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As a parent, guardian or carer, what do I need to know?

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a yearly count of students by all Australian schools across the country. The aim of the NCCD is to provide the Australian Government with information about the number of students with disability in Australian schools and the type of adjustments they need in order to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. From 2018, the NCCD will be used by the Australian Government to inform funding for schools, known as the ‘student with disability loading’.

If you are a parent, guardian or carer of a child with disability who requires ongoing adjustments at school, a teacher or another school staff member will consult with you to understand your child’s needs. This collaborative approach ensures the most appropriate adjustments are chosen to support your child’s learning and participation at school. In some cases, an individual education plan (IEP) or personal learning plan (PLP) may be developed to document specific educational goals and to review your child’s progress over time.

Your child will be included in the NCCD if they require ongoing adjustments at school due to a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 This link will open in a new window (the DDA). This is a very broad definition of disability, which includes physical and intellectual disabilities, learning disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards) set out the obligations of schools towards students with disability. Information for parents, guardians and carers on the DDA and the Standards about how schools can work with students and their families is available at Disability Standards for Education: A practical guide for individuals, families and communities.

If your child has a disability, your child’s school will provide information about them for the NCCD, including:

  • your child’s year of schooling
  • the category of disability that best describes your child’s difficulties (one of four categories is chosen by the school team to reflect your child’s greatest area of need: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional)
  • the level of adjustment your child receives at school (one of four levels is chosen by the school team to reflect the type of support your child requires: quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary adjustment, substantial adjustment, or extensive adjustment).

The information collected by schools for the NCCD will ultimately be provided to the Australian Government Department of Education. In some cases this will involve the school passing the information directly to the Department. In other cases the school will provide it to its state or territory government agency (or other relevant body) in the first instance, and that agency will then provide the information to the Department.

While it is not possible for schools or families to ‘opt out’ of the NCCD, the privacy and confidentiality of all students and their families is treated with utmost importance. Data is collected within each school, and personal details, such as student names and other identifying information, are not provided to local or federal education authorities.

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