Departmentof Education & Skills print friedly logo

Primary Online Database (POD)

What is POD?

The Primary Online Database (POD) is a nationwide individualised database of primary school pupils, facilitating the monitoring of educational progress as pupils move through the primary education system and on to post primary. The system allows schools to make online returns to the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and provides the Department with the comprehensive and in-depth information needed to develop and evaluate educational policy.

What is it used for?

  • Completion of the National School Annual Census – As of September 2016 POD is the mechanism for schools to complete the Annual Census
  • Teacher allocation and payment of capitation and other grants – Information submitted through the Annual Census forms the basis for teacher allocation, capitation and grant payments for each school
  • Resource allocation and planning purposes
  • Statistical Information- POD is the source of statistical information for the primary school sector
  • Register of pupils – POD has removed the need for schools to maintain a hardcopy of their school’s Clárleabhar, as all necessary information is recorded on the system
  • Centralised updating of school information – POD provides a single point for schools to view and correct the details held by the Department

What information is recorded on POD?

The following information is collected for each pupil on POD:

Personal InformationEnrolment Information
PPSNStandard (i.e. Junior Infants, First Class etc)
NameTeacher / Class Name
Birth Certificate Name (if different from above)Enrolment Source
Date of BirthEnrolment Date
GenderLeaving Date
Mother's Birth SurnameLeaving Destination
Address (Including Eircode)Pupil Type
County of ResidenceClass Type**
NationalityIntegrated Indicator**
Mother Tongue*Category of Capitation***
Irish Exemption (if any)*Second Level Programme***

*Pupils in Mainstream Schools Only
**Pupils in Special Classes Only
***Pupils in Special Schools Only


There are also two optional fields of data on POD. As these are considered sensitive personal information under the Data Protection Acts, they can only be recorded on POD with the explicit written consent of the pupil’s parent(s) or guardian(s). The fields are as follows:

  • Religion
  • Ethnic or Cultural Background.

Further details on the information collected on POD including the purpose for which it is collected, the period for which it will be retained and the legal basis for its collection can be found in the POD Fair Processing notice, available below.

Access to POD

Each school can access only their own pupil’s records on POD. Within the Department of Education, access to the individualized information recorded on POD is restricted to a small number of staff within the Statistics Section.

How can I find out more?

A POD Helpdesk is available to assist with any queries on POD. The Helpdesk is available Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm on 01 889 2311. The Helpdesk can also be reached at pod@education.gov.ie. If you have any queries or comments please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are contacting the Helpdesk on behalf of a school, please include your school’s roll number on all correspondence.

Additional information and associated documents on POD