Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has criticised Minister Richard Bruton for failing to ensure that schools are adequately prepared to deal with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on May 25th.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after Minister Bruton confirmed to him that the Department of Education is still only considering how best to provide support to schools to deal with the implementation of GDPR.

Deputy Byrne said, “It’s astonishing that Minister Bruton is still only considering how best to provide support to schools on this issue. GDPR is due to come into force in just over a weeks’ time. The Department of Education should be providing detailed support to schools to deal with the practical implications of GDPR. Instead they still aren’t even sure what sort of advice they need to provide.

“Public information campaigns have been highlighting the need for data controllers to prepare for the implementation of GDPR and to ensure that the data that they hold is secure and safe. School principals and management bodies are data controllers yet they have not been given any practical advice from the Department of Education on GDPR.

“Minister Bruton needs to urgently act on this issue. A circular should be issued to all schools without delay detailing the practical implications of GDPR and the steps that can be taken by principals and management bodies to ensure that they are compliant with the new regulations from May 25th,” concluded Deputy Byrne.