A new report by the European Union’s education commissioner has suggested that Ireland’s high school textbooks are outdated and are not meeting current standards.

The European Commission released a report on Tuesday saying that, at the time of the 2010 census, the education system was almost 60 years behind the US, the UK and Australia in terms of teaching and learning.

It said that Ireland is still struggling to keep up with the pace of change in education, with the proportion of pupils aged 15-17 who attend primary schools failing to meet national standards in all regions of the country.

The report also noted that only 20 per cent of pupils in primary schools were on free school meals, which is less than half of the national average.

“The high levels of educational inequality in Ireland are a significant obstacle to effective education and development,” the commission said in a statement.

“We believe that the best way to ensure a more equal future for children is to improve education and the quality of their learning.”

The report said that the current school system is not meeting the expectations of students.

“In some regions of Ireland, primary schools are not equipped to meet the current standards, and are falling short in delivering the level of quality education that children need,” the report said.

“These findings call for urgent action to address this problem, with a focus on ensuring that the primary school system remains fully responsive to the needs of the students, their families and communities.”

The commission said that it would make recommendations to improve the education of children in primary and secondary schools and ensure the sustainability of primary and primary secondary education, which it said would “improve the quality and outcomes of children’s education.”