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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

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the education budget for next year was an important step on the road to becoming the “best education service in Europe”.

It was an ambitious declaration, but there are encouraging signs some of the worst cuts of the last decade are finally being reversed and fresh investment is on the way.

However, the reality is that much of the extra spending announced in the budget will be swallowed up by a fast-growing school population and by papering over the cracks of years of spending cuts.

Numbers entering primary school and secondary level are set to grow by an extra 12,000 next year alone. In higher education, the college-going population is set to grow by almost a third over the next decade. This all means the education sector is under acute pressure just to keep pace with the swelling population.

In relation to the additional €36.5 million which will be invested in the higher education sector this year following a decade of cuts, much of it will go towards simply helping the university sector to stand still.



At primary and secondary level more than 2,400 extra teachers will be hired. A significant portion of these posts will go towards meeting the needs of a rapidly growing school population.

In fact, the pupil-teacher ratio – which at primary level is one of the highest in Europe – will remain static despite the significant increase in posts.

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That said, there are encouraging signs of brighter times ahead following the darkest days of austerity.

The three-year, multi-annual investment plan for higher education and the prospect of greater employer contributions will give universities and colleges some much needed certainty over the coming year.

At secondary level, the partial restoration of ex-quota guidance counselling posts – one of the most cynical cuts in recent years – will help restore students’ access to one-to-one counselling and other guidance services.

For special needs, the investment in additional resource teacher posts and special needs assistants holds the prospect that services might actually begin to improve for one of our most vulnerable groups.



There is still, of course, a long way to go. Irish primary classes remain the second most overcrowded in the European Union with 25 pupils per class compared with an EU average of 20 pupils.

As the INTO said, more than 100,000 pupils in classes of 30 or more have been “abandoned by this Government”.

The failure to increase capitation fees for schools means parents will be left once again to make up the difference in “voluntary contributions” and near-endless fundraisers.

Within institutes of technology, the money will not get rid of overcrowded lecture theatres, reduced access to tutorials or reliance on outdated technology

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents lecturers in institutes of technology, described the additional sums as “wholly inadequate” in light of cuts which have cost their colleges some €190 million alone during the downturn.

Neither does it provide for the restoration of cuts in pay and allowances for teachers, as noted by the ASTI.

Bruton defended charges that education spending did not come near to meeting his ambitions.

He maintains it is the start of a long-term programme of investment and that it will ultimately make Ireland the best education system in Europe within a decade. It’s a bold and ambitious statement.

But with overcrowded classrooms, a creaking third-level education system and parents forced to dig out underfunded schools, the available resources have yet to meet the scale of his ambition.


State spending on Irish students fell during the recession and is now lower than most countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a new report has found.

Compared with other countries, Ireland invests less in early childhood education. Teachers eventually earn more but work longer hours, the report said.

Education at a Glance 2016, published yesterday, examines education systems throughout the world. It found in Ireland in 2013 “expenditure per student in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education systems has fallen by 7 per cent compared with 2008 levels, while on average across the OECD expenditure per student had increased by 8 per cent over the same period”.

It said pay for teachers starting out is lower than the OECD average, although it rises “significantly” above it once teachers have 15 years of experience.


Longer hours

Teaching hours in Ireland are much longer – 915 per year at primary level compared to the average of 776 across the OECD, and 735 hours at upper secondary level compared to 644. “The findings on salary within the report are potentially misleading as they are based upon those teachers fortunate enough to have full-hour contracts,” the Teachers Union of Ireland said. “Up to half of second level teachers under 35 work less than full hours.”

General secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland Kieran Christie said the Irish system was threatened by underfunding.

“Now we are being told that the financial emergency is over, it is essential the worst of the austerity measures imposed on schools are reversed.”

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