Student Background Characteristics Data Collection
Data collection required for the Australian Government under the Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth.)
Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links
Do you need to comply?
Yes, under the Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth.).
Conditions of compliance
Schools and school systems must collect student background information from parents as agreed by the Education Council. The nationally comparable data collected are required to:
- Monitor and report on progress towards the achievement of national goals and targets at various points of schooling, and
- To provide the evidence base to underpin future policy reforms and improvement.
Schools and school systems need to collect background information on relevant students using agreed questions through the school enrolment process. The resulting information is stored in the school’s administrative system and then supplied to testing agents so that it can be linked with data gained from students’ test results.
The student background information is linked to students’ results in the various components of the National Assessment Program (NAP). If you have to comply, what do you have to do?
If you have to comply, what do you have to do?
Collect student data in relation to:
- Indigenous status
- Socioeconomic background
- Country of birth
- Language background
- Main language other than English spoken in the home
- Parental educational attainment
- Parental occupation.
Geographic location data is also required, but is collected through a separate process.
Report data to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) or other testing agent when requested.
The ACARA Data Standards Manual 2012 provides guidance for schools on the collection of student background characteristics.
What are the consequences if you don’t comply?
Independent schools receive funding from the Australian Government under the Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth.) subject to the conditions which are set out in the Act. The student background characteristics data collection is a condition under the Act.
Who will help you?
Independent Schools Victoria contact:
Director, School Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211
School Services Advisor
Ph. 03 9825 7275
Links and Resources
ACARA: Data Standards Manual – Student Background Characteristics (provides links to technical specifications, checklists for existing and new users, sample data collection forms and associated relevant resources)
VCAA: To contact the VCAA, call on 03 9651 4472 or on 1800 820 122