Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

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ACARA Data Access Program


ACARA's Charter includes the following work priority:
In accordance with the Principles and Protocols for Reporting on Schooling in Australia (June 2009), collect, manage, analyse, evaluate and report statistical and related information about schools and the outcomes of schooling, as required by the Council of Australian Governments and under the National Education Agreement for performance monitoring(ACARA Charter, July 2010, Section 7).

Within its role of collecting, analysing and reporting data, ACARA systematically applies the Principles and Protocols for Reporting on Schooling in Australia, 2009. These principles and protocols are intended to guide and inform the use and publication of data generated in the process of measuring the performance of schooling in Australia.

Through the Principles and Protocols for Reporting on Schooling in Australia, ministers have agreed to ACARA implementing:
  • access rights to third party requests for data arising from the National Assessment Program, or other national assessments agreed by ministers, that have not been released in the public domain
  • policies and procedures that will specify the conditions under which the full data sets on school performance will be accessible to third parties. 

Data Access Protocols

Protocols relating to the release of data managed by ACARA and the eligibility to receive data have been endorsed by the Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC, from 1 July 2014 known as Education Council).
Applicants requesting data must refer to the Data Access Protocols – 2015 revision (PDF 213 kb) before submitting a data access application.

Summary of data access process

ACARA manages national school data on behalf of all Australian schools, and must balance considerations of the potential for research to drive school improvement and enhance school performance and equity outcomes versus the need to protect the integrity of schools and groups of students and teachers, and to ensure that school performance data is presented in an appropriate and contextualised manner.
ACARA’s Research and Data Committee will play a key role in considering data requests in the context of the Data Access Protocols.
View the Summary of Data Access Process document that briefly provides: information on what data you can apply for; why some data requests are rejected; what data requests ACARA does/does not consider; how to apply for data; and what restrictions apply.

Data Access Program guidelines 2013

The Data Access Program guidelines (pdf 572 KB) include: the required steps for submitting a data request application; the review and assessment process taken by ACARA; formalisation of the data access agreement; data preparation, delivery and utilisation of data; Data Request Application; and Draft Data Access Agreement Templates.

Data catalogue

The Data catalogue includes information on key datasets held by ACARA and other selected datasets not held directly by ACARA but which may be of interest to potential data request applicants. Only the names of data items/variables are provided (no data are contained in this document).

Data request application

Download the Data request application document (Word 32 kb).

Data Access Program: enquiries

Email queries regarding the Data Access Program at