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2.3 National data and reporting

Purpose: To provide and apply a comprehensive and reliable national measurement framework, to facilitate the use and dissemination of data for research and policy development in accordance with agreed protocols, to present detailed, accessible, timely and meaningful school education performance information.

Criteria source:  ACARA Corporate Plan 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2019–20: Education and Training – ACARA Budget Statements – Outcome 1 Program 1.3, pages 82–83.

Performance criterion

The National Report on Schooling in Australia is published

Measure

The National Report on Schooling in Australia drafted and approved by the ACARA Board by the end of December of the following year; the data portal updated in December and April with the most up-to-date available data, allowing public access to the various agreed national data sets for schooling

Result

Not achieved ☐ Partially achieved ☐ Achieved ☒

Supporting statement

The National Report on Schooling in Australia 2018 was reviewed by ACARA’s advisory groups and approved by the ACARA Board in December 2019. The report was published in May 2020, following endorsement by Education Council.

The National Report on Schooling data portal was updated, as scheduled, in December 2019 and April 2020. The data portal provides interactive access to a number of national data sets for schooling, covering general statistics on schooling, and the nationally agreed key performance measures (KPMs) for schooling specified in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia. The portal allows for a timely release of statistical data relating to the National Report on Schooling in Australia in advance of the annual report being published.

The revised Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2019 that dictates the key performance measures reported in the National Report on Schooling was published in January 2020, following endorsement by Education Council.

Performance criterion

Enhancements to My School considered and agreed to by Education Council progressed

Measure

All enhancements to My School consulted on with key stakeholders and implemented as agreed

Resul

Not achieved ☐ Partially achieved ☐ Achieved ☒

Supporting statement

ACARA worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to implement recommendations of the NAPLAN Reporting Review, commissioned by Education Council, as these recommendations impact on My School.

Recommendations of this review included that the number of NAPLAN displays on My School be reduced; that these displays should focus on student gain, not comparisons of statistically similar schools; that a technical review of the index of community socio-educational advantage (ICSEA) be undertaken; and that clear guidance be provided to schools, the public and students on the purposes and proper uses of NAPLAN and My School.

The updated My School website now includes only two NAPLAN pages: ‘Student progress’ and ‘Student results’. A new measure of student progress was introduced, taking into account prior student achievement and socio-educational advantage (parental occupation and education). In addition, ‘similar schools results’ were replaced with ‘results for similar students’, where the average school performance was compared with achievement of students with a similar background (parental occupation and education, Indigenous status and remoteness) as the students attending that school.

From September 2019 to February 2020, ACARA consulted with the National Assessment, Data, Analysis and Reporting Reference Group, Measurement Advisory Group, Data Strategy Group, Schools Policy Group and parent peak bodies, and conducted market research with parents on the revised NAPLAN displays.

Analysis of performance

The My School website was updated on 18 March 2020. It was released in accordance with Education Council approval of the updated displays of NAPLAN results as per the recommendations from the NAPLAN Reporting Review. ACARA worked with states and territories to finalise the presentation of NAPLAN results and student progress information on the website.

As with previous releases, the My School 2020 release included an additional year’s data for existing fields. Based on advice from parents and stakeholders, data prior to 2014 was removed from the site. In summary, the data reported now includes:

  • school profile data: 2014–2019
  • NAPLAN data: 2014–2019
  • attendance data: 2014–2019
  • finance data: 2014–2018
  • VET in schools data: 2014–2018
  • senior secondary outcomes data: 2014–2018.

ACARA has expanded the collection of student background data from independent schools in order to support improvements to the quality of the Socio-Educational Advantage (SEA) data and Disadvantaged Language Background Other than English (DLBOTE) estimates. Both SEA and DLBOTE inform Australian Government funding to schools and are reported on My School’s school profiles.

In 2020, nearly 700 schools have provided data, compared with 250 in 2019. The National Report on Schooling  in Australia 2018 was prepared during 2019 and published, following Education Council endorsement, in May 2020. The National Report on Schooling data portal was updated in December 2019 and April 2020 with the latest data on schools and schooling, including:

  • updates to the key performance measures for schooling for 2019 
  • counts of schools, students and staff for 2019 and other data from the National Schools Statistics Collection 
  • school attendance and retention rates 
  • school finance data. 

In 2019 the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia was reviewed by ACARA in consultation with jurisdictions and school sectors and endorsed by Education Council in December 2019. The revised Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2019 was published in January 2020.

During the reporting year, ACARA continued to provide access to the data collected by ACARA to third parties under the Data Access Protocols 2015.

  • The Australian Schools List website was updated quarterly.