Department of Education abandons threat to defund Junior Infants’ schooling for “this year”

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. It is worth noting that this is the first public acknowledgement that the threat to defund 5 year olds’ education has been postponed, for “this year”.


Dear Mr McGarr,

In relation to the points raised in your communication.

1. Enclosed please find copy email sent to all schools on the 25th of August confirming that for this year there is no question of withholding funds.

2. In our view the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Smaranda Bara case does not apply to the present facts.

3. We note the reference to the explanatory note in S.I. 317/2015 which does not form part of the Statutory Instrument. Amendments to S.I. 142/2007 (made in S.I. 317/2015) were made on foot of a direction from the Data Protection Commissioner.

Yours Sincerely

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