Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn is aiming to increase the powers available to the Teaching Council.

The regulatory body for teachers will have a range of new sanctions at its disposal to deal with poor and under-performing teachers.

The Department of Education said the sanctions "will range from advice, admonishment or censure to suspension or removal from the Teaching Council's register".

Teachers will be able to appeal to the High Court any refusal of renewal of registration by the Teaching Council.

The amended legislation is due to go before the Oireachtas.

Mr Quinn said: "The operation by the council of robust fitness to teach procedures is important for the public and teachers so that they have full confidence in the teaching profession.

"The vast majority of teachers in our classrooms perform well.

"But for the small minority who do not, I believe that the Teaching Council will now have at its disposal the right tools to deal with cases of serious misconduct and to improve and assist poorly performing teachers."