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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:  

  • the numbers of students and staff
  • students on a visa
  • students with disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

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:

  • Monday 31 July 2023 – Census opens in SchoolsHUB
  • Friday 4 August 2023 – Census Day
  • Friday 11 August 2023 – Census declaration due
  • Friday 18 August 2023 – Special circumstances applications due. 

Reference period

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:

  • all information at once by using the Census Upload Tool
  • data into each Census reporting field manually.

To access Census reporting:

  • Step 1: Open the SchoolsHUB homepage, then click Sign in.
  • Step 2: Enter your email or username and password, then click Sign in.
  • Step 3: Go the SchoolsHUB user dashboard. On the Data collection progress table, click Non-Government Schools Census 2023.
  • Step 4: The Non-Government Schools Census 2023 will open on the My organisations tab. Next to this is the Data Upload tab.

Data Upload

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.

Manual reporting

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.

I want to Data Reporter Data Declarer Authority Representative
View previous Census returns
Enter data into the Census
Declare the Census

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.

Regular and special assistance schools
Special schools
System / diocesan offices
Student year levels
Student ages as of 1 July 2023
Student age brackets
(11 years and younger or 12 years and older) as of 1 July 2023
Full-time or part-time students
Students on visas
Overseas students
Indigenous students
Students with disability
Boarding students
Distance education students
Student gender
Staff gender
Indigenous staff
Full time or part time staff
Staff type


The Census consists of the following data entry pages:

  • Contacts: you will confirm your school or campus location details and your contact details. You will also complete the acknowledgment of obligations.
  • Getting Started: you will provide some information specific to the school or campus location to make it easier to provide your Census data.
  • Enter Data: you will provide your Census data for staff, and for students by each year level. The combinations required are based on your answers at Getting Started.
  • Review: you will check your data entered is correctly recorded.
  • Declaration: you (or your approved authority representative) will then complete a legal declaration. This will confirm your school or location has provided accurate and complete data.

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.

Legal obligations

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.

Privacy information

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.

The department uses information collected in the Census under our privacy policy. We collect, hold, use, and disclose personal information for either:

  • a lawful purpose that is reasonably necessary or directly related to one or more of our functions or activities
  • where otherwise required or authorised by law.

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

Eligible students

Students are eligible to be reported in the Census if they meet all the following criteria:

  • the student is enrolled at the school on Census Day (Friday 4 August 2023)
  • the student is enrolled in a year level the school is approved to provide at that location
  • the student has a pattern of regular attendance at the school, or at school generally, during the year
  • the student attends the school for at least one day during the Census Reference Period.

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.

Ineligible students

Students ineligible to be reported in the Census are students who:

  • did not attend for any part of the Census reference period
  • are enrolled but did not attend in the year leading up to, and including Census Day
  • last attended the school location before Census Day and will not be returning until 2024 or later
  • unenrolled or ceased attending the school location before Census Day
  • are not eligible to enrol at a school location based on the relevant state and territory requirements
  • did not study school subjects (from foundation (Year 1 minus 1) to year 12)
  • are on a visa which prohibits them from engaging in studies as a condition of their visa
  • are on a visitor’s visa and in Australia for less than 6 months
  • are on exchange and at the school location for a period shorter than 6 months
  • are on exchange and have completed their formal schooling in their own country
    • do not study any normal school subjects and only participate in: 
      • apprenticeships
      • English as a second language courses
      • TAFE courses 
      • tertiary subjects
      • work placements
      • or a combination of such activities.

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:

  • are enrolled at the school on Census Day (Friday 4 August 2023) for the school for the year
  • are enrolled for education at a level specified for the school in the approval of the approved authority for the school
  • who have a pattern of regular attendance at the school, or at school generally, during the year
  • who did not attend for at least one day during the Census reference period for the school for the year.

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


Full-time students

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

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:

  • apprenticeships
  • school-based apprenticeships
  • traineeships
  • TAFE courses
  • university courses
  • work placements.

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

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).

Day students

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. 

Boarding students

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:

  • reside in the state or territory in which the school is located
  • not be approved as a home school student
  • not be an overseas student.

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.

There may be several reasons why a student does not have a visa. Approved authorities/schools are required to collect and retain sufficient written documentation from parents/guardians about the visa status of students they report in the census.

Documentation may include:

  • a letter/email from parents/guardians advising of the student’s current visa status (for example, that their visa has expired and that the family has not yet applied for a new visa)
  • information from the Department of Home Affairs
  • information from Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) service providers working with the families.

Overseas students

Overseas students are students who are on a visa that permits them to travel to Australia to undertake education.

Overseas student visa subclasses include:

  • 500
  • 570
  • 571
  • 572
  • 573
  • 574
  • 575.

Overseas students do not include:

  1. a dependent of a person who is receiving sponsorship or scholarship for the purpose of undertaking a course provided by an institution in Australia that:
    • a) is a Table A provider or a Table B provider (within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003); and
    • b) is meeting the full cost of the education component of the course;
  2. a person who is undertaking a course of study provided by an institution or body in Australia under a student exchange program registered by the relevant education authority in the state or territory where the person is undertaking the program; or
  3. a person, or a dependent of a person, who is receiving sponsorship or scholarship from the Commonwealth for the purpose of undertaking a course provided by an institution or other body or person in Australia. For more information on the type of visa a student is on, consult the Department of Home Affairs.

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:

  • meet the Census eligibility criteria
  • be on exchange at the school location for 6 months or more
  • not have completed formal schooling in their country of origin.

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:

  • meets the Census eligibility criteria
  • has a disability as defined in appendix 4 of the 2023 NCCD Guidelines
  • has been provided with an adjustment to address the functional impact of a disability. The adjustment must be for a minimum of 10 weeks of school education, over the 12 months leading up to, and including Census Day.

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:

  • disability category (see appendix 2 of the 2023 NCCD guidelines):
    • physical
    • cognitive
    • social-Emotional
    • sensory
    • none.
  • level of adjustment (see selecting the level of adjustment):
    • support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice (QDTP)
    • supplementary
    • substantial
    • extensive
    • none.

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:

  • who work with students from foundation (year 1 minus 1) to year 12
  • with an FTE greater than 0.1
  • who were absent from their position for less than 4 weeks (excluding school holidays)
  • who are employed under government-sponsored employment schemes.

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.

Ineligible staff:

  • cleaners
  • boarding staff
  • tutors not employed by the school
  • staff who only work outside regular school hours (for example, before or after school care).

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:

  • directors
  • inspectors
  • superintendents
  • administrators.


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

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:

  • deputy principals
  • teachers
  • permanent relief teachers
  • specialist subject teachers
  • librarians
  • chaplains imparting the school curriculum
  • undergraduate students working as teaching staff.

Specialist support

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:

  • student support services, such as career adviser, student counsellor or liaison officer
  • educational development, such as staff and curriculum development
  • school psychologist, guidance officer, social worker, pathway planning officer
  • sports coordinator
  • school nurse.

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:

  • janitors
  • building or grounds maintenance staff
  • technical services and general maintenance staff
  • canteen staff
  • IT support staff
  • staff not included in other staffing categories.

Administrative and clerical

Administrative and clerical staff are responsible for the general administrative functions at the school. This includes:

  • classroom assistants and teacher aides
  • library assistants
  • bursars or school administrators
  • accountants.

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:

  • Excel 2010 or later, a yellow message bar should appear at the top of the page with a shield icon and an enable content button. Click Enable Content to allow macros to run in the Census Upload Tool
  • older versions of Excel, a light blue message bar appears at the top of the page with a shield icon and a security warning. Click Options. A pop-up window will appear where you can select Enable this content and then OK.

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:

Special circumstances

For further assistance with special circumstances, contact us by:

  • submitting a support request through SchoolsHUB.

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 of Education’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 Regulations 2023, schools must participate in the Census Post Enumeration Exercise if they are selected.

In 2024, the department is piloting the use of the online collaboration service GovTEAMS to conduct some Census PE Exercises. As part of the GovTEAMS pilot, all schools will have access to GovTEAMS and its suite of guidance to understand, prepare for and participate in the Census PE Exercise. You do not need to be participating in a desktop review, or part of the current Census PE Exercise to join. This suite of guidance is an open resource to support all schools.

To access the resources, visit this form Register – Guidance for Census PE and you will be sent an invitation to the Census PE school community.

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:

  • the student's level of adjustment
  • the student's broad category of disability
  • the student's year of schooling
  • for a part-time student, the fraction of the full-time study load that the student is undertaking.

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