NCCD- Frequently Asked Questions

All Australian schools are required to complete the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) annually.

There are 4 steps to completing the NCCD:

  1. Identifying students in the school who are receiving an adjustment/s and determining if that adjustment is being made because of a disability as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards)
  2. Deciding on the level of adjustment each student is receiving
  3. Deciding on the broad category of disability that is driving the need for an adjustment
  4. Recording, verifying and submitting data on the number of students in the school to be counted in the collection.

Principals are required to verify that data submitted accurately reflects personalised learning and support that is provided for students with disability in the school and that there is evidence to support each student’s inclusion in the NCCD.

The Australian Government and Educational Services Australia (ESA)  have developed a professional learning portal with information about the NCCD and the steps involved.

The Australian Government launched a new portal to help Australian schools participate in the NCCD. The portal is located at www.nccd.edu.au

There is no change to the data submission process this year. However, schools can access extra support through the comprehensive online resource. The portal includes revised resources, including updated Level of Adjustment Descriptors, which can be downloaded or navigated online using the Levels of Adjustment Viewer. Additional case studies, 2019 NCCD Guidelines and a revised Quick Guide will also be available on the portal progressively in 2019.

Refer to the “What resources are available to support schools” section below for links to core resources available on the NCCD portal.

School principals are responsible for verifying the accuracy of NCCD data and validating that there is evidence at the school to support the inclusion of a student in the NCCD. This is a key responsibility given that NCCD data is now used to inform Australian Government recurrent funding and may now be the subject of audits or compliance activities. As such, it is essential that principals ensure that student information submitted for the NCCD is:

  • accurate
  • supported by evidence
  • quality assured (i.e. passed through school processes to manage data quality, such as internal moderation).

Evidence and any associated records for the NCCD must be kept for a minimum of 7 years, as required by section 37 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013. It is important to note that some forms of evidence may also fall under other record management policies that require retention of a particular record for longer than 7 years. For NSW schools these may include, but are not limited to, records relating to a student’s health and administration of medications, student counselling and psychology records, individual student reports for system-wide assessments and VET competencies.

It is highly recommended that schools develop protocols about how such evidence is recorded, stored and maintained. Further information about maintenance and disposal of records can be found on the department’s Records management for schools website.

In addition to the maintenance of records, schools are responsible for ensuring that each student’s privacy is protected. Strict protocols and procedures in line with current legislation and standards should be in place in each school to protect student information. All staff should be aware of their obligations under privacy legislation.

For a student to be included in the NCCD, the school should have evidence that ongoing, long-term adjustment/s have been provided for a minimum period of 10 weeks of school education (excluding school holiday periods), in the 12 months preceding the national data collection.

The minimum 10 week period of adjustments does not need to be consecutive weeks; it can be cumulative and split across school terms in the 12 months preceding the census date (e.g. in the case of a student who requires episodic adjustments resulting from a mental health issue). Where evidence collected is not over consecutive weeks (excluding school holidays), schools need to ensure that they have evidence that supports the action taken during those periods, as reflected in their day-to-day planning and monitoring processes.

Where a student has newly enrolled in the school and has attended the school for less than 10 weeks, schools may include that student where they have evidence of the continuing need for adjustments for the student.

Where a student has newly enrolled in the school and has attended the school for less than 10 weeks, schools may include that student only if they have evidence of the continuing need for adjustments for the student. For example, evidence from the previous school of long-term adjustments together with evidence that similar adjustments are required in the new school. Contact with the student’s previous school may assist to gather the evidence required. Communication with parents/carers may also provide sources of contact (eg health professionals) that can assist to build the evidence to support the inclusion of the student.

Resources and information about the NCCD are available to all schools nationally on the professional learning portal. This site is a comprehensive online resource to support principals, teachers and school support staff to understand the NCCD. Essential resources include:

All NSW public schools have access to:

  • School Services personnel who provide local support to schools
  • telephone support from Disability, Learning and Support in state office through a dedicated helpdesk (nccd@det.nsw.edu.au or 9244 5178/ 9244 5587)
  • accredited professional learning on the Disability Standards for Education. The e-learning lessons on the Disability Standards Part 1: (lessons 1-3) and Part 2 (lessons 4-8) is highly recommended training for school staff. The second set of lessons focus in more detail on the five Disability Standards. Information about these courses can also be accessed through the department’s webpage for the national disability data collection.
  • resources and information about the NCCD on the national professional learning portal.

Prior year NCCD data submissions for your school can be downloaded at any time from the Online Data Collection Website (datacollections.det.nsw.edu.au). After logging in, click the Current Collections > Historical Data.

When schools complete the census signoff it is good practice that a record of the signed off data is maintained for school records. Schools may choose to keep this in electronic or hard copy format.

The NCCD is building an evidence base that will provide teachers, schools and sectors with more information and a better understanding at the national level about school students with disability in our schools; where they are; and the level of adjustment provided for them to participate in schooling on the same basis as other students.

Fundamental to the NCCD model are:

  1. legislative requirements and professional responsibility placed on schools under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005
  2. the focus the model places on the level of adjustment that is provided to the student based on their functional needs, rather than disability type. Under the model, teachers and school staff use their professional, informed judgement to determine the level of adjustment students with disability receive, in the classroom and whole of school context, as well as the broad category of disability of the student.

This information will assist schools, education authorities and governments in their planning to meet the needs of students with disability.

From 1 January 2018, the NCCD has been used by the Australian Government to calculate the students with disability loading in recurrent funding for schools provided by the Commonwealth to states and territories. Further information about the funding can be found in the Australian Government’s Quality schools, Fairer funding for students with disability.

Aggregated, high level NCCD data (state/ territory/ national) is published in the following national reports:

The principal is authorised to assign access to functions in ERN.  To assign access to the Disability Adjustments function in ERN the principal is required to go into AMU, select ERN then check the Student Administration box for the selected teacher.

The ERN – Disability Adjustment User Guide V3.0 can be found on the department’s NCCD webpage.

All schools will need to visit the department’s online data collections website twice: first to complete the validation to ensure ERN records are up to date and accurate; and second to review final data and sign off on the census. The department’s online data collections website may be accessed through the department’s intranet.

Schools should aim to have their adjustment data for each student with disability in the Disability Adjustments function in ERN by Friday 5 July. Data will be harvested from the disability function on Friday 19 July (note that this is the last Friday in the school holidays)

Up to Friday 5 July

Schools enter data into ERN.
Data harvested from ERN for the validation phase on 19 July (final day of school holidays)

Monday 22 July

Collection website opens for validation phase.

Monday 22 July - Friday 2 August

Schools check their data and make any changes in ERN, and complete the validation phase by 5pm on the Friday.

Friday 2 August

Census date. Data harvested from the ERN system 5pm.

Monday 5 August – Friday 16 August

Schools review their data and correct any errors online, then sign off the census by 5pm on the Friday.

Friday 16 August

Collection website closes.

ERN does not automatically update the Online Data Collection Website. The Online Data Collection Website is only updated twice a year based on a snapshot of ERN data taken on validation date (19 July at 5pm) and census date (2 August at 5pm).

If a student has multiple disabilities or does not fit solely within one category, the disability category selected will be the area of disability that is the main driver or focus of the adjustments being provided for the student to support their learning. Alternatively, please review the NCCD model to ensure that this student should be included in the NCCD.

Schools should consider all the evidence of personalised learning and support which is available in the school for the student that would support their inclusion in the NCCD.

Where there is no evidence available to support a student’s inclusion in the 2019 NCCD, the student’s name should remain on the Disability Adjustments list entered into ERN. Select “no” to the question has all relevant evidence been sighted? This response will ensure that the student’s data is not included in the school’s NCCD data set for that year. Schools are able to double check that the student’s data has not been included when they review the school’s data on the online data collection website between 22 July – 2 August.

Schools may wish to review processes for recording and maintaining evidence of the elements of personalised learning and support to enable the student to be counted in future years where adjustments are provided.

The Personalised Learning and Support Signposting Tool (PLASST) is a tool developed by the department to assist teachers in responding to the additional learning and support needs of their students, including those who have disability. The PLASST is available to teachers in all NSW public schools to assist in identifying their students’ functional educational needs and strengths and ‘signposts’ where the student may benefit from adjustments. Teachers can use the PLASST wherever and whenever needed to assist their professional practice. The department is currently reviewing the PLASST.

The PLASST is not a data collection tool for the national data collection. However, use of PLASST may assist principals and schools with the NCCD by contributing to evidence of student’s assessed needs and consultation with parents and carers about adjustments for students. Principal verification of this evidence is a key part of the NCCD model.

The PLASST is accessed by logging into the department’s staff insight portal. Select the “My Applications” tab and scroll down to “P” then select PLASST. This will take you to the secure PLASST website. The NCCD and the PLASST are two separate activities.

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