Q2: Did your school(s) collect and report information on the sex, Indigenous status, socioeconomic background (parental education and occupation) and language background of all students enrolled in the 2019 school year?
What is the point of collecting information on student background characteristics?
Nationally consistent and comparable data are essential to improving the quality and accuracy of monitoring and reporting of progress towards the achievement of national goals and targets.
The availability of information that allows reporting of student performance data by student background characteristics, particularly by Indigenous status and socioeconomic background, is essential to ensuring that schooling promotes the social inclusion of all students and reduces the effect of factors associated with educational disadvantage.
All Australian governments (state and territory governments and the Australian Government) have given a commitment to raising the educational attainment of all Australian students, and reducing the effect on their performance of sources of disadvantage, such as socioeconomic background, Indigenous status, language background, refugee or humanitarian status, and geographic location. In particular, Indigenous students and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are under-represented among high achievers and over-represented among low achievers.
Accurate and comparable information assists teachers, principals, parents and governments in understanding different patterns of disadvantage, sharing best practice and innovation in teaching and learning, and directing additional resources to where they are most needed.
If you do not cater for students before foundation select Not Applicable.
What information do we need to collect?
For each student, you need to collect information on:
the sex of the student;
the Indigenous status of the student;
the ‘main language other than English spoken at home’ of the student;
the ‘main language other than English spoken at home’ of both parents;
the student’s country of birth;
the highest level of schooling completed by each parent;
the highest educational qualification completed by each parent, and
the occupation group of both parents.
Full details, procedures and forms are set out in the Data Standards Manual: Student Background Characteristics.
Do we have to use the data standards manual?
Yes. To ensure a nationally consistent collection of data on schools and education outcomes, specific performance measures relating to the information outlined in Sections 53 to 58A of the Australian Education Regulation 2013 must be provided.
Why is information collected on parents’ education and occupation?
The Australian Government and state and territory education ministers, on the advice of measurement experts, decided that, in reporting student outcomes across Australia, the best indicator of the influence of a student’s socio-educational background is their parents’ educational background and occupation. The only way this information can be gathered in a systematic, comprehensive way is by the school when a student enrols by parental consent.
Do we need to collect this information for all students?
Yes. The reporting of student outcomes data, disaggregated by the agreed student background characteristics, is a standard component of national performance reporting requirements and applies to all schools.
Does student background information have to be collected and/or provided to testing agents for students who are exempted from testing?
Yes. Information about the percentage of ‘assessed students’ is publicly reported. ‘Assessed students’ comprise students who sat the tests and students who were exempted. As the percentages of ‘assessed students’ are reported by the identified student background characteristics (sex, Indigenous status, socioeconomic background and language background), information about the background characteristics of exempt students is needed to compile the test results.
How do schools collect this information?
The student background characteristics information can be collected by schools from students’ parents/guardians on enrolment forms. Pro forma examples for the collection of student background data on enrolment forms are included in the Data Standards Manual: Student Background Characteristics.
Any schools or school systems that have not integrated the data collection requirements in their enrolment process will need to undertake special collections of student background information from students’ parents using the question modules specified in the Data Standards Manual.
Once the required information has been obtained from parents using the agreed questions and responses set out in the Data Standards Manual, it does not have to be updated unless schools choose to do so for their own purposes or there is a requirement under privacy legislation applicable to the state/territory or sector that it be updated.
Your school needs to ensure that the collected data is as complete and accurate as possible, is coded correctly, is entered on the school’s administrative computer system, and can be accessed or retrieved for linking to student performance data. Processes need to be in place for providing the student background information in the format required by the test administration authority (for Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 literacy and numeracy tests) or an assessment contractor (for Year 4, 6, 8 and Year 10 students participating in sample-based national or international assessments).
Your school should provide the background information collected on each student to the test administration authority that is delivering the sample-based assessment at your school. They will then link this information to the student’s test paper.
Where can we go for more help?
The Data Standards Manual provides full details, including the names and contact details of people who can help in your school sector.
By clicking "yes" to the following question you are indicating that all of your schools met the requirement in the 2019 school year.
If you answer "no" you will need to indicate how many schools did not meet the requirement and outline the steps that these schools are undertaking to meet the requirement.