Annual data collection for students with a disability

Information on what the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data is, why and how this data is collected and the benefits for your child.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability is an annual collection of data. It takes place in August of each year.

It counts the number of school students receiving adjustments because of disability.

The aim of the data collection is to make sure that students with a disability have access to the same quality education as the others in their class.

Students included in the data count

Schools will identify students who:

  • meet the definition of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the DDA), and 
  • currently receive an adjustment for their disability.

These students will be included in the data count.

Some students who meet the definition of disability under the DDA may not receive an adjustment. However, if they have their needs met through a differentiated learning program, the school may include them in the count. For more information, see The Data Collection Steps.

Information that will be collected

Every school will collect data.

No information that will identify the student, such as their name, will be collected by the school.

Every year, schools will collect the following information for each student receiving an adjustment due to disability:

  • the student's level of education (i.e. primary or secondary)
  • the student's level of adjustment
  • the student's broad type of disability.

This information is provided to governments to inform policy and program improvement for students with disability.

Your child's data and privacy

Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all children and their families is essential. This is a focus of the national data collection.

The information given to the Australian Government will not identify individual students. This includes:

  • personal details
  • student names
  • any other identifying information

For further information about privacy, see Notices.

Students with multiple disabilities

Schools will choose a broad category for students with more than one disability. This category will be the one that has the greatest impact on the student's access to education.

Benefits of a national data collection

Better information about school students with disability will help parents, carers, teachers, principals, education authorities and governments to support these students to participate in schooling on the same basis as other students.

It will allow us to gain a more complete understanding of students who are receiving adjustments because of disability in schools in Australia, and how to best support them.

Over time, participation in the national data collection will help to embed in schools' everyday practice through:

  • strengthening understanding of schools' legal obligations to support students receiving adjustments
  • focussing attention on the individual adjustments needed to support students with disability to allow:
    • these students the same learning and participation as other students
    • schools to better understand these students needs and to support them more effectively
  • a more collaborative and coordinated approach to supporting students
  • encouraging improvements in documentation at the school level
  • strengthening communication between schools, parents/carers and the broader community about the needs of students with a disability

Schools will also gain a greater understanding of their obligations under the DDA and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards). The DDA and the Standards are available via the ComLaw website.

The data collection is compulsory

All education ministers agreed to full implementation of the national data collection from 2015.

This means that all schools must collect this information annually.

Information about the arrangements that may apply to your school in relation to this data collection is available from your child's school principal and the relevant education authority.

The issue with the current method of collecting data

Although some data is currently collected, the method varies across states and territories. This makes it difficult to compare information about students with disability nationally.

The national data collection will ensure that information about students with disability is transparent, consistent and reliable at a national level.

Adjustments and what they mean

An adjustment is a measure or action taken to help a student with disability access and participate in education on the same basis as other students.

Adjustments can be made across the whole school setting (ramps into buildings), in the classroom (such as adapting teaching strategies) and at an individual student level (such as extra tuition for a student with learning difficulties).

Reasonable adjustments

For the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards), an adjustment is reasonable in relation to a student with disability if it balances the interests of all parties affected.

Schools are required to make reasonable adjustments for students with disability under the Standards. You can view or download the Standards via the ComLaw website.

More information

Find out more about the National Consistent Collection of Data

In the first instance, you should contact your child's school to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Additional information about the national data collection, including resources for parents and carers, is available on the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website. See Data on school students with disability.

Understand the Disability Discrimination Act 1992

An e-learning resource has been developed to help individuals, families and communities understand the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005. This resource is available at no cost, see Disability Standards for Education.