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.

Submission due date

This years SBD collection for Independent schools was open from 2 March to 4 May 2023. For schools that are yet to submit or wish to resubmit, please contact us on the email below.

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