CensusAtSchool is an initiative aimed at enhancing statistical literacy in schools while also increasing awareness around the importance of the national census and national statistical data.The website allows students to complete a brief online questionnaire and to analyse their class results.
A new questionnaire is released each autumn and the site contains sections for support materials/resources for multiple subjects.
CensusAtSchool is a collaborative project involving Scoilnet – the Department of Education and Skills’ portal for teachers and schools in Ireland – the Central Statistics Office and the PDST Maths Development team.
The continuation of the Census At School Ireland project was made possible by the involvement of Dominic Martignetti whose technical expertise and experience working with the original UK project proved indespensible
History of the project
The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) started the Census At School project in 2000 in conjunction with the National Statistics Office in the UK. The project, originally a one-off, was linked to the UK population census of 2001. Returns from the questionnaires 1-8 on the current Census At School website pull data from UK students since Ireland only joined the project in 2009.
A number of other countries have also embraced the project with necessary adjustments to reflect local culture and traditions. These include: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Queensland and the USA.
The partners involved in CensusAtSchool.ie have carefully considered the issue of privacy and confidentiality of the data:
- The data will not be released for commercial benefit or the advantage of any outside body.
- The motivation for the project is to provide a rich educational resource for both teachers and students to enhance statistical literacy and learning.
- Individual anonymity is guaranteed because no names are attached to individual participants’ submitted questionnaires.
- Individual student participation is voluntary.
- Access to class results is limited. When teachers first register for the project, they are sent a password that allows them to access the summary results for their classes. These results are available in the form of a spreadsheet and do not contain student names or class or school identifiers.
- The use of information collected from students is limited to educational purposes.
Data submitted to the CSO for the end of year analyses is encrypted and the data is transferred securely using an SFTP Client. The CSO fully respects your personal privacy rights and any personal information which you volunteer to the CSO will be treated with the highest standard of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).