Data standards manual: Student background characteristics
The Data Standards Manual: Student Background Characteristics provides information to assist schools and school systems to collect student background information from parents as agreed by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC, from 1 July 2014 known as 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.
Information is collected from students’ parents (or guardians) via enrolment forms on students:
The student background information is linked to students’ results in the various components of the National Assessment Program (NAP).
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 government and non-government schools. It is the responsibility of schools and school systems to review and adjust their data collection tools and data processing procedures to ensure that their collections incorporate the standard definitions, question modules and data coding structure for each of the variables, as per the technical specifications provided in the Manual.
The manual describes what is involved and what it means in practical terms for schools, school systems, test administration authorities and assessment contractors. The manual is intended for school and school system personnel responsible for:
designing enrolment forms and enrolment processes
collecting information from parents
designing, maintaining or modifying student information storage and retrieval systems
updating student records
managing or coordinating at the school level students’ participation in full cohort literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) testing, and national or international sample assessments.
The manual also provides information for test administration authorities and software providers.
The sixth edition of the manual and its attachments can be downloaded as one complete document
or, for convenience, as separate documents.
Data quality assurance
Help for schools
How information is collected, stored and reported for each of the background characteristics
Parental school education
Parental non-school education
Parental occupation group
Main language other than English spoken at home
Country of birth
The manual is accompanied by seven attachments:
: Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) 2011
: Main languages spoken, for Australia and by State/Territory
: Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) 2011
: Main countries of birth, for Australia and by State/Territory