Student background data collection for independent schools


About the collection

ACARA collects student background data (SBD) for all Australian schools to calculate Socio-Educational Advantage (SEA) and Disadvantaged Language Background other than English (DLBOTE).  The Data standards manual: Student background characteristics – 2022 edition (PDF 301 kb) provides guidance on the collection of student background data.

Data utilisation

The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is used to report school NAPLAN performance against students with similar backgrounds.

The proportions of students in the lower two quarters of Socio-Educational Advantage are used by the Australian Government Department of Education (AGDE) to calculate the socio‑educational disadvantage loadings. The proportion of DLBOTE students is used to calculate the low English proficiency loading. For further information, please see Section 18 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013

ICSEA values for schools are increasingly being used by government and non-government organisations for determining which schools qualify for special assistance.

What information is collected

Each students’ date of birth, gender, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status and Language other than English spoken at home.
Each parent/guardian/carers’ school education, non-school education, occupation group and Language other than English spoken at home.


How to submit your student background data

  1. Download the SBD template
  2. Extract data for all students in all schools/campuses into the template (confirm SML ID's and school/campus names on the ASL site)
  3. Request a Kiteworks FTP account (unless you already have one from 2021/22)
  4. Upload your file to the SBD folder in the secure FTP site (Please do not email this information)
  5. Check the confirmation email from ACARA detailing if your data has been accepted. This may take 10-20 minutes to be delivered after your file has been uploaded.

Further details for each of these steps can be found in the SBD submission instructions.

Submission due date

This years SBD collection for Independent schools was opened from 2 March to 4 May 2023. For the submitters of schools that have not yet completed the submissions please contact us to discuss.

Contact us

For assistance in preparing the template or submitting the data, please review the frequently asked questions below or contact ACARA via: [email protected] or 1300 895 563   (extension 2 for My School including Principals Portal).


Frequently asked questions


What students to include

Data related questions