Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Ministers agree to nationwide data collection to support students with disability

Ministers:

The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for School Education
Minister for Early Childhood and Youth

The first nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability has been endorsed by all education ministers today and will start in October 2013.

Minister for School Education Peter Garrett welcomed the decision at today’s Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) meeting in Sydney that the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability will begin in selected schools this year.

"This significant reform will mean for the first time in this country, we will have consistent information on school students with disability across the country,” Mr Garrett said.

"This is another way that this Government is making sure that every student gets the same opportunity to get a world-class education, through our National Plan for School Improvement.

"Today’s agreement builds on the commitment made by Commonwealth, state and territory education Ministers, taken in December last year, to fully implement the data collection on school students with disability over 2013–15.

"The Gillard Government welcomes the decision by education ministers today to fully endorse the model for a nationally consistent collection of data based on the outcomes and findings contained in the Final Report on the 2012 Trial of a model for the nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability.”

Parliamentary Secretary for School Education Senator Jacinta Collins said a consistent approach to the collection of data on students with disability is vital to ensuring all students are given equal opportunities in schools across Australia.

"Every child deserves a great education and through our National Plan for School Improvement we will make sure that transparency, consistency and quality in teaching and learning will drive improvements in every school in the country,” Senator Collins said.

"Having nationally consistent data will help our schools better recognise and support the needs of students with disability, giving them every opportunity to reach their full potential.

"All Australian school students with disability and their families, along with their schools and teachers, will benefit from this landmark decision and support governments to implement a disability loading in 2015.

"It means schools will be better able to meet their responsibility to support students with disability under the Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education.”

Mr Garrett said that today’s decision was an important next step in securing equality for all Australian school students.

"Today’s decision cements our commitment to deliver a consistent, transparent, evidence-based and future-focused approach to supporting students with disability in our schools,” Mr Garrett said.

"This data collection will support the vital work proposed under our National Plan for School Improvement, which is all about making sure that every child across Australia, regardless of where they go to school or what their personal circumstances are, gets the same opportunity to excel.”

The data collection will continue to be coordinated through a Joint Working Group of the SCSEEC.

"We will continue to consult closely with government and non-government state and territory education authorities, educational stakeholders and the teaching profession as we implement the data collection, with regular progress reports to stakeholders and Ministers,” Mr Garrett said.

For more information visit www.deewr.gov.au/collection-nationally-consistent-data-students-disability.