The P-POD database provides information on enrolment at post-primary school level. Other purposes of P-POD include the basis for the allocation of teachers and capitation grants.
My Department received approval from the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) to introduce a question on ethnic and cultural background (based on the question in the national census), in data returns made by individual schools via the P-POD database.
The DPC approved the collection of this information on the annual statistical returns made by individual post primary schools on the basis of voluntary self-identification. The question is not compulsory, and parents/students are free to decline giving this information.
My Department engages with Traveller and Roma representative groups in the context of the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy Education sub-committee. As part of this work, my Department is currently reviewing the data available and will engage with Traveller and Roma representative bodies in relation to this.