Irish fourth class pupils are among the top performers in an international assessment of reading, the results of which are published today.

Out of 45 countries whose 10-year-olds were assessed, only five significantly outperformed Ireland.

The score of a further 31 countries was significantly lower than Ireland.

Two international comparative studies have been published today, one on literacy (PIRLS 2011) and another on maths and science (TIMSS 2011).

Irish pupils came 17th out of 50 countries measured in Maths.

Ireland was significantly outperformed by 13 countries, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong.

Irish children also performed significantly above average in Science.

The studies found that Irish pupils spend slightly more time in school on areas that encourage literacy skills.

However, they spend slightly less time than their counterparts on Maths, and considerably less time studying Science at school.