Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)

The NCCD is an annual collection of information about Australian school students with disability.
The NCCD enables schools, education authorities and governments to better understand the needs of students with disability and how they can be best supported at school.

What's new in 2021

The NCCD Guidelines are published annually. NCCD 2021 Guidelines are now available.

The NCCD Guidelines are published annually. NCCD 2021 Guidelines are now available. Changes to the 2021 NCCD Guidelines include:

  • schools must notify students and parents/guardians/carers to ensure that all involved in the NCCD are fully aware of the data collection and its importance. Where it is not possible or appropriate, the reasons should be documented. In particular, the notice should provide information on its purpose (including funding), legislative basis, to whom NCCD data will be disclosed, and assurance activities that may be conducted by the department in relation to the NCCD data (consistent with privacy legislation). To assist schools with this communication, a public information notice is available on the Australian Government department's website, and a fact sheet and resources for parents, guardians and carers are available on the NCCD Portal.
  • clarify the school hours and school days counted toward the 10-week evidence requirements, so rather than "all day every day", the Guidelines now clarify "all school hours and days of the week". Note that special provisions made to evidence requirements last year due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic do not apply in 2021.
  • guidance in relation to imputed disabilities. In cases when a medical or allied health professional diagnostic report is not available, a disability may be 'imputed' to a student who is receiving educational adjustments based on their condition. An imputed disability is an undiagnosed disability the school team judges a student to have. If an educational adjustment(s) is made for students with an imputed disability, the students must be included in the NCCD.
  • clarification that supporting evidence of an adjustment provided may include, but is not limited to, school team judgements based on observation (not solely teacher judgement), allied health professional diagnostic reports (not just medical reports), individual/personal learning plans, records of assessments or discussions with parents, carers and guardians among other things.
  • clarification that while schools should consult with parents, carers and guardians before making an adjustment, in some cases(s), it may be more appropriate to consult only with the student themselves or with an associate. In each case, this will be a matter for the school to determine depending on the student's individual circumstances and their cognitive capacity to make decisions for themselves as mature minors.
  • clarification on how to prepare your school for the NCCD and related timelines. The Guidelines re-emphasise that the NCCD count should be implemented year round, rather than at a point close to the reference date. The guidelines also advocate for schools to ensure school staff have completed relevant professional learning on the Disability Discrimination Act, the Disability Standards for Education and the NCCD.

The data submission process this year is the same as last year.

About the NCCD

All Australian schools are required to participate annually in the NCCD.

The NCCD reflects and supports the ongoing work of schools. The NCCD draws on teachers' professional judgement and practices throughout the year supporting students with disability to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students.

Under the NCCD model, teachers and school staff use their professional, informed judgement, based on evidence, to determine the level of adjustment students with disability receive, in both the classroom and whole of school context, as well as the broad category of disability that relates to the adjustments.

The NCCD model is based on mandatory obligations to students under the national Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005(DSE). Understanding these legal obligations and the NCCD model is essential knowledge for principals and teachers.

The NCCD is used by the Australian Government to calculate the students with disability loading in recurrent funding for schools provided by the Commonwealth to states and territories.

For non-government schools, the disability loading is provided directly in full to schools. For government schools, a proportion of the disability loading is provided by the Commonwealth to state and territory governments. Currently, the Commonwealth Government provides approximately 20 per cent of the NCCD disability loading to the Victorian Government. For further information, see: What is the Australian Government doing to support students with disability in schools?

In line with Commonwealth legislation, state and territory governments allocate state funding to schools according to their own funding distribution models. For Victorian government schools, funding is distributed to schools under the Student Resource Package (SRP) model.

Every child who attends a Victorian government school is funded through their school’s SRP to support their learning needs. Schools are responsible for using these resources to facilitate the development and delivery of teaching and learning programs for all students, including students with disabilities and additional needs. Each school has flexibility to determine the most appropriate learning program for individual students, including the use of support staff, as appropriate, to achieve educational outcomes.

The quality and reliability of information gathered for the NCCD is critical. School principals are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their school's NCCD data and validating that there is evidence at the school to support the inclusion of a student in the NCCD. This is a key responsibility given that the NCCD data will be used to inform funding provided by the Australian Government to Victoria and may be the subject of audits or compliance activities.

The NCCD does not replace existing state or territory or sectoral requirements that are linked to funding and/or reporting. For Victorian government schools, this means that the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) will continue to provide funding for eligible students with disabilities who attend regular and specialist schools.

2021 key dates

The reference date for the NCCD is Friday, 6 August 2021.

Term 1: 29 January to 1 April

Preparation may continue into Term 2.

  • Identify the staff in the school responsible for implementation of the NCCD (school team).
  • Staff implementing the NCCD must complete professional learning on the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and requirements under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (DSE).

Term 2: 19 April to 25 June

  • Application of the NCCD model (may continue into Term 3)
  • Schools are to apply the NCCD Model to determine which students will be included in the collection.
  • School team leads professional discussions to confirm that decision making has been applied consistently (meetings with teachers at the school/with other schools). Discussions and moderation meetings should reference the latest national professional learning material on the NCCD portal as the primary source.

Term 3: 11 July to 17 September

  • Monitoring and checking data
  • School team enters data into CASES21 at any time before the reference date if criteria are met.
  • School principal verifies and confirms NCCD data, backed by evidence held in the school, prior to submission.

Term 4: 4 October to 17 December

  • Process review and reflection
  • School team evaluates the application of the NCCD model and how school practices and processes could be improved to facilitate next year's NCCD. School teams can refer to the Reflection Tool.

NCCD resources

Key resources

NCCD promotional material

Steps in the NCCD model

Other tools to assist schools with data collection

Process and data entry for Victorian Government schools in CASES21

Verifying and recording data in CASES21

What to do:

  • the Department requires the principal to verify that the process undertaken and student information collected is accurate
  • nominated school staff member enters verified data for each identified student in CASES21 following the instructions in the CASES21 administration user guide: Chapter 7, pages 22-26: CASES21 administration guide
  • When all data has been entered in CASES21, Schools are encouraged to run the following reports for their reference. At the end of each year, NCCD data in CASES21 will reset as part of the annual process. This means that schools should save a copy of the reports for their records next year.
    • Students with disability – disability summary [ST21428]
    • Students with disability – student summary [ST21429]

In 2021, the reference date for submitting data is 6 August via the CASES21 system (data can be recorded prior to this time, however make sure information is accurate as of the reference date).

For further information, see the CASES21 administration guide

Additional information notices 

Professional learning on the NCCD portal

The NCCD Portal provides free information and professional learning resources for teachers, school leaders, support staff, parents/guardians and carers. The portal includes a significant amount of information and guidance to help teachers and school teams work through the steps for completing the NCCD.

To access these support materials, visit the NCCD Portal.

The NCCD is designed to complement and reinforce the legislative requirements that apply to all Australian schools and education institutions under the:

Before completing the NCCD, all school staff should undertake professional learning to develop or refresh their knowledge and understanding of the DDA and the DSE. The DSE apply to all school staff and it is essential that all staff are aware of their legal obligations to students with disability

eLearning resources on the DDA and the DSE are freely accessible on the Professional Learning page on the NCCD Portal

Practical guides about the DSE for individuals, families and communities can be accessed on the NCCD Portal.

Advice and assistance

A help desk for the national data collection located in the state office is available to schools. For support, contact: