The Department of Education has issued a new circular accepting it cannot defund the education of children whose parents do not want their kid's data to be in POD. They'll only accept a written request as the basis of that refusal, however. So, here's one you can use that meets the requirements (Now in English or Irish, thanks to an enterprising parent).
The benighted story of the Department of Education's perennially unraveling Primary Online Database of 5+year olds has been bouncing along for over a year now. If you were to scroll through a year's worth of this blog's posts you'd have a pretty good picture of what happened when, but you might also expire with tedium. It'd be a race to see which would happen first.
The documents below were withheld by the Department of Education following an FOI request. The Department produced an array of reasons for their refusal to release the below docs, which the Office of the Information Commissioner ultimately decided were invalid.
The Information Commissioner’s office has now published their binding decision in my appeal against the Department of Educations and Skill’s refusal to release certain documents relating to POD to me on foot of an FOI request. With the exception of one document (of which more shortly) all of the Department of Education’s refusals have been overturned.
I did respond to the email set out earlier this week, where the Dept of Education said. .
I made a complaint regarding the treatment of Junior Infants data by the Department of Education in their latest effort to make their Primary Online Database legal. I received no substantial response, and so I forwarded the complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner. After that, I received the reply below.
Complaint regarding the legality of the current Primary Online Database scheme as it applies to Junior Infants
Dear Sirs, I am writing to you to object to operation of the Primary Online Database scheme as it applies to Junior Infant students.
The misbegotten Primary Online Database project is on its third piece of legislation designed to try to make it legal. On the 21st July, The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton signed a Ministerial Order seeking to try to provide a legislative basis for the transfer of children’s data from schools to the Department of Education. You can take a look at SI 317 of 2015 here.
Department of Education refuses FOI regarding database of children because it would reveal their position
Rather missing the point of an FOI Act, the Department of Education has refused to release documents relating to the Primary Online Database- which the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office has confirmed is operating without proper legal basis.
The Data Protection Commissioner's Office today confirmed that, having investigated the Primary Online Database, they found that parental concerns raised were valid and that, even following changes to the scheme in April, the POD would require further legislation to be lawful.