Step 2: what level of adjustment is being provided to the student? 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?



In deciding whether identified students are to be included in the national data collection, teachers and school teams use their professional judgement to determine the level of adjustment that each student is currently being provided with.

Schools are asked to consider the following four adjustment categories:

  • Support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice
  • Supplementary adjustment
  • Substantial adjustment
  • Extensive adjustment

The following PDF provides detailed descriptions of these four levels of adjustment.

E Download the PDF version of this information.

Further guidance on determining the level of adjustment that each student is being provided to address the educational impact of disability is available in the Strategies to support decision making resource and the Guidance on adjustment level selection resource.

The school team has determined that the student meets the definition of disability for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (as outlined in Step 1). The school team, in consultation with the student, their parent or carer, has agreed that the student’s needs as a result of the disability are being met through quality differentiated teaching practice.

Quality teaching practice is responsive to the differential needs of all students. Some students with disability may not need educational adjustments beyond those that are reasonably expected as part of quality teaching or school practices to address disability related needs. These students should be counted under the “support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice” level of adjustment for the purposes of this data collection.

These students are likely to have been considered for some higher level of active support (i.e. active monitoring or provision of adjustments) and their identified needs would be subject to close monitoring and review.

Changes to student needs that require changes to the level of adjustment would be reflected in the next data collection period.

Further information on the definition of disability for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability, and on students with disability for whom support is provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, is available in the Strategies that support decision making resource.

Typical adjustment Student characteristics

Quality differentiated teaching practice caters to the needs of a diverse student population. Students in this category do not require the sorts of adjustments that are captured in the other three levels. However, their teachers are conscious of the need for explicit, albeit minor, adjustments to teaching and school practice that enable them to access learning on the same basis as their peers. This category would include general adjustments that have been made in a school as part of developing or maintaining a culture of inclusion.

Examples for this category could include:

  • a differentiated approach to curriculum delivery and assessment that anticipates and responds to students’ learning differences
  • personalised learning that is implemented without drawing on additional resources
  • a student with a health condition or a mental health condition that has a functional impact on their schooling and requires ongoing monitoring but who does not require a higher level of support or adjustment during the period they are being considered for the data collection
  • whole school professional learning for the management of health conditions such as asthma or diabetes. This forms part of a school’s general, ongoing practice to equip teachers and education staff with the skills and knowledge to support students’ health needs
  • a facility such as building modifications, that already exists in the school and caters for a student’s physical disability, where no additional action is required to support the student’s learning.

The student’s identified needs do have a functional impact on their schooling and require active monitoring. However, the student is able to participate in courses and programs at the school and use the facilities and services available to all students, on the same basis as students without a disability, through support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice.

Examples might include:

  • students with health conditions such as asthma and diabetes, that have a functional impact on their schooling, but whose disability related needs are being addressed through quality differentiated teaching practice and active monitoring
  • a student with a mental health condition who has strategies in place to manage the condition in consultation with medical professionals, that can be provided within quality differentiated teaching practice
  • students who may have been provided with a higher level of adjustment in the past or may require a higher level of adjustment in their future schooling.

The needs of all students, but in particular students with disability, should be regularly monitored and reviewed to enable the school and teachers to respond with an appropriate adjustment should the level of need change.

Supplementary adjustments are provided when there is an assessed need at specific times to complement the strategies and resources already available (for all students) within the school. These adjustments are designed to address the nature and impact of the student's disability, and any associated barriers to their learning, physical, communication or participatory needs above and beyond quality differentiated teaching practice.

Typical adjustment Student characteristics

Adjustments might include:

  • modified or tailored programs in some or many learning areas
  • modifications to instruction in terms of content and/or teaching strategies
  • the provision of course materials in accessible forms
  • separate supervision or extra time to complete assessment tasks
  • the provision of intermittent specialist teacher support
  • modifications to ensure full access to buildings and facilities
  • specialised technology, programs or interventions to address the student's social/emotional needs
  • support or close supervision to participate in out-of-school activities or the playground
  • the provision of a support service that is provided by the education authority or sector, or that the school has sourced from an external agency.

Students with disability and lower level additional support needs access and participate in schooling on the same basis as students without disability through the provision of some personalised adjustments.

Accessing the curriculum at or close to the appropriate year level (i.e. the outcomes and content of regular learning programs or courses) is often where students at this level have particular learning support needs. For example, many of these students will have particular difficulty acquiring new concepts and skills outside a highly structured environment.

The needs of other students at this level may be related to their personal care, communication, safety, social interaction or mobility, or to physical access issues, any of which may limit their capacity to participate effectively in the full life of their mainstream school.

Substantial adjustments are provided to address the specific nature and significant impact of the student's disability. These adjustments are designed to address the more significant barriers to their engagement, learning, participation and achievement.

Typical adjustment Student characteristics

These adjustments are generally considerable in extent and may include:

  • frequent (teacher directed) individualised instruction and regular direct support or close supervision in highly structured situations, to enable the students to participate in school activities
  • adjustments to delivery modes
  • significantly modified study materials
  • access to specialised programs (for example, attendance at a specialist setting for part of the week)
  • adapted assessment procedures (e.g., assessment tasks that significantly adjust content, mode of presentation and/or the outcomes being assessed)
  • the provision on a regular basis of additional supervision
  • regular visiting teacher or external agency support
  • frequent assistance with mobility and personal hygiene
  • access to a specialised support setting
  • close playground supervision may be required at all times
  • essential specialised support services for using technical aids
  • alternative formats for assessment tasks to enable these students to demonstrate the achievement of their intended learning outcomes.

Students with disability who have more substantial support needs generally access and participate in learning programs and school activities with the provision of essential measures and considerable adult assistance.

Some students at this level require curriculum content at a different year level to their same-age peers, while others will only acquire new concepts and skills, or access some of the outcomes and content of the regular learning program, courses or subjects, when significant curriculum adjustments are made to address their learning needs.

Other students at this level might have limited capacity to communicate effectively, or need regular support with personal hygiene and movement around the school.

These students may also have considerable, often associated support needs, relating to their personal care, safety, self-regulation or social interaction, which also impact significantly on their participation and learning.

Extensive adjustments are provided when essential specific measures are required at all times to address the individual nature and acute impact of the student's disability and the associated barriers to their learning and participation. These adjustments are highly individualised, comprehensive and ongoing.

Typical adjustment Student characteristics

These adjustments will generally include:

  • personalised modifications to all courses and programs, school activities and assessment procedures
  • intensive individualised instruction, to ensure these students can demonstrate the development of skills and competencies and the achievement of learning outcomes
  • the provision of much more accessible and relevant curriculum options or learning activities specifically designed for the student
  • the use of highly specialised assistive technology
  • alternative communication modes
  • the provision of highly structured approaches or assistive technology to meet their particular learning needs
  • some students may receive their education in highly specialised facilities or programs.

Students with disability and very high support needs generally access and participate in education with the provision of extensive targeted measures, and sustained levels of intensive support. The strengths, goals and learning needs of this small percentage of students are best addressed by highly individualised learning programs and courses using selected curriculum content tailored to their needs.

Many students at this level will have been identified at a very young age; they may have complex, associated support needs with their personal care and hygiene, medical conditions and mobility, and may also use an augmentative communication system.

Students may also have particular support needs when presented with new concepts and skills and may be dependent on adult support to participate effectively in most aspects of their school program. Without highly intensive intervention, such as extensive support from specialist staff or constant and highly structured supervision, these students may otherwise not access or participate effectively in schooling.

The case studies on this website work through the 4 steps of the national data collection process: Case studies matrix

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