Major changes have been proposed for Irish primary and secondary school curricula which could see less focus on religion and more mental health classes.

Religion could be removed from the core curriculum in primary schools, while schools will be encouraged to place a bigger focus placed on English, Irish and maths.

The Irish Times reports that the proposals from policy makers in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment suggest that schools will be free to decide how much time to spend on religion classes.

Up to 60% of the primary school curriculum will be spent on core subjects English, Irish and maths if these proposals are taken on board. The remaining 40% will be left to the individual schools to decide on what is taught. Religion will fall into this flexible time that will also be used for roll calls, breaks and school events.

Coding and computer education look set to get an extra focus in Irish schools

Other calls have been made for more time to be focused on computer coding and mental health.

Irish Primary and Secondary Schools look set to get mental health classes to address the issue of suicide in the country.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Mental Health Minister Helen McEntee said that there are plans for secondary school students to spend 300 hours studying mental health before sitting their Junior Cert exams.

Social media and the internet will have a prime focus in the proposed mental health classes

Ms McEntee said that the €853million budget for mental health will be focused on bringing in 24 hour mental health care across all Ireland. This includes classes for all young people, from 0-25 years of age. There is a need for classes to focus on social media and celebrity culture, she told the paper.

The new health and well-being programme from the Department of Education is set to address mental health problems with young people as a preventative measure to help young people deal with personal problems from an early age.