National data collection and reporting
ACARA is responsible for collecting, managing, analysing, evaluating and reporting statistical and related information about educational outcomes.
This includes the development of national key performance measures for reporting the performance of Australian schooling. ACARA has developed and education ministers have approved the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2015 (PDF 272 kb), which lists and defines these measures for national reporting from the 2015 reporting year.
ACARA publishes the annual National Report on Schooling in Australia on behalf of Australian education ministers, meeting as the Education Council.
The National Report on Schooling in Australia 2012 is the fourth to report on progress towards the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (PDF 8978 kb) and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Education Agreement (PDF 502 kb).
The report specifically addresses education ministers’ Commitment to Action in the eight interrelated areas identified in the Melbourne Declaration by summarising national initiatives and achievements in terms of these areas. It also reports on the nationally agreed key performance measures for student achievement, participation and attainment and provides statistics on school and staff numbers as well as student enrolments, attendance, progression, achievement and attainment.
The 2012 report is available in PDF format, with the Additional Statistics compendium as a separate PDF or Excel document. The National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009, 2010 and 2011 are also published on the ACARA website. View previous reports (1989–2008) on the SCSEEC website.
ACARA is also responsible for collecting data from schools for the purpose of accountability and reporting, research and analysis, and resource allocation. Information on individual schools was published for the first time on the My School website in January 2010.
The current version of My School was released in March 2016. This expanded version of the site provides parents and the community with information about NAPLAN performance as well as information about school finances and school communities. In December 2014 an additional page showing student attendance data for Years 1–10 was added to the site. To read more about My School, visit the 'My School' page of the ACARA website as well as My School website itself.
ACARA also publishes the national reports for the National Assessment Program – literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) and for the National Assessment Program sample assessments. These reports can be viewed on ACARA’s National Assessment Program (NAP) website.
To report student outcomes data, nationally comparable student background data are needed. As agreed by education ministers, ACARA has developed the Data Standards Manual: Student Background Characteristics to provide information to assist schools and school systems to collect consistent student background information from parents.
From the 2014 year onwards, nationally comparable student attendance data are also being collected, as set out in the National Standards for Student Attendance Data Reporting. All jurisdictions and sectors have agreed to provide student attendance data that comply with these standards, with the non-government sectors (independent and Catholic schools) complying with the standards from 2013 onwards; government schools in all jurisdictions except NSW, from 2014; and NSW government schools, from 2015.