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Is Your School ready for GDPR?

Appiercom and Optima Training are delighted to offer your School the chance to win a customised “GDPR for Schools” training course worth €525.00!!

To Win this for your school – please Like both our Page and Optima Training & Consulting and Tag our post with any 3 of the following:
Schools, Parents Associations, Teaching Staff & Parents

All of the Schools & People tagged will be entered into the draw, which takes place on Wednesday 31st May.
The Winner can then nominate their chosen School. Thanks and Best of Luck!

For more information on GDPR for schools, check out our blog, here


GDPR is just for large corporates? Right??


GDPR impacts anyone who holds, controls or processes personal data and that includes Schools.

In fact – because Schools retain the personal data of children (including those under the age of digital consent) and often hold Sensitive Medical data– GDPR is particularly relevant to them.

Should schools be concerned? 

Absolutely – there is a feeling within some circles that if we ignore GDPR for long enough – it will disappear, or that it is the new Y2K problem – but in both instances, that is not the case.

If your school’s preparation is not yet underway – time is ticking in advance of the May 25 deadline for compliance.

What are the key questions for my School?

·       What is GDPR: GDPR significantly changes data protection law in Europe, strengthening the rights of individuals and increasing the obligations and responsibilities for Schools in how they collect, use and protect personal data.

·       Why should we be concerned: GDPR protects the personal data of everyone – which includes both School Staff, Parents & Most importantly – School Children – much of the focus has been on the penalties for non-compliance but the real advancement here is the rights each of us have with regard to our personal data.

·       Who needs to comply: Anyone who holds or processes personal data – this means both the School & 3rd party processors and contractors who might come into the school environment must be GDPR Compliant.

·       What type of areas with schools might need to be reviewed? Lots actually – for example – How the School obtained the data, how they store and distribute personal data, how they manage sensitive data such as Children’s Data or Medical Data, the security of their data systems (Printers/IT Systems/CCTV/Data Disposal etc)

·       From a practical point of view – what are the essential steps Schools will need to take to become compliant:

  • Awareness – Schools should familiarise themselves with GDPR, the requirements, impacts, responsibilities and obligations (Optima Training provide training courses customised for Schools & Education)
  • Accountability – The School should complete a Data Audit – focussing on the Data they retain, indicating how they obtained it, for what purpose is it retained, how long they need it for and how secure they store it
  •  Communication – How does the School inform people of how they obtain data – what media do they use to communicate their Privacy Policies & Notices
  • Personal Privacy Rights – Does the school comply with the rights that exist for their personal data – Accuracy, Fairly Obtained, Duration of Storage, The Non Transfer of data to 3rd parties etc
  • Data Access Requests – The School must put systems in place for providing access to the data subject of their own data – within 30 days and typically free of charge
  • Reviewing the Legal Basis for Holding Data – What data is collected and for what specific legitimate purpose?
  • Consent: Does the School have clear, unambiguous, documented and opt-in consent from the data subject for the personal data which it collects or communicates?
  • Children’s Data – The school must pay particular heed to the data they hold on children (and Medical date – which is considered “Sensitive”
  • Risk Assessments – The School should implement systems for Data Privacy Impact Assessments & Privacy by Design & Default to ensure ongoing compliance
  • Data Breaches – The School should develop a Data Breach Procedure and implement the procedure if and when a data breach occurs – notifying the Data Protection Commissioner within 3 days
  • Point of Contact – The school should nominate a point of contact who will assist and advise staff and families with GDPR, who will monitor compliance who might be a Data Protection Officer

How do I find out more?

Our training partners, Optima Training, are running GDPR Preparation Courses, click here for more information. 

For more information on Appierschool School to Parent apps, visit our full site here.

Content courtesy of Optima Training and Consulting

Scoil Eoin Balloonagh is a day primary school situated in southern Ireland. The school dates back to 1854 and has 682 students from 521 households. The school staff includes a principal, deputy principal, 24 mainstream class teachers and twelve teachers for pupils with special educational needs.

Adopting the AppierSchool app has led to a significant reduction in costs relating to parent communications, measurable time saved on the preparation of correspondence, and a visible reduction in paperwork.

The Need: A cost effective and reliable communication channel

The initial attraction of the AppierSchool app to Scoil Eoin was the potential for savings in communication costs. For a school of 682 students from 521 households, the cost of text messages and postage can amount to a considerable sum over the course of a school year. Alternative channels of communication are often used, but these can have drawbacks of their own.

  • Post: At €1 per stamp the costs can be prohibitive and it takes a number of days to deliver.
  • SMS Text messaging: Costs do vary, but an average of €0.04 per text could equate to a considerable amount if it is used often.
  • Notes given to children to deliver home: Frequently lost or mislaid.
  • One headmaster stated that he believes it takes the average note 2 days to make it home to their parents.
  • Social Media: The lack of privacy can be an issue for some parents and schools. In addition, there have been a number of instances where comments by parents to posts by the school have caused offence.

For someone who usually dislikes change it’s great to have to adopt a new initiative that actually saves me time

The solution: A safe, secure and affordable App

By partnering with Appierschool, Scoil Eoin have been provided with a simple to use, dedicated communications channel that surpassed the school’s initial requirement.


  • A dedicated communication channel between the school and parents.
  • Cost effective in comparison to traditional channels, such as post and text messaging, the app is significantly cheaper over time.
  • Provides real time communication.
  • Reliability. Unlike letters delivered by children, the app delivers messages direct to parents. This can include homework, and notification of events within a calendar.

The Budget: Net Gain For Schools 

  • There are 682 students in the school from 521 households.
  • There are 4 letters posted home in a month. A stamp costs €1, an envelope is approx. €0.03 and a sheet of paper is approx. €0.01.
  • The cost of a text message is €0.04 and 4 messages are sent in a month.
  • There are 4 notes sent home each week at a cost of €0.01 per family (sheet of paper).
  • There are 183 days in the school year which is equal to 9 months.

Based on these assumptions the annual cost of contacting parents will be €6,877.20. This does not include the cost of printing, the time spent on preparation of the material or the additional costs incurred in text messages that go over the allowable work count.

The cost of the app is a once off €400 to cover construction and €600 per annum in maintenance and fees (inc. VAT). This is a net saving of €6,877.20 in year one and €6,277.20 every year thereafter.

Additional Benefits: 

Once the app went live the administration staff of Scoil Eoin Balloonagh discovered additional benefits which included

  • Reduction in cost.
  • Fewer phone call queries into the office.
  • Significant time saved in preparation of materials sent out. Less photocopying, less folding paper, less stuffing envelopes.
  • Scoil Eoin used to buy 6 boxes (30 Reams) of paper per month for administration. They have not needed to purchased paper in the last month.
  • Administration staff have found the app a great way of keeping a record of communication gone home to parents/guardians.



1. Quick & Easy Access to school information.

Parents are not visiting school websites as often as they once did. The majority of our schools, that study their website analytics, have found that the number of visits are dropping and that the information they publish on it is not reaching its intended audience. It seems that most of school website activity is generated by parents looking for a school for their child. Creating a dedicated communication channel for parents in the form of an app works. One tap on the School App Icon on the Home screen of their devices and they have the information that they need. The app is available on all devices including computers/laptops, so everybody is included. Simple for parents to install.

2. Secure, One Way Communication.

An app gives the school a secure one-way channel to parents without creating a forum. Depending on social media alone for parent/student communication has been problematic for many of our client schools.

3. Parental Engagement.

AppierSchool makes it easy for teachers to showcase the work they are doing with their children. This has the effect of encouraging more parental engagement. Parents seem to have less and less downtime these days and having quick access to this information during their few moments of free time is important. Parents will always have their device with them.

4.Reducing Costs.

Implementing a school app will significantly reduce texting and printing costs. We are happy to provide references if you would like to discuss this with some of our schools.

5. Simple to use.

Our content management system is really easy to use. It is designed so that the entire team can access the section that is relevant to them. We have teachers of all competency levels happily updating their school app every day.

6.Generate funds.

Help local businesses promote their services to your school community and generate income for the school. Examples of businesses that are interested in promoting to your school community are “After school clubs”, “Plumbers”, Electricians”, “Painters”, “Fitness Instructors” amongst others. AppierSchool offer a service where we do all the work and share the annual revenue with the school. This can cover the cost of the app for the school and often generates additional income for the school. Remember this is not sponsorship. This is helping local business to promote to your school community and therefore not interfering with your sponsorship initiatives.


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