Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (362)

Charlie McConalogue


362. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to introduce a database of primary school pupils. [32110/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The development of a database for all schools and colleges aided by my Department is vital to the provision of evidence-based data on progression of students through the system and, especially, to identify those at risk of dropping out or under-achieving. My Department has committed to the development of such a database in it's Data Strategy 2008-2010. As part of the development of the Data Strategy consultations were carried out with many of my Department's agencies to discuss how data could best be collected and shared in a manner which reduces the overall administrative burden for the school and allows for the most efficient operation and provision of services to the pupil.

There have been a number of developments in recent years in the area of pupil data collection from post-primary schools. My Department is currently in the process of streamlining the post-primary returns process to allow for a live online system allowing for easy exchange of information that reflects the up-to-date situation in regard to enrolment at any one time and to cut down on administrative burden and the scale of paper-based information flows across the Department and its associated agencies. This is currently in a pilot phase.

My Department has begun preliminary work on extension of this development to primary level schools. Once this is done, my Department will have access to an integrated live Learners database covering primary and post-primary level, which will allow for the effective monitoring of progression, and for enhanced policy planning using real-time data.