Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is a federal government initiative agreed to by all Australian states and territories.
First trialed in 2011 and then again in 2012, a phased implementation began in 2013. In 2015 all Australian schools participated in NCCD. The data is collected during the year and submitted using the NCCD data collection tool in August.
The QTU, along with the Australian Education Union and the Queensland Association of Special Education Leaders, supports the NCCD program in the hope that having nationally consistent data will lead to future needs-based funding.
What is NCCD?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards), Australian students with disability must be able to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers. To ensure this, students with disability may receive adjustments to access education, based on the professional judgement of teachers, in consultation with the student and/or their parents, guardians or carers.
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) gives Australian schools, parents, guardians and carers, education authorities and the community information about the number of students with disability in schools and the adjustments they receive. The Australian Education Regulation 2013 requires all schools to report the data collected for the NCCD to the Australian Government on an annual basis.
NCCD and the department require evidence relevant to the following:
- assessed individual needs of the student (e.g., a medical letter or report or a guidance officer report)
- adjustments being provided to the student to address their assessed needs associated with disability – this includes support provided within quality differentiated practice (e.g., teacher planning, ICPs)
- ongoing monitoring and review of the adjustments (ICPs, record of meetings, various plans e.g., health)
- consultation and collaboration with the student and/or parents, guardians or carers, or associates. (emails to parents, records of meetings or telephone conversation with parents)
It should be noted that this evidence should not need to be created specifically to meet NCCD requirements. It should be collected as part of providing an education program for SWDs. The focus should be on the education and learning program not the evidence collection.
2022 NCCD process
[information updated - June 2022]
In term 4 2021 the department commenced a review of what many members would refer to as the students with disability (SWD) staffing model. This is the staffing allocated each year for all schools including those with special education programs (SEPs), early childhood development programs (ECDP) and special schools. The department made it clear by the end of 2021 that the education adjustment program (EAP) and the associated verification process would not be used for the vast majority of SWDs in 2022. It was made clear that NCCD data would be the basis for the new staffing model.
2022 NCCD process
Although at the time of writing the department has not announced the specific design of the 2023 SWD staffing model, we know it will be based on NCCD data.
Members have been involved in training and moderation in term 2.
It has been disappointing that all the training has not been able to make clear the following messages throughout the State:
- NCCD evidence has been required since 2015
- 2022 NCCD does not require significant or drastic change in schools for evidence collection
- 2022 NCCD process has not changed because we are transitioning to a new staffing model in 2023
- Schools do not have to create or invent significant additional new NCCD evidence because EAP/verification is no longer being used (i.e., there will be evidence already existing for the vast majority of SWDs)
- For SWDs verified in previous years, schools will still have the EAP evidence to use for NCCD (as they done in the past)
- For SWDs who would have been verified in 2023, there will still be evidence e.g., a medical letter or report, an ICPs, other teacher planning, evidence of parent contact, timetables etc.
It has also been disappointing that the following messages have been circulating and are not endorsed or mandated by the department:
- All NCCD evidence must be saved/located in OneSchool (the evidence can be stored in a variety of locations)
- Schools must record and collect evidence over a 10-week period between now and the NCCD collection date in August (NCCD requires schools to have made adjustments for a SWD for at least a ten-week period and to have evidence to support that judgement but if the student has been in the school for 2 years, then there is no need to implement a 10-week period of intensive evidence collection/creation)
- NCCD checklist must be used (There is no NCCD or DoE requirement to use a checklist)
There should not be an increase in workload because of this transition to the use of NCCD data for SWD staffing.
EAP and verification have not been used for the vast majority of SWDs in 2022 and this should have freed up time for HOSES and teachers.
NCCD responsibility should not be the sole responsibility of classroom teachers. Schools should try and ensure that employees who were involved in EAP and verification continue to be involved in the NCCD process.
The QTU will be seeking member feedback about the 2022 NCCD process and is working on a draft joint QTU and Department of Education statement on NCCD workload.
Members are encouraged to use the recently published department fact sheet titled 2022 Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability as its content is consistent with this article. If teachers are asked to implement a new evidence collection process in 2022 ask the person implementing the change to provide a copy of a departmental document mandating the change.
Members with concerns or questions that go beyond the above referenced departmental publication should contact the QTU for advice and assistance.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Does the QTU support the NCCD process?
The QTU encourages members to participate in the annual NCCD process, to maximise the number of students who are identified for funding, however this should not involve any additional workload to that undertaken in 2017 or 2018.
Q. What is the point of collecting the data if the students identified are not supported adequately by funding?
A. The QTU supports the implementation of the Fair Funding Now! education funding model, which includes a loading for students with disabilities. This model defines students with disabilities as they are identified in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) process, which includes a broader range of students, e.g. in 2015 the NCCD identified approximately 26 per cent of students as having a disability.
Information about EAP (Education Adjustment Program), including guidelines, procedures, profiles, etc, is available on the Department of Education website.
Q. Do I need to have additional meetings with parents to gather the data?
A. For the NCCD, teachers use their informed judgement on the agreed level of adjustments to address the barriers and impacts associated with a disability. Therefore, parent consultation regarding the data submitted for the NCCD is not a requirement. Schools are encouraged to inform parents that the NCCD is occurring and can forward parent information sheets (which are available on the NCCD national website in a number of languages) to parents if they choose.
Q. How am I expected to collect and record this data?
A. In the past, this data was recorded manually on spreadsheets, however this process has since been automated through the OneSchool template.
Information from a student’s DDA personalised learning record is automatically included in the NCCD tool during the data collection period. Schools only need to record the level of adjustment and the disability category of the data to migrate it to the NCCD tool.
Please note, if information is directly added to the NCCD tool, a DDA personalised learning record is automatically updated or created to make it easier for schools and remove duplication.
Q. My school is requiring me to collect additional evidence and complete questionnaires regarding the student. Is this a statewide departmental requirement?
A. No. Schools can add evidence and strategies during the year to a student’s DDA personalised learning record, but this is not a departmental requirement. It is up to schools to decide how they record the adjustments occurring for individual students.
Q. Am I required to develop an additional personalised learning plan as part of the NCCD process?
A. Not as part of the NCCD process. Schools may already have individual student plans in place in accordance with the department policy on the whole school approach to support student learning, which states in addition to plans for curriculum, assessment and reporting, schools also undertake individual student planning and document support provisions and adjustments where students:
- are provided a lower or higher year-level curriculum than their age cohort — for a whole learning area or for all learning areas
- display behaviours that are deemed complex and challenging (Statement of expectations for a disciplined school environment)
- are in out-of-home care (education support plans are developed for students who meet the criteria specified in the Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care Implementation Guidelines)
- are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and require learning plans focusing on high attendance and achievement (see individual curriculum plan as described in Appendix 2)
- have identified health requirements, including those requiring specialised health procedures (an individual health plan and/or emergency health plan as specified in Management of Students with Specialised Health Needs Flowchart 1).
It also states that it is advisable to document the focused teaching and intensive teaching strategies used to support individual students but does not specify where this needs to be documented.
This is a local school-based decision