Why do we need a national data collection?
Through the national data collection, schools and governments are reporting for the first time in a nationally consistent way on the number of students in Australian schools requiring an educational adjustment because of disability.
Nationally consistent information on students with disability will enable schools, education authorities and governments to gain a more complete understanding of students with disability in schools in Australia and how best to support them.
The national data collection is also an opportunity for schools to review their learning and support systems and processes, helping to ensure they focus on the core practices that can deliver the best possible learning outcomes for all their students.
Over time, participation in the national data collection will help to embed in schools’ everyday practice their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.
The development of a model for the national data collection
In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to work towards a nationally consistent approach to identifying school students with disability.
A series of expert groups with representation from government and non-government education authorities and experts in education for students with disability devised a model for the annual national data collection. After trials in 2011 and 2012, the Education Joint Working Group to Provide Advice on Reform for Students with Disability (the Joint Working Group) refined the model and developed a plan for implementing the data collection nationally.
In May 2013, Education Ministers endorsed the national data collection model and agreed to a phased implementation of the data collection over three years from 2013 to 2015, with all Australian schools to participate from 2015 onwards.
The Joint Working Group
The Joint Working Group, established by the Education Council, provides governance for the national data collection. The Joint Working Group, chaired by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, includes representation from all state and territory government education authorities, the Independent Schools Council of Australia, the National Catholic Education Commission, and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Below are the previous Guidelines for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability approved by the Education Council Joint Working Group to Provide Advice on Reform for Students with Disability below: