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

To submit your data, please follow the 5 steps below. More detailed instructions can be found in the SBD submission instructions document.

1. Download the template 

2. Extract data for all students in all schools/campuses into the template

3. Request a Kiteworks FTP account/ login in if you already have an account

4. Upload your file to the SBD folder in Kiteworks (Please do not email this information from your email or within Kiteworks)

5. Check the confirmation email from ACARA detailing if your data has been accepted. This automated email can take up to 20 minutes to be received.

Submission due date

This years SBD collection for Independent schools will be open from 29 February to 2 May 2024.

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