Do you have evidence to support the student's inclusion in the data collection? ESSENTIAL

Step one: Is there an adjustment?


Step 2: What is the level of adjustment?


Step 3: What is the category of disability?


Step4: How do you record and submit the data?



When schools are determining the inclusion of a student’s details in the data collection, teachers consider:

  • the level of adjustment to address a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA)
  • the broad disability category and
  • the available evidence for each student. This evidence is used in conjunction with the descriptions of levels of adjustment Download the PDF version of this information.

Teachers and schools rely on evidence to make professional judgements about the types of adjustments provided for students as part of their day to day practice.

This evidence will reflect a wide range of practices of teachers and schools in meeting the educational needs of their students consistent with obligations under the DDA, the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and best teaching practice.

For a student to be included in the national data collection on students with disability, the school should have evidence that adjustments have been provided for a minimum period of 10 weeks of school education (excluding school holiday periods), in the 12 months preceding the census date.

Schools are not required to create new or additional evidence for the purposes of the data collection. School principals are responsible for verifying or confirming that there is evidence at the school to support the inclusion of a student in the data collection.

Each school’s evidence will be contextual and reflect individual student needs and strengths and the school’s learning and support processes and practices.

This includes evidence in four general areas:

  • assessed individual needs of the student
  • adjustments being provided to the student to address the disability – this includes support provided within quality differentiated practice
  • ongoing monitoring and review of the adjustments
  • consultation and collaboration with the student and/or parents and carers or associates.

The evidence listed below is not an exhaustive list. Some evidence may cover more than one element of the process, while others may only address one aspect. Download the PDF version of this information

This evidence demonstrates that the student’s needs for adjustment have been identified and arise from a disability. Evidence of this aspect can include:

  • Results of diagnostic or summative school and/or standardised assessments over time documenting an ongoing learning or socio-emotional need arising from a disability, e.g. continued and high level behaviour incidents, reading assessments or end of unit assessments
  • Documentation of ongoing learning needs that have a limited response to targeted intervention over time and cannot be attributed to external factors such as English as an additional language or dialect, socio-economic or non-disability related causes
  • Parental report of disability in conjunction with evidence of an assessed individual need
  • Specialist diagnosis or reports e.g. medical practitioner such as paediatrician, or a specialist, e.g. guidance officer/counsellor, speech pathologist, audiologist
  • Profiles or assessment reports that identify the functional needs of a student with disability.

Teachers document adjustments in a number of ways. Evidence of the provision, frequency and intensity of adjustments can include:

  • Adjustments to teaching noted on teacher unit, weekly or term planning
  • Adjusted timetable/ staff timetables
  • Record of educational and/or social-emotional interventions provided
  • Individualised/personalised learning planning e.g. individual education plan, individual learning plan, individual curriculum plan, communication plan, behaviour plans, transition plans/ goals and strategies in program planning
  • Therapy or disability-specific programs in place with an educational focus e.g. orientation and mobility program
  • Records of meetings to plan for adjustments with specialist staff e.g. advisory visiting teachers, guidance officers/counsellors, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, physiotherapists
  • Records of advice sought or conversations with the student or family/carer
  • Adjustments or supports required in assessment settings
  • Adjustments to learning materials e.g. alternate format, adjusted worksheets, reworded tasks
  • Manual handling/personal care/health plans
  • Specific resources developed to support individualised learning e.g. visual supports, augmentative and alternative communication supports, accessible materials
  • Personalised organisational devices e.g. diary use, pictorial sequences
  • Documentation of environmental adjustments beyond those already in place in the school e.g. personalised learning spaces, soundfield amplification systems
  • Risk management plans for curriculum activities and for emergency situations e.g. fire drills.

Documentation that may support school judgements about the monitoring and review of adjustments can include:

  • Records of meetings to review adjustments with families/carers and specialist staff, where appropriate
  • Student progress data which may include both formative and summative assessments
  • Progress or file notes by teacher, specialist staff or paraprofessionals
  • Behaviour monitoring data
  • Evidence of interventions provided over time, with monitoring of the effectiveness of the intervention and changes to intervention occurring as required
  • Health plan provided by medical specialist that is reviewed regularly.

Documentation that may support school judgement that consultation and collaboration in the provision of adjustments has occurred can include:

  • Meeting minutes or notes
  • Documented meetings
  • Records of phone calls, conversations or meetings with parent/carer
  • Documented student plans signed by parent/and or student
  • Record of parent-teacher interviews
  • Parent-teacher communication books
  • Emails between student and/or parents and carers or associates.

Where a student has newly enrolled in the school in the 12 months prior to the reference date, the school may include that student only if it has evidence of the continuing need for adjustments for the student comprising at least 10 weeks in that 12 months. Evidence of adjustment(s) from the student's previous school can be included, provided it is from the 12 months prior to the reference date. For example, evidence from the previous school of long-term adjustments together with evidence that similar adjustments are required, or being implemented, in the new school.

Schools are encouraged to consider and discuss the types of evidence available in their setting to support their judgements about the inclusion of students in the data collection.

Discussion and reflection on evidence of reasonable adjustments to meet the learning and support needs of students with disability will also help schools to determine the level of adjustment being provided for a student and their broad category of disability when completing the data collection.

In keeping with best practice, schools should retain relevant evidence of their provisions for students at the school.