7. Census data verification reviews
To ensure effective targeting of funds through the SRP, the department visits a sample of schools each year to verify the accuracy of:
- enrolment details submitted in the February student enrolment census
- family occupation and parental education data submitted in the August student enrolment census.
Schools selected to undergo verification are notified in writing. An external firm is contracted to undertake the verification process with a team of authorised enrolment verifiers.
Enrolment Verification Program
The aim of the February Enrolment Verification is to identify the accuracy of the February School Census returns submitted to the department by selected Victorian Government schools, using a predetermined census verification process.
Typically, a sample of schools is selected for Enrolment Verification from all regions, based on a risk profile methodology. The sample includes primary, secondary, primary/secondary, language and special schools.
The Enrolment Verification is undertaken during a 4-week period usually beginning in the second week of Term 2.
Principals of participating schools can appeal a decision made by an enrolment verifier on the basis that the decision:
- was not in accordance with the current guidelines for counting students for school census or
- failed to take into account documentary evidence (for example, attendance rolls, diary notes, parental correspondence) the school presented that supports the claim for the student’s inclusion in the census count or
- involves a student who is at risk of being disengaged from school and the school has been actively working to re-engage them. For more information about identifying students at risk, refer to .
Principals may lodge an appeal within 3 working days after the completion of the enrolment verification at their school. Appeals can be lodged in the form of an email or written correspondence to the Census Hotline (see Section 8 for contact details). Principals must ensure that appropriate documentation is provided to support their appeal.
SFOE Data Review
An annual review of data submitted for SFO and SFE will be undertaken on a random sample of schools, based on a risk profile methodology. The sample will include primary, secondary and primary/secondary schools.
The SFOE Data Review is undertaken during a 4-week period usually beginning in the second week of Term 4.
The SFOE data review process considers the following:
- the process undertaken by the school, which includes assessing documentation the school provided to parents to collect the necessary data
- whether judgement applied to parental occupational coding was reasonable
- the extent of missing or inaccurate data at the time of the review
- the due diligence that was undertaken in the school’s environment
- the accuracy of submitted information before and after the census process.
The SFOE data review assesses the records of a random sample of students in the school. At the end of the visit the school is provided with a list of students for whom the SFOE details in CASES21 were assessed as incorrect and an estimate of the potential funding impact.
Principals may lodge an appeal within 5 working days after the completion of the SFOE data review at their school. Appeals can be lodged in the form of an email or written correspondence to the Census Hotline (see Section 8 for contact details). Principals must ensure that appropriate documentation is provided to support their appeal.
Reviewed 22 March 2022