School operations

Data Collection and Surveys


This policy explains department data collection from schools to meet reporting and other obligations. This policy also explains requirements for schools to participate in specific surveys.


  • Schools must update student and school data in CASES21 or other department platforms as required by the department.
  • Data is extracted from CASES21 as required by the department for reporting purposes.
  • Schools must participate in the department’s annual student, parent/caregiver/guardian and staff opinion surveys to generate data for School Performance Reporting and standardised reporting to the school community.
  • Schools with children in Foundation (Prep) are expected to participate in the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)External Link in 2024.
  • Schools are notified through the School UpdateExternal Link when they are required to submit data and complete surveys.



The department requests schools to provide school-level data annually or from time to time:

  • to provide program implementation or evaluation information
  • for system reporting.

Due dates, login details and instructions for completing data collections including surveys are provided through the School Update.

Key data extractions, data collections and surveys are listed below. The department may initiate additional collections or surveys from time to time.

Data extracted by the department from CASES21

The department extracts data from CASES21 for:

Student attendance and absences

Teacher judgement of student achievement

For due dates and instructions refer to Reporting Student Achievement and Progress Foundation to Year 10.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) – students with a disability

Must be entered by the first Friday in August. For detailed guidance on the NCCD process refer to Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability.

Year 9 to 12 exit destinations data

Must be uploaded by the end of the second week in March.

Data collections completed by schools

Principal Survey and Supplementary Census

  • Conducted biannually in Terms 1 and 3
  • Covers 8 to 12 topical areas per semester and gathers critical insights on programs and initiatives, providing a key source of feedback between schools and the department on current operational issues and help the department to learn and improve as a system
  • Differentiation based on school-type

Australian Early Development Census

  • The sixth nationwide implementation of the AEDC will take place between May and July 2024 (view AEDC calendar (PDF)External Link )
  • The AEDC provides valuable information for schools, communities and government on what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and families. Completed by classroom teachers for each child in Foundation (Prep), and the child does not need to be present
  • Takes approximately 13 minutes per child (20 minutes of casual relief teacher reimbursement per child is provided)

Surveys undertaken in schools

Participation in annual student, parent/caregiver/guardian and staff opinion surveys helps schools and the department plan, monitor and evaluate school improvement initiatives. The surveys are aligned with the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes and reflect current research and evidence about what matters most to improve student outcomes.

The department may change these surveys or introduce new surveys for all schools, or a subset of schools, to further enhance system or school reporting.

Information for schools about each survey relevant for the current year is provided in the Guidance tab.

The department provides a standard survey instrument for schools (with differentiation for various participant characteristics), access to a secure online survey platform and reports survey results to schools.

Student Attitudes to School Survey

  • Conducted annually in Term 2 and all schools are expected to participate
  • All students in Years 4 to 12 are invited to participate
  • The survey provides an opportunity for schools to gain insights into student perceptions of their school and their learning. The survey asks students about their thoughts and feelings regarding their school, their learning, peer relationships, health and wellbeing and life in general
  • Differentiated versions of the survey provided for year level groups, including accessible versions to support participation for students with disability or additional needs
  • Schools facilitate collection with students during school time
  • Survey provider contacts all schools late in Term 1 or early Term 2 with information and instructions for facilitating the survey with students

Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey

  • Conducted annually in Term 3
  • All schools are expected to participate and it is strongly encouraged to invite all parents/carers to complete the survey
  • The survey is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of families’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour, and student engagement
  • Some differentiation based on school type
  • Survey provider contacts all schools early in Term 3 with information and instructions for distributing the survey to parents/carers
  • Schools distribute the survey link to parents/carers

School Staff Survey

  • Conducted annually in Term 3
  • All school, staff, teaching and non-teaching, are expected to participate
  • The survey allows school staff to give feedback on their school and explores topics such as school climate, teaching, learning, and instructional leadership. Information from the survey supports schools in their annual implementation planning
  • Survey is differentiated based on role classification (principal, teacher, education support) and whether staff spend time in the classroom
  • Survey provider contacts principals in Term 2 with information and instructions about customising the survey for staff in their school
  • Survey provider contacts staff directly to provide a link to complete the survey
Department policy explaining Department data collection from schools including student data, teacher judgement data, NCCD and other requirements including specific annual surveys

Reviewed 26 March 2024

Policy last updated

25 March 2024


  • Schools
  • School councils
  • All Department staff


Performance and Evaluation Division

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