School Students with Disability

Distribution of students with disability
Notes and caveats

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on School Students with Disability identifies students who received an educational adjustment due to disability. Through this collection, teachers use their professional judgement based on evidence to capture information on:

    • the level of adjustment that students with disability are being provided to enable them to participate in education on the same basis as other students:
      • support within quality differentiated teaching practice (QDTP)
      • supplementary
      • substantial
      • extensive

    • the broad category of disability under which each student best fits:
      • physical
      • cognitive
      • sensory
      • social-emotional
The collection is based on the broad definition of disability used in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.


Notes and caveats

    • The collection has been designed to collect information on the full range of students who receive adjustments to support their access and participation in learning because of disability as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). Students with a medical diagnosis are a subset of those students who meet the definition of disability under the DDA and as a result, higher numbers of students are reported through the collection than in other data collections on students with disability.
    • 2018 marked the first year the NCCD was used to calculate the Commonwealth funding entitlements for schools educating students with disability. The NCCD data was collected from schools as part of the 2018 Census and the Department has undertaken some initial analysis. From 1 January 2018, Commonwealth recurrent funding calculations used NCCD data for the Student with Disability (SWD) loading. As a result, the business processes changed for collecting data on students with disability. These changes included, but were not limited to: 
      • NCCD was included in the annual Australian Government Non-Government School Census (School Census) as the count basis for students with disability at a school.
      • NCCD was included in the annual Government Schools Data Submission as the count basis for students with disability at a school.
    • Independent reviews of the quality of the data by PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that schools’ level of understanding of the collection model, the DDA and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 contributes directly to the quality of the data collected.
    • Where a student has multiple disabilities, for the purposes of this collection they are only counted in one disability category; the one that most drives the educational adjustments provided for them. Consequently, the data may under-represent the prevalence of some categories of disability.
    • Disaggregations by Level of Adjustment within Category of Disability are not available below the level of total Australia.
    • Previously published reports on students in Australian schools receiving adjustments for disability can be found on the Education Council website:
    • For further information on levels of adjustment and data collection model, refer to the 2018 Guidelines on the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website:

Sources: Non-government Schools Census as at 9 November 2018; Government Schools Data Submission as at 14 November 2018.


User guide

Please refer to the user guide for information on how to use the data portal.


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