to establish the extent of sex stereotyping in Post Leaving Certificate courses.

30.Increased financial support should be provided for womens’ adult education groups.

31.The conditions of eligibility for the special grant for mature women students and the administration of this scheme should be reviewed.

32.Adequate creche facilities be provided for the children of teachers and of adults pursuing day courses.

33.The present arrangements for the granting of local broadcasting licences should be reviewed to ensure that a stipulated minimum time is devoted to worthwhile adult education programmes.

34.When appointments to senior grades at third level are being made cognisance be taken of the particular difficulties experienced by women in relation to mobility and undertaking post-graduate study.

35.The under-representation of women in the Inspectorate generally and in senior posts with the Inspectorate should be corrected.

36.The Department of Education should take responsibility for monitoring the application of guidelines for the appointment of primary school principals and teachers and for the approval of related advertisements.

37.All advertisements for posts in education should state that the employer is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

38.All members of interview panels should be required to undergo training in the use of non-discriminatory interview techniques.

39.Research be conducted into the constitution of interview panels and management bodies by gender.

This Report was approved by the Joint Committee on Women’s Rights on 12 March 1992.

Monica Barnes, TD