Data Collections Non-Government Schools Census
The Census provides the community and the Australian Government with information about schools and students in Australia. The annual Census collects information about:
Census informs the My School website, helping parents and the community to learn more about Australian schools. The data collected highlights some of the needs of each school’s students. The Australian Government also uses this Census data to calculate funding and to create informed and tailored policies for Australian Schools.
Important dates for the 2023 Census:
The Census reference period for students is the 20 school days leading up to, and including Census Day (Friday 4 August 2023).
School holidays, public holidays, and weekends that fall within the 20-day Census reference period are not included. Pupil-free days within the 20-day Census reference period are included.
Report all staff employed or engaged during the staff Census reference period (the 5 school days leading up to, and including Census Day).
Census reporting is required under the Australian Education Act 2013. Non-Government schools provide Census data in August each year.
Census instructional videos
To make Census reporting easier, please watch our new instructional videos:
In SchoolsHUB, you can submit your Census data in 2 ways. You can enter:
To access Census reporting:
To upload your data using our Census Upload Tool, click on the Data Upload tab. You will find a link to the tool under ‘How to upload data’. You can also find the tool in the Downloads section on this page.
Watch the Census Upload Tool video to find out more.
To manually enter your data in each field, click on the school name you wish to report on and click start.
You must have an active SchoolsHUB account. Your account must have the appropriate access role. It must be linked to your location, school, diocesan office, system office, or approved authority.
The table below shows Census roles available in SchoolsHUB. For SchoolsHUB access details, visit the Using SchoolsHUB help and support page.
Watch the Data Declarer Role video to find out more.
The information collected in the Census is different for each school or location. The below table outlines the information each organisation type will provide.
The Census consists of the following data entry pages:
Note: The data entry pages shown will vary depending on your user access level.
Watch the Census and Reporting Cohort Data video to find out more.
You are required to complete the Census under section 77 of the Australian Education Act 2013. Providing Census data is an ongoing requirement for approved authorities of non-government schools. Failure to complete the Census on time and through the requested channel may result in a delay to recurrent funding.
Continued failure to complete the Census may lead to the department varying or revoking an approved authority’s approval.
Providing false or misleading Census information to the Commonwealth is a serious offence and may result in prosecution under Section 137.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
Recordkeeping and Census Post Enumeration
Your approved authority must maintain records verifying the eligibility of all students reported in the Census for a minimum of 7 years. This is a requirement under section 37 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013 (the Regulation).
Each year after the Census, the department conducts the Post Enumeration exercise to review a sample of schools’ Census records. If the department selects a school for Post Enumeration, participation is mandatory under section 39 of the Regulation.
You must inform parents, guardians and staff about the department’s use of Census data. A privacy notice is available on the Non-Government Schools Census page of SchoolsHUB under Downloads. The privacy notice provides information on how we will handle the personal information collected in the Census.
We will only use your personal information for secondary purposes according to the Privacy Act 1988.
For queries or more information about privacy-related matters, please email email@example.com.
Students are eligible to be reported in the Census if they meet all the following criteria:
Do not report students who did not attend during the reference period. You can apply to include these students in your final Census count by submitting a special circumstances application.
Students ineligible to be reported in the Census are students who:
Special circumstances application
Special circumstances applications are for students who did not attend during the Census reference period but otherwise meet the Census eligibility requirements. These students are individually assessed and considered against the eligibility criteria for inclusion in the Census.
An application can be submitted for students who:
Supporting documentation must be provided for each student to corroborate the details provided in a special circumstances application.
When considering the type of supporting documentation, the department is seeking evidence to demonstrate the student has, and will continue to, be engaged in education by the school for the year. Providing these documents does not guarantee the student will be accepted, however it will allow the department to make a more informed decision based on the application.
You must submit all special circumstances applications and supporting documentation via email by Friday 18 August 2023 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full-time students must be enrolled and participating in primary or secondary education at the school location. They must be studying at a full-time workload (as prescribed by the relevant state or territory).
Part-time students must be enrolled and participating in primary or secondary education at the school location. They must have a workload less than that of a full-time student (as prescribed by the relevant state or territory).
Part-time students must have a Full Time Equivalent (FTE) between 0.1 and 0.9.
TAFE, tertiary studies and alternative pathways activities
Students may be studying school-based subjects while also undertaking alternative pathways activities. To be included as part of the student’s workload, these studies must be state or territory accredited as contributing to the Year 12 certificate (or equivalent).
Alternative pathways may include:
If your state or territory government does not recognise the alternative pathway as contributing to a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent, then you must only report the student’s school-based subject workload.
Student ages must be reported in the Census as of 1 July 2023.
The Australian Government recognises that individuals may identify, and be recognised within the community as, a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth or during infancy, or as a gender not exclusively male or female.
Options to report students are male (M), female (F) and indeterminate, intersex, or unspecified (X).
Indigenous students are students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who self-identify as – and are acknowledged by the community in which they live – as being of that descent.
In situations where school’s either do not have sufficient evidence to confirm a student is an ‘Indigenous student’, or where parents may choose not to identify a student as Indigenous or non-Indigenous, you must report these students as Indigenous non-stated.
Options to report Indigenous students are yes (Y), no (N) and non-stated (N/S).
A day student is a student who attends school during normal business hours only. They are not engaged in distance education and are not accommodated in the school's residential facilities.
A boarding student attends the school location for their schooling but is accommodated in the school’s residential facilities, rather than staying with a parent or guardian.
Distance education students
Distance education students can only be reported at schools that have been approved by the relevant state or territory for distance education, and where the state or territory provides funding for the school (other than financial assistance provided to the state or territory for the school in accordance with the Act), for primary or secondary education for students enrolled and receiving distance education from the school.
To be reported in the Census, a distance education student must:
Read the Distance Education Fact Sheet for more information.
Students on visas
Students on visas are students who are not Australian citizens. This includes both permanent residents, New Zealand citizens and students without a visa.
Students on bridging visas
Where a student may present a bridging visa, check if their previous substantive visa is still valid at Census Day. If the substantive visa is valid, the student must be reported according to the substantive visa. If the substantive visa is no longer valid, report the student according to the subclass of their bridging visa.
Students without a visa (students who are not Australian citizens and who do not have a visa) are eligible for inclusion in the Census, provided the students meet all other Census eligibility requirements.
These students will attract Australian Government recurrent funding. Because these students are not Australian Citizens, you should report these students as being ‘on a visa’ and not as ‘overseas students’ when you report them in your Census.
Overseas students are students who are on a visa that permits them to travel to Australia to undertake education.
Overseas student visa subclasses include:
Overseas students do not include:
Can I report exchange students in the Census?
Exchange students are students participating in an authorised Student Exchange Program. The exchange program must be registered with the state or territory education authority.
To be eligible for the Census, an exchange student must:
The department collects data on students with disability using the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) model. Report a student as having a disability if they meet the criteria. The criteria are that the student:
The school must ensure that it has documented evidence of adjustment(s) provided. For more information on the types of supporting evidence, see section C.5 of the 2023 NCCD Guidelines. For guidance on what constitutes 10 weeks of school education as it relates to the NCCD, see section C.3.1 of the 2023 NCCD Guidelines.
What information is reported for each student with disability?
In reporting students with disability, you will provide the department with:
Visit the NCCD Portal for further information and resources. Useful information includes:
Staff reference period
Report all staff employed or engaged during the staff reference period (the 5 school days leading up to, and including Census Day).
Eligible staff are those:
Emergency and casual relief staff (teaching or non-teaching) are not included in the Census unless they are employed in the position of a staff member who is absent for 4 continuous weeks or longer.
Report staff according to their ‘major function’ rather than their type of appointment. If a staff member spends 70% of their time at work teaching and 30% on administration duties, report them under their ‘major function’ of teaching. Include a staff member in either the full-time or part-time only section of the staff tables.
Executive staff (system or diocesan offices only)
Executive staff undertake functions such as:
A principal is a person responsible for the overall control and administration of the school. The approved authority nominates who the principal is.
You may report different principals if your school has multiple campuses. If one principal works across multiple campuses, report the principal as part-time at each campus (total FTE must not exceed 1.0).
Teaching staff impart the school curriculum and provide information and support services to students. Teaching staff spend most of their work time with students either in direct class contact or on an individual basis. These include:
Specialist support functions help students or teaching staff in developing the school curriculum. While these staff may spend most of their time in contact with students, they are not employed or engaged to impart the school curriculum. These include:
Building operations and other
Building operations, general maintenance and other staff are those involved in the care of buildings and grounds. These include those staff providing associated technical services and other janitorial staff. This includes:
Administrative and clerical
Administrative and clerical staff are responsible for the general administrative functions at the school. This includes:
Eligible staff with a full-time workload at the school location are reported as full-time staff. These staff have an FTE of 1.0.
Eligible staff with a less than full-time workload at the school location are reported as part-time staff. These staff have an FTE between 0.1 and 0.9.
The Census Upload Tool is an MS Excel document that contains macros. Macros are a series of commands used to automate and perform tasks that may otherwise take a significant amount of time. The Census Upload Tool uses macros to convert data from a format that is easy to enter and read into an XML file, which is the upload format that SchoolsHUB can accept.
To protect you from viruses, Excel will block all macros by default. After opening a file you trust, Excel gives you the option to enable macros for that document. If you try to use Census Upload Tool without first enabling macros, you will get an error message saying that the content is disabled.
When you open the file using:
If the warning bar does not appear when you open the document, you will need to update your macros settings manually. More information about enabling macros is available on the Enable or disable macros in Microsoft 365 files page on the Microsoft support website.
Security settings at your school or office may prevent you from changing these settings yourself. Talk to your school’s IT professionals for assistance with enabling macros for the Census Upload Tool.
Non-Government Schools Census
We're here to help. If you have any queries, contact us by:
SchoolsHUB Technical Support
For technical assistance, contact us by:
For further assistance with special circumstances, contact us by:
Students with disability
For questions on NCCD, contact us by:
The Census Post Enumeration Exercise validates whether a school's Census information is accurate, complete, and reliable. It forms part of the department’s Schools Funding Assurance Framework.
Each year, the department visits a number of schools to verify their Census information. After assessing enrolment records, the department adjusts census information and funding where applicable.
Under the Australian Education Regulation 2013, schools must participate in the Census Post Enumeration Exercise if they are selected.
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) provides the community and government with information about Australian school students who receive adjustments due to disability. Adjustments help a student with disability take part in education on the same basis as other students.
A school's Approved Authority must provide information for each student with disability that is reported in the Census. This includes the:
Funding from the Australian Government for students with disability is based on the NCCD. NCCD data is also used to inform improvements to students with disability programs. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) annually publish high-level, de-identified NCCD data.
NCCD reporting is required under the Australian Education Regulation 2013. Non-government schools provide NCCD data in August each year.
Find out more about the NCCD.
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