Important Information from MMEC
Our school is taking part in a new project called the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability. This project will help governments all around Australia have a better understanding of what students with disability need to take part in their education.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT ABOUT?
The goal of the project is to make sure that the Commonwealth Department of Education has current data about students with disability in Australian schools.
In Australia, there’s a law that says people with disability must be treated fairly. This law is called the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and it says that students with disability have the right to take part in their education, just like all other students.
Schools may need to make some adjustments to support students with disability. The adjustments should be reasonable, meaning that they are balanced and fair to both the school and the student. Adjustments are usually made with input from parents, carers or guardians. They may include things like one‐to‐one learning support or some form of help to get around.
This collection of data will help all governments across Australia to understand how many students in schools have a disability and need support to take part in their education on the same basis as other students.
Under the law, the word ‘disability’ has a very broad definition. For this project, students who require adjustments for a health or learning condition may be included in the data collection. Information will be collected about a range of students, not just those who have a diagnosed condition or who are receiving government funding or support. The main criterion is that adjustments have been made for the student.
This data will be better than any data that has been collected before. And this means that, at the end of the project, there will be a much better picture of what students need. Governments will be able to use this information to make plans and start making changes for educating students with disability in schools.
WHAT SORT OF INFORMATION WILL BE COLLECTED?
The following information will be collected from each school:
• the location – for example, if it is in the city, or in a rural or regional area
• whether the school is a primary or secondary school
• the total number of students in the school
• the total number of students who receive adjustments
• the type of adjustments provided
• the type of disability, health or learning condition of the students who need adjustments.
HOW WILL THE INFORMATION BE COLLECTED?
We will gather information about the students with disability at our school. We will work out the:
• number of students with disability who attend our school
• adjustments that have been provided
• types of disability or other condition of the students who need adjustments.
In order to gather this information, we may need to:
• talk to you
• talk to your child’s teacher
• look at your child’s learning plan.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE INFORMATION AFTER IT’S BEEN COLLECTED?
After we finish collecting the information, we will send the numbers to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). We will do this in August this year. The information will be sent in a secure way to the DEECD and no names will be included.
The DEECD will make sure that information about students will not identify them before sending it to the Commonwealth Department of Education. The Commonwealth Department of Education will then start using the data, comparing it with other schools around the country.
DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE PART?
You don’t have to take part in this project if you don’t want to. If you’re happy to take part, you don’t need to do anything.
If you decide that you don’t want to take part, please complete and return the form at the end of this letter. Or, you can phone us or talk to your child’s teacher. If you don’t let us know that you don’t want to take part, we’ll think that you are comfortable taking part. This means that data about your child will be submitted to the project.
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CHILD
If you want to know what information is kept on file by DEECD, please ask us. We can request to see or correct any information that DEECD keeps about your child.
WHAT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kathie in the MMEC on (03) 9508 2125, or you can visit the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website.
It is important to read the fact sheet located online here. You may also wish to visit the Australian Government Department of Education website or view the Frequently Asked Questions.
If you don’t want to take part, please fill out the form on page 10 in Issue 7 of Newsprint. Forms must be completed and sent to Kathie Holmes, MMEC Coordinator, by Friday 1 August. Please complete another form if you have more than one child with a disability or health or learning condition.