Privacy Policy

Educational Research Centre (ERC) Privacy Policy

The Educational Research Centre’s (ERC) respects your right to privacy and complies with the obligations set out under the Data Protection Acts 1988, 2003 and 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.  This policy outlines how the ERC uses personal data shared with our organisation.  Please note that, by visiting our websites, you are accepting the terms of this Privacy Policy and the ERC’s Cookie policy.

There are links from the ERC website to other external sites. Please note the ERC is not responsible for the content or the privacy policies of any external websites.

What data does the ERC collect?  How is the data collected? How is the data used?

We gather data to perform tasks carried out on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) under S.I. No. 392 of 2015 and amendment, S.I. No. 309 of 2017 and some data gathering is done in conjunction with participating schools or in conjunction with other agencies.  Data are gathered under the lawful processing conditions, public interest for personal data, and substantial public interest for special category data, as follows:

  1. School Level Data – we use school roll numbers, school names and contact information to
    1. process and deliver any goods or services you have ordered and/or
    2. contact you in connection with any goods or services ordered.
    3. respond to any enquiry or any application form you submit.

This information is provided by schools when purchasing tests, or when submitting a query to the ERC regarding test purchases.  The data is gathered so the ERC can process orders.

  1. School and Student Level Data are gathered for;
    1. Processing Drumcondra test scores using the Machine Scoring Service. In this instance, data is only submitted by a school where the school has engaged the ERC’s scoring service.
    2. Providing Drumcondra tests and scores online to those schools that purchase online tests from the ERC.
  2. School, Teacher, School Coordinator, Student and Parent Level Data are gathered for national and international studies required to inform educational policy and practice.
    1. Where data is shared by the DES with the ERC, this data sharing is governed by a Data Sharing Agreement. The DES provides data such as the number of classes in each year of study, pupil/student names, pupil/student gender, pupil/student date of birth.
    2. Where a school is selected for a study, the principal is contacted in the initial phase of a study to advise the purpose of the study and to gather additional data and/or validate the data provided by the DES, e.g. to validate the names of the students in each class grouping for the year(s) of study in question.
    3. In addition, parents and students/pupils are also communicated with to explain the purpose of the study, why the data being collected is required, with whom the data will be shared , when the data will be anonymised/deleted.

Personal Data and Special Category Data are gathered to fulfil the ERC’s obligations under S.I. No. 392 of 2015 and amendment, S.I. No. 309 of 2017.  The S.I., or Statutory Instrument, outlines the functions and responsibilities of the Educational Research Centre http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/si/392/made/en/print

  1. Personal Data are gathered to process any application for ERC vacancies advertised and to assist with the selection process. Data is provided by applicants for positions that arise in the ERC that are advertised on PublicJobs.ie or on the ERC’s website etc. The ERC requests that Curriculum Vitae are accompanied by letters of application for the vacant position and the names and contact details of referees.  This data is used during the recruitment process to evaluate the candidate against the required criteria and to appoint the most suitable candidate to take up the vacant position.
  2. Personal Data are gathered from ERC employees and ERC temporary staff. Data such as address, date of birth, next of kin, bank details, PPS Number etc. are collected from an employee upon commencement of employment with the ERC for the purposes of fulfilling employment obligations, e.g. to enable payment, to apply appropriate taxes and deductions to payment, etc.

What are cookies?

Cookies can be defined as text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit, or to another website that recognises that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device.

  • Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently remembering your preferences, and generally improve your website experience. They can also help to ensure that adverts you see online are more relevant to you and your interests.
  • Most Sites you visit will use cookies in order to improve your user experience by enabling that Site to ‘remember’ you, either for the duration of your visit (using a ‘session cookie’) or for repeat visits (using a ‘persistent cookie’).
  • Cookies may be set by the Site you are visiting (‘first party cookies’) or they may be set by other Sites who run content on the page you are viewing (‘third party cookies’).

You can find more information about cookies at:

  • allaboutcookies.org
  • youronlinechoices.eu

For information about the use of cookies by the ERC’s website www.erc.ie, please reference our Cookie Policy.

What are your data protection rights?

The ERC would like to ensure that you are fully aware of your data protection rights.  Every person is entitled to the following;

  • The Right to Access: you have the right to request copies of your personal data from the ERC. We may charge a small fee for this service.
  • The Right to Rectification: you have the right to request that the ERC correct any information you believe is inaccurate. You also have the right to request the ERC to complete information you believe is incomplete.
  • The Right to Erasure: you have the right to request the ERC erase your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The Right to Restrict Processing: you have the right to request that the ERC restrict the processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The Right to Object to Processing: you have the right to object to the ERC’s processing your personal data, under certain conditions.
  • The Right to Data Portability: you have the right to request that the ERC transfer the data that have been collected to another organisation or directly to you, under certain conditions.

If you make a request, the ERC has one month to respond to you.  If you would like to exercise any of these, please contact us at data.protection@erc.ie.

How do I make a Subject Access Request (SAR) for my data?

Before submitting a Subject Access Request, we encourage students, parents and teachers to refer to our SAR Policy on our website.

In order to confirm the identity of the data subject (the person to whom the data belongs) and to ensure the protection of your data,  where the request is in relation to a student’s data, we would ask you to contact the school directly to initiate your request. The school will liaise with the ERC to submit the completed request form on your behalf.

  • A parent or guardian must submit the SAR via their child’s school where the data subject is a child under the age of 13.
  • Where the data subject is 13 years or older, the request is submitted by the student, via their school.

If you would like to access your personal data, please complete our Subject Access Request Form, which can be found in the Subject Access Request section of our Data Protection & Corporate Governance pages on our website.

NOTE: If your data have been anonymised or deleted in accordance with our Retention and Destruction Policy, we will not be able to facilitate your request to access your data.

How do I update, verify or delete my data?

You may contact us directly to inform us of any changes in your data and we undertake to update your data in accordance with our obligations under current Data Protection legislation.

  • In order to confirm the identity of the data subject (the person to whom the data belongs) and to ensure the protection of your data, where the request is in relation to a student’s data, we would ask you to contact the school directly to initiate your request. The school will liaise with the ERC to make the necessary changes on your behalf.
    • A parent or guardian must submit the request via the child’s school where the data subject is a child under the age of 13.
    • Where the data subject is 13 years or older, the request is submitted by the student, via their school.

NOTE: The ERC advises study participants that there is generally a four-week window from the date of testing or from the date of completing a questionnaire to make changes to their factual data.  This does not apply to test answers or to questionnaire data intended to capture views at a particular point in time.   After this four-week window, data are submitted for processing and it is not possible to delete or make changes to data from that point.  Student data are pseudonymised or anonymised as early in the process as possible, to make it difficult or impossible to link the answers back to an individual.

  • If you wish to amend or delete data we have stored in our systems, please send an email toprotection@erc.ie with your name, email address and contact information, outlining the information you would like to amend or delete. Please put ‘Personal Data – Change Request’ or ‘Personal Data – Delete Request’ in the subject heading of the e-mail. We may need to contact you in order to complete any request in order to verify your identity and/or clarify any requests.
  • If your data have been anonymised or deleted in accordance with our Retention and Destruction Policy, we will not be able to facilitate your request to make changes or delete your data.

Will this data be shared with any Third Parties?

The ERC may use third parties to complete processing of our data.  Any third parties will be engaged in compliance with data protection legislation.

The ERC will publish reports using aggregated data in accordance with our obligations under S.I. No. 392 of 2015 and amendment, S.I. No. 309 of 2017.  Individual student test results and data are not shared with any external bodies. However, where reliable individual data have been generated, e.g. test scores, these are typically shared with the relevant school.

The ERC will disclose your personal data if required in order to comply with any applicable law, summons, search warrant, court or regulatory order, or other statutory requirement.

Is my personal data secured?

Your personal data are held on ERC secure servers.  We will take all reasonable steps to protect your personal data. However, the nature of the Internet is such that we cannot guarantee or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us via the Internet. No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure.

Changes to the Privacy Policy

Any changes to this Privacy Policy will be posted on our website so you are always aware of the information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

How to contact us:

Please address data protection and GDPR queries:

E-Mail:  Data.Protection@erc.ie

Post: The Data Protection Officer, The Educational Research Centre, DCU, St. Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra Road Upper, Dublin D09 AN2F

Telephone: (01) 837 3789

How to contact the appropriate authorities:

Details for contacting the Irish Data Protection Commissioner can be found at: https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/contact/how-contact-us