A new study has found that literacy levels among Irish teenagers are significantly above average.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development focused on 15-year-olds and their ability to read and understand digital or online texts.

The findings are in contrast with an OECD study into literacy levels last December, which found a dramatic decline in achievement among Irish 15-year-olds, showing they had dropped to 17th place, having been in fifth place ten years ago.

That survey concentrated on the reading of traditional printed texts.

Today's reports shows that Irish teenagers came seventh out of the 16 OECD countries who participated, which was above average and at odds with the December figures.

Academics and others urged caution when those findings were published. They said the extent of the decline was not fully explicable.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn welcomed the report but said he will be bringing proposals to Cabinet to help improve overall literacy standards.

He said: 'While it is reassuring to see that Irish students compare very well with their OECD counterparts in this study, there is clearly no room for complacency about reading standards in our schools.

'The results of this digital literacy test and the PISA 2009 tests published last year seem to confirm that a decline has occurred in reading standards in Ireland over the last decade.'