Primary Online Database – School Data Collection FAQs

In response to the concerns of its members, INTO sought clarification from the Department of Education & Skills (DES) on the collection of data via the Primary Online Database (POD). Below is the clarification provided by the DES, in the form of frequently asked questions.

School Data Collections FAQ

1. Who should be included in question 5?

Question 5 should be a total of any pupils who are receiving additional support. So the pupils counted in categories 1 – 4 are included in question 5 as well. However it’s not simply a total of the answers for questions 1 to 4, as a pupil may be receiving more than one type of support (e.g. additional assistance with literacy and with numeracy) but should only be counted once in question 5.

2. If a whole class is receiving literacy or numeracy support (for example via team teaching or station teaching) should all pupils be included?

No, only pupils who are being specifically targeted as needing additional assistance should be include

3. Does only out-of-class support count for questions 1 and 2?

No, in-class support for literacy and numeracy also counts if it’s being given pupils targeted as needing additional assistance.

4. Can a pupil only be counted in one category?

No, a pupil can be counted in as many categories as are relevant.

5. Do the Special Educational Needs questions apply to all pupils, or mainstream pupils only?

They apply to mainstream pupils only- information on special class pupils is already recorded on POD.

6. For a child to be included in question 3 do they need to have received a formal diagnosis?

No, if a child is receiving assistance because they have a special educational need that matches those mentioned in question 3 (i.e. significant communication difficulties, delayed cognitive development or adaptive functioning, or significant emotional and behavioural difficulties) they should be included in question 3, regardless of whether they have received a diagnosis or not.

7. For question 4 do pupils need to be taught by a designated EAL teacher?

No. Anyone for whom the school is giving extra EAL support should be counted.

8. For question 6 should the number of SNAs or the number of pupils receiving support from SNAs be counted?

The number of pupils receiving support from an SNA.

9. What will this information be used for?

This information will be used to get an overall picture of the number of pupils in receipt of additional teaching in the school system. It will not be used for resource allocation purposes.