The data collection model ESSENTIAL

The national data collection has been progressively implemented over the period 2013 – 2015. The model for the data collection relies on the professional judgement of teachers about their students. It applies across all educational settings and contexts, including regular or mainstream schools and classes as well as special schools and special classes.

Currently, each state and territory counts its students with disability on a different basis. The model is intended to count the number of students with disability in a consistent manner across Australia.

Under the model, teachers use their professional, informed judgement to determine:

  • which of their students are being provided with a reasonable adjustment to access education because of disability, consistent with definitions and obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005
  • the level of adjustment that students with disability are being provided with, in both classroom and whole of school contexts
  • the broad category of disability under which each student best fits.

A student is eligible to be counted in the national data collection where there is evidence at a school that the student is being provided with an educational adjustment to meet ongoing, long-term specific needs associated with disability and that decisions have been made in consultation with the student and/or their parents or carers. The definition of ‘long-term’ for this purpose is over a minimum period of 10 weeks of school education (excluding school holiday periods), in the 12 months preceding the national data collection.

Steps

The model for the national data collection on students with disability consists of four steps.

Step 1: determining which students are receiving reasonable adjustments to access education because of disability, consistent with definitions and obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005

Step 2: determining what level of adjustment is being provided to each of these students

Step 3: determining the broad category of disability under which each student best fits

Step 4: recording and submitting the data

Underpinning these four steps is evidence within the school of the actions that teachers and school staff have taken as part of their professional practice. This includes evidence of:

  • consultation and collaboration with the student and/or their parent or carer
  • the assessed identified needs of the student
  • reasonable adjustments provided to the student to address their identified needs
  • monitoring and review of the impact of the adjustments provided.

School principals will verify or confirm that there is evidence at their school to support the inclusion of a student in the data collection.

Each of the steps above, and guidance about the evidence needed in order to include students in the data collection, are provided in the following sections of this support resource. Additional support material to guide you through the steps for completing the data collection can be found in the Strategies to support decision making resource.