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Primary Online Database (POD)

The Department has developed an electronic individualised database of primary school pupils, called the Primary Online Database (POD). POD will collect individual information on each pupil, including their PPSN. This has been thoroughly piloted with a selection of schools and has been extensively discussed with the education partners and management bodies.

We acknowledge that the move to the new POD database will be challenging and an additional body of work for schools in the short term, but are confident that in the course of time this work will bring significant benefits for schools and allow for the reduction and streamlining of requests for data from schools.

In the near future, POD will

  • replace the need for schools to complete the National School Annual Census,
  • replace the need for schools to maintain the Clárleabhar,
  • facilitate inter-school transfers,
  • facilitate the transfer of data from primary to post-primary schools,
  • identify pupils who do not make the transition from primary to post-primary,
  • allow schools to update DES centrally-held, school-level data such as School Name, Address and Telephone Number. This will provide schools with one point to correct or amend contact details which will then be available to be accessed by all areas across the Department.

In the longer term it is proposed that POD will also share data with the Department of Social Protection, the HSE and the NCSE, and other bodies, eliminating the need for many of the current data requests to schools from these bodies, for example in relation to vaccination programmes, child benefit claims, application for special educational needs.

As part of the transition process schools will still be required to return the current National School Annual Census for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 academic years.

POD is a live Database, allowing for the updating of information throughout the year. We are aware that many schools have existing admin software in place. The Department is working with providers of school admin software in order for them to put in place processes which will allow their software to synchronise with POD.

The POD database is accessible through the ESInet portal. This is the same technology that is used for the Online Claim System (OLCS), the Summer Works scheme and other applications.

What Next?

We are now contacting you to request that your school progresses to the 2015/2016 academic year and starts to populate the POD database with your individual pupil data for the 2015/2016 academic year. Prior to progressing to the next academic year please ensure to mark all pupils who are leaving. This is particularly important for pupils who are leaving for other primary schools as the other schools are waiting to import these pupil’s details.

Schools can enter their new pupil data up to the end of November 2015. Data can be entered on a phased basis, it is not necessary to enter all of your pupil information in one go.


Schools have three ways in which they can enter their pupil data to POD:

Schools can manually enter individualized pupil data directly into the Primary Online Database by logging on to Esinet at (this option is recommended as the easiest for schools without a software provider). This process is straightforward, however, for reference we have prepared instructional videos and training manuals | instructional videos and training manuals on how to do this.(insert link)

Schools can choose to enter their junior infants for 2015/2016 pupil's details into an excel template provided by the Department and return to us for loading to the Primary Online Database. The template is available by request from If you choose this option, please be aware that the template For schools that use admin software, details of the procedures put in place by each of the individual software providers to upload data from current admin systems to POD are available on our website. If you have further queries on these please contact the software providers in the first instance.


A POD helpdesk has been set up which will be available to assist schools with any POD queries. The helpdesk is available Monday to Friday 8:30am-5pm on 01 8892311.  If you have any queries or comments please do not hesitate to contact us at

Please include your school's roll number on all correspondence.

Additional information and associated documents on POD