2018 Census FAQs

 

1. General

Why do I need to complete the Census?

Reporting Census data is a requirement under s77(2)(f) of the Australian Education Act 2013. The data reported in the Census is used to determine the recurrent funding your school is entitled to each year, as well as contribute to a statistical description of schooling in Australia.

Have I not already completed a Census this year?

The Non-Government Schools Census is collected annually by the Commonwealth Government. However, many state governments also ask schools to complete a separate census. The collections the states run may have different reporting requirements, and will be used for different purposes. It is important you read the 2018 Census Guidelines to ensure the data you are entering is accurate.

Will the data be checked?

The department will review each Census submission individually, and may contact the school for further clarification. Your organisation is responsible for ensuring the data you submit is correct.

A random selection of schools will also be chosen each year to verify the accuracy of the reported data against the school’s records.

How long does the school need to keep student records for?

Under s37 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013, attendance and enrolment records must be kept for seven years.

May we have an extension to complete the Census?

There are no time extensions to the Census submission deadlines. To ensure the school’s October payment is not affected, please have the Census declared by 23:59 AEST on Friday, 10 August 2018.

What do I do if I realise that I have made an error after I have submitted the Census declaration?

Email grantsanddatahelp@education.gov.au with an explanation as to why the data needs to be amended.

2. Accessing School Entry Point (SEP) and the Census

Where can I complete the Census?

The Census can be accessed through School Entry Point (SEP) by people with the appropriate SEP account.

How do I register for a SEP account?

You are able to register for an account on the SEP login page. Follow the steps in this guide for more information.

I have forgotten my School Entry Point password or username Go to School Entry Point and select the ‘forgot your username or password’ option underneath the login fields.

I have previously created a SEP account, but have now moved schools. Do I need to create a new account?

You can continue using the same SEP account; you will just need to request access to your new school. For more information on how to do so, follow the steps in this guide.

I already have a SEP account, but do not have access to my school.

I will be entering Census data for multiple schools. Do I need multiple accounts?

No, you are able have access to multiple schools with one account. You will just need to request access to any additional schools you are entering data for. For more information on how to do so, follow the steps in this guide

My school has multiple campuses. Will I require access to each campus separately?

No, having access at the head campus will allow you to enter data for all other campuses.

My predecessor/school already has a SEP account. Can I use this one?

No, SEP accounts are owned by the person who created them, and are not to be shared. Instead, you will need to register for a new account.

Which roles will I need to enter data for the Census?

To access the Census, you will need the Data Reporting role in SEP at either your school, diocesan office, system office, or approved authority.

Who can declare the data for a non-systemic school?

Only an Approved Authority Representative may declare the Census data for a non-systemic school. They must have a SEP account with at least data reporting access to the school’s head campus.

Who can declare the data for a systemic school?

Either an Approved Authority Representative or an approved delegate. An approved delegate must be nominated by an Approved Authority Representative.

The person must have a SEP account.

3. COI Home

How do I access my school in COI?

If you have access to more than one school, or your school has multiple campuses, you will first need to select your school. Click on the ‘Select Client’ tab in the toolbar to search for your school/campus.

How do I view Census data from previous years?

In COI Home, click on the ‘Select Year’ link in the toolbar. In the next page, select a year from the drop down menu, then click on ‘Update’.

How do I get a full report of the data I have entered?

In the ‘Reports’ tab in the toolbar, you will be able to download the ‘All Census Details’ report. This will show all data entered into the Census that year, including comparisons to the student count in the previous year.

Why do I get an error when I use my browser’s back button?

You cannot use the browser back button within the COI application. This is to prevent people from editing previously submitted data.

What is FTE?

The full-time equivalent (FTE) is a measure of each student's workload, and each staff member's work hours. The FTE is measured on a scale of 0.1 to 1.0, with the 1.0 being a full-time workload.

4. Reporting staff

What is the reference period for staff?

The reference period for staff is 5 school days leading up to and including Census Day; Friday, 3 August 2018.

How do I report Indigenous staff?

Indigenous staff are to be included only in the Indigenous staff table.

Our school has multiple principals, how do we report them.

Only report one principal per school in the Census. Remaining principals should be reported according to their major function (eg. Teaching, Non-Teaching – Clerical).

How do I report a principal who is also a teacher?

A principal who works full-time regardless of their duties must be reported as a principal.

How do I report non-teaching staff working at the main campus of our school who also carry out clerical duties for other campuses?

Staff who are located at the main campus but carry out administrative tasks for other campuses are reported at the main campus.

How do I report teachers who work across multiple campuses?

Staff working at multiple campuses should be reported as part-time at each campus. Adjust the FTE at each campus to represent the split in their work hours. For example, if they spend three days at one campus, and the remaining two at another, they should be reported as having 0.6 and 0.4 FTE respectively.

We have staff that work more than five days a week. Should they have a FTE higher than 1.0? No. The Census only collects data relating to school days (Monday to Friday). The FTE of a single person should never exceed 1.0.

How do I report teachers who carry out administrative tasks?

Staff are to be reported based upon their primary function. This is the function that takes up the majority of their work hours.

How do I report a librarian or library assistant?

Librarians are to be reported as teachers, and library assistants as administrative staff.

Do I report staff exclusively working in before/after school programs, cleaners, boarding staff, or itinerant tutors?

No, these staff fall outside the scope of the Census

5. Reporting students

What is the reference period for students?

The reference period for students is the twenty school days leading up to and including Census Day (Friday, 3 August 2018). This excludes school and public holidays.

Our school includes students in preschool. Should I report them in the Census?

No, the Census only captures students from pre-year 1 (Foundation) to year 12.

At what date do I calculate student ages?

Student ages should be calculated as of 1 July 2018.

I have a student that enrolled before Census Day, but did not start receiving education until after. Can they be included on the Census? No. The student does not satisfy the 'Eligibility for Inclusion' criteria in the 2018 Census Guidelines.
I have a student that will attend up until, or soon after Census Day, but will then be leaving the school. Should I include them on the Census? Yes. As the 'Eligibility for Inclusion' refers to the student's enrolment and attendance during the Census Reference Period, they can be reported.
We have a student that also attends TAFE (or an equivalent tertiary/alternative pathways program). How do I report them in the Census?

If the alternative pathway has been accredited by the State's school accreditation agency as contributing to a Year 12 certificate or equivalent, you may report the student as being full-time.

If the alternative pathway has not been accredited as contributing to a Year 12 certificate or equivalent, the student must be reported as part-time. Adjust their FTE to represent their study load.

We have a student that also attends another school. How do we report them? The student must be reported as studying part-time. Adjust the FTE to represent their study load at your school only. Please note that a student's total FTE between all the schools they attend cannot exceed 1.0. The Department may cross-reference any other schools' Census data to ensure part-time students are reported correctly.
We have a student that attends classes in both our main campus and a secondary campus. How do I report them? The student should be reported as studying part-time at any campus they attend. Adjust the FTE at each campus to represent their study load at that location. Please note that a student's total FTE between all campuses cannot exceed 1.0.

6. Reporting NCCD Students with Disabilities

What kind of evidence do we need to report a NCCD Student with Disability?

There must be evidence of the continuing need for adjustment(s) for a student comprising at least 10 weeks within a 12 month period of enrolment.

We have a newly enrolled NCCD Student with Disability that has not been at the school for 10 weeks. Can we report them and what kind of evidence do we need?

Only newly enrolled students receiving education on or before Census Day can be reported in the Census. There must be evidence of the continuing need for adjustment(s) for a student comprising at least 10 weeks within a 12 month period of enrolment.

Evidence of adjustment(s) from the student’s previous school can be included, provided it is from the 12 months prior to Census Day 2018.

For example, evidence for a newly enrolled student with disability could include evidence of long-term adjustments from the student’s previous school together with evidence that similar adjustments are required, or being implemented, at the new school. There must still be an equivalent of 10 weeks total evidence.

I have a student with a certain condition, or requires a certain type of support. How do I report them? In deciding whether identified students are to be included in the NCCD Students with Disabilities count, teachers and school teams use their professional judgement to determine the level of adjustment that each student is currently being provided with. Professional support and guidance on this process can be found here.
I have a student that has multiple disabilities. Which category of disability should I report them in? If a student has multiple disabilities or does not readily fit within a single category, the school team, using its professional judgement, should select the category that requires the greatest extent of adjustment to enable the student to access and participate in education.
Should I report overseas students in the NCCD count? Yes.
If a student is not included in the Census count, can I include them in NCCD? No. Students included in the NCCD Students with Disabilities count must first be eligible to be included in the Census collection. See page 10 of the 2018 Census Guidelines

7. Reporting students on visas and overseas students

Do I included permanent residents in the students on visas count?

Yes. Permanent residency is a form of visa.

One of our students is on a bridging visa. How do I report this?

You must report the student’s visa status based upon their previous substantive visa if it is still valid. If the previous substantive visa has expired, the student is then classified according to their bridging visa status.

What is the difference between Students on Visas and Overseas Students

Every student included in the Census who holds (or are dependents of persons who hold) a permanent resident, bridging, or temporary visa must be reported in the Students on Visas count. An Overseas Student is a Student on Visa with a visa that has permitted to travel to Australia for the purpose of undertaking a course provided by an educational establishment. Full eligibility details are contained at page 12-13 of the 2018 Census Guidelines.

Which visa subclasses will an Overseas Student hold?

Overseas Student visa subclasses include 500, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, and 575. For more details on each visa subclass, check the Department of Home Affairs visa listing.

8. Special Circumstances Application

When should I complete a Special Circumstances Application?

If a student was not in attendance during the Census Reference Period (the twenty school days leading up to and including Friday 3 August 2018), but is otherwise eligible to be included in the Census (see page 10 of the 2018 Census Guidelines), you may submit a Special Circumstances Application. Depending on the circumstances of the student’s absence, they may be eligible to be included in the school’s final student count.

Where can I find the Special Circumstances Application?

The Special Circumstances Application will be available to download on SSP Help soon.

May we have an extension to submit the Special Circumstances Application?

No. Special Circumstances Applications submitted after 23:59 Friday, 17 August 2018 will not be accepted.

I have already submitted my application, but realised I made a mistake. Can I change this?

If the Special Circumstances Application deadline (23:59 Friday, 17 August 2018) has not yet passed, send an email to grantsanddatahelp@education.gov.au explaining the mistake that was made. Depending on the mistake, you may be prompted to resubmit the application.

If the deadline has passed, you will not be able to change your submission

Why do I need to provide privacy information to a parent/guardian?

Unlike the Census, the Special Circumstances Application provides personal information identifying individual students to the department. This is a requirement so the student’s eligibility for inclusion in the Census can be assessed.

What kind of privacy information do I provide to a parent/guardian

A sample privacy letter is available to download here.

Do I need to include any student submitted for Special Circumstance in the Census?

No. All students in the application for Special Circumstances must be excluded from the school’s Census count.

Do I need to submit multiple applications if I have more than one student to include? 

No. Each school location should only submit one application form, listing all students.

Do we submit a separate Special Circumstances Application for our school’s campus?

Yes. Any campuses should be included in separate applications.

Contact Information

IT Assistance

If you have any questions with regards to SEP access or technical issues that are not covered here, please contact Schools IT support at schools@education.gov.au, or call 1800 677 027 (option 1). Alternatively, you may submit an online enquiry here.

Census queries

If you require further information about the Census or reporting requirements that are not covered here, please contact Recurrent Assistance for Schools at grantsanddatahelp@education.gov.au, or call 1800 677 027 (option 3).

NCCD assistance

For assistance with classifying NCCD Students with Disabilities within the four levels of adjustments, you may enquire with the following agencies:

  • If you are from an independent sector, check with your state's Association for Independent Schools.
  • If you are from the Catholic sector, check with the contact in your state's system office.

You can find your contact's details on Page 28 of the 2018 NCCD Guidelines.

Last modified on Thursday 21 June 2018 [871|13081]