Data Protection

Leaving Certificate 2021

Following an announcement by the Minister for Education on 17 February 2021, all 2021 Leaving Certificate examinations candidates may opt to take Leaving Certificate examinations, (including written examinations and related additional components in each subject as appropriate) and/or to opt to apply for SEC Accredited Grades.

The Minister of Education is progressing legislation (Education (Leaving Certificate 2021) (Accredited Grades) Bill 2021) that will allow the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to administer the Accredited Grades process for Leaving Certificate 2021. The planning for and early stages of implementation of the system of Accredited Grades is being managed by the Department of Education.

See Privacy Notice here.

An overview on data protection matters for the accredited grades process is also available here.

Further information on the process generally is available at

Leaving Certificate 2020

The Minister for Education and Skills announced on 08 May 2020 that the Leaving Certificate 2020 examinations have been postponed and that the Calculated Grades model would be established in order to allow Leaving Certificate students to receive State certification for their learning achievements and to progress to third-level education or to the world of work in Autumn 2020. The Department of Education and Skills requires the personal data of students in order for calculated grades to be provided.  Some personal data provided by students will be forwarded to their school to allow the process to begin.

See Privacy Notice here.

A note on data protection matters in the calculated grades approach has been published following the issuing of results and is available here.

Further information on the process generally is available at

Junior Cycle Certificate of Completion 2020 and 2021

The former Minister for Education and Skills announced revised arrangements for the Junior Cycle in the academic year 2019/20 on 29 April 2020. Further information on this announcement can be found here.

Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were asked, as soon as possible after the end of the 2019/20 school year, to furnish students with a written school report on learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit.

The work and achievement of students in their third year of Junior Cycle in the academic year 2019/20 was recognised with a state certificate of completion from the Department of Education. The process for schools to download the Junior Cycle Certificate of Completion was closed on 24 June 2021.

Following a Government decision on 17 February, Minister for Education Norma Foley TD confirmed that the Junior Cycle examinations were not to be run in 2021. Schools were provided with guidance on continuing to engage this year group in online learning and assessment during the period of school closure and through in-person learning when schools re-open. Further information on this announcement can be found here.

In line with arrangements previously agreed in relation to Junior Cycle 2020, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students of 2021 will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education. Work is ongoing in the development of this certificate and further information will issue to all schools once finalized.

See Privacy Notice here.

Eligibility Requirements

The Department of Education is aware that SOLAS eligibility arrangements for applicants for apprenticeships require a 2020 State Certificate to accompany the applicant’s School Report to satisfy the minimum apprenticeship entry requirements.

The Department is aware of other circumstances in which a Certificate may also be required.

As an interim measure, for eligibility purposes, and pending issue of the State Certificate of Completion, the Department will provide on request a letter of confirmation to those who are due to receive the State Certificate of Completion.

Those who require such a letter should contact the Curriculum and Assessment Policy unit at



The Department of Education when processing your data or that of your child adheres to the principles of transparency, accountability and security of the General Data Protection Regulation. This Department has put in place appropriate technical and organisational measures in order to ensure – and to be able to demonstrate – that our processing of your personal data is in compliance with the higher standards of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), having regard to the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing and the risks of varying likelihood and severity that might arise therefrom for the rights and freedoms of individuals.

Accountability - Data Protection Policy

The Department’s Data Protection Policy sets out the steps to be taken by the Department of Education when processing personal data.

Accountability - Data Subjects' Rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure/right to be forgotten
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

The Data Protection Commissioner has prepared a Guide to the Rights of Individuals under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data Subjects' Rights - How to Apply

Under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation, you have a right to obtain a copy of any personal information relating to you. To access a copy of personal data held by the Department, in relation to you, please click here for detail on How to Make a Personal Data Request


The Department will provide the required information to you at the time personal data is collected. The Department will ensure that the information provided is detailed and specific, and that such notices are understandable and accessible.  In order to balance the requirements above, the Department may implement appropriate policies to make information available on its website or from schools and other educational organisations. The information provided will include information about personal data collected both directly from the data subject and from other sources.

The Department has taken steps to ensure it provides greater transparency in how it processes your personal data for specific processing activities. Please see a high level summary Privacy Notice for the processing activities which take place within the Department.  More specific privacy notices for the various processing activities undertaken by this Department can be found here


The Department follows best practice in order to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of its information processing systems and services.

Accountability - Data Protection Officer

Our Data Protection Officer oversees how we collect, use, share and protect your information to ensure your rights are fulfilled. You can contact our Data Protection Officer at

Address: Department of Education, Data Protection Unit, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath N35 X659

Phone: (090) 648 3908

See Also

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Privacy Notices

Data Protection Commissioner

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