The Department of Education and Skills has developed an electronic database of primary school pupils called the Primary Online Database (POD) which will involve schools maintaining and returning data on pupils to the Department at individual pupil level on a live system. The database will allow the Department to evaluate progress and outcomes of pupils at primary level, to validate school enrolment returns for grant payment and teacher allocation purposes, to follow up on pupils who do not make the transfer from primary to post primary level and for statistical reporting.

The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the collection of individual pupil information for the Primary Online Database.  Both religion and ethnic and cultural background are considered sensitive personal data categories under Data Protection legislation. Therefore, it is necessary for each pupil’s parent/guardian to identify their child’s religion and ethnic background, and to consent for this information to be transferred to the Department of Education and Skills.  All other information held on POD was deemed by the Data Protection Commissioner as non-sensitive personal data.

For further information on POD please go to the Department of Education and Skills’ website www.education.ie