Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for Students with Disability.

What’s the impact of the NCCD on your school and students?

With August just around the corner schools across Australia are juggling the settling-in period of Term 3 with the impending simultaneous annual data collections for the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), and the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for Students with Disability (NCCD).

As school resources are stretched – and the submission deadline looms – we thought it would be a timely exercise to put the NCCD under the microscope and assess its impact on schools and students to date.

The NCCD explained

For those new to the education system, or unfamiliar with the NCCD, a little background: The NCCD was conceived in 2008 by the Council of Australian Governments to collect and implement nationally comparable data about students with a disability who receive an adjustment to address their disability – an area that had previously been lacking.

The NCCD was progressively phased in over three years, from 2012 to 2015. Each year the number of participating schools increased until, in 2015, every Australian school was required to participate. By collecting transparent, consistent, and reliable data at a national level, statistics are now available on the number of school students receiving an adjustment due to disability, the level of adjustment they receive, and their category of disability.

Today, the NCCD  is overseen by the Department of Education and Training, in partnership with all state and territory governments and non-government education authorities. The objective of the data is to enable schools, education authorities, and governments to better understand the needs of students with disability and how they can be best supported at school. This information will inform policy development and planning to support schools in implementing quality learning and support practices.

The Department also expects that over time participation in the NCCD will help to embed schools’ obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 into their everyday practice.

So, how is the NCCD going?

The NCCD has undergone much scrutiny since its implementation – including claims of schools misrepresenting their number of students with disabilities to attract more funding, and criticism of reliance on a teacher’s assessment of a student’s disability, rather than that of a medical professional.  

In 2016 the Federal Government stated the NCCD statistics were flawed, with Education Minister Simon Birmingham commenting, “There’s much more work to be done by the states and territories to ensure that (the NCCD data) truly is nationally consistent.” 

From the other side, complaints have been made about the laborious nature of the data collection process and the burden on school resources and time.

Benefits of the NCCD to schools, students, and their families

Despite its teething problems and criticisms, the NCCD delivers benefits to schools and students in areas that have previously been deficient.

  • The NCCD empowers teachers to make decisions about which students need adjustments, and the type and level of adjustment needed to provide quality education to the students in their classroom.
  • NCCD data helps parents, carers, teachers, principals, education authorities and government to gain a better understanding of how to best support students with disability to participate in school on the same basis as other students.
  • The NCCD  captures the good work occurring in schools to support students with disability, and is supported by a range of resources to assist schools to evaluate their practice and learn from others.
  • The NCCD provides opportunity for schools to review their teaching, learning and support systems, helping to ensure they focus on the core practices that can deliver the best possible learning outcomes for all their students.
  • The NCCD ensures  students receive Commonwealth funding on the same basis regardless of which state or territory they live.

How do schools complete the NCCD, and what support resources are available?

The national professional learning website provides a range of resources and guidelines to support teachers, principals and school staff through the NCCD. It also includes case studies, frequently asked questions, and guidance on good practice relating to the establishment of a school leadership to implement the NCCD.

The website provides a clear model of data collection across four steps, emphasizing the evidence requirements for actions that teachers and staff have undertaken as part of their professional practice. This includes:

  • 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.

What can schools do to streamline the NCCD process?

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest challenges for schools is the cost of time and resources when it comes to implementing the NCCD. The collaborative process involves teachers, principals, and other school staff, with principals taking ownership of the verification of documented evidence to support the inclusion of a student in the NCCD.

With the Government requiring data to be submitted to deadline, and in a specific format, school faculty can often feel overwhelmed to meet the NCCD requirements in conjunction with their busy day-to-day workload of school management.

At Edumate, we spend a lot of time talking to schools about the challenges of administration, learning, and curriculum management in order to hone in on design features that will really make a difference to the way schools operate. The NCCD was a common theme among many schools, so we put our design team on the case.

The result is a built-in proforma to the exact specifications and format required by the government. The template interacts directly with student records, so once the necessary data has been entered, the report can be auto-filled and generated with the click of a mouse. It’s just another way Edumate’s progressive information-sharing capabilities work on a holistic level for the advancement of schools and students.

Looking to the future

The NCCD is still in the early stages of implementation, with 2018 set to be only the fourth year in which all schools have participated. Naturally, it will take time to embed understanding of the collection model across all Australian schools and ensure accuracy and consistency. It will also take some time to see the downstream effects of the adjustment funding, as each school implements their own supports, resources and programs.

The essence of the NCCD, however, is a value reflected in Edumate’s own business philosophy: the provision of quality education, inclusivity, and support to every student, regardless of ability. We look forward to helping schools reach their goals in 2018 and beyond.

For a complete guide to the NCCD, including key activities and timeframes for 2018, and comprehensive information on school’s requirements and obligations head to

For more information about how Edumate can help streamline your school’s NCCD, call one of the team on +61 (02) 8313 2700

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