Minister’s comments on student disability data welcomed

Catholic Education Melbourne Executive Director Stephen Elder has welcomed Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s comments that the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability (NCCS SWD) results released yesterday shows 'extreme disparity' from state to state and 'fails a basic credibility test'.

'We applaud the objectives of the NCCD SWD and recognise the efforts of all the parties involved in collecting data,' Mr Elder said.

'The processes involved have provided valuable professional development for teachers and greatly supported improvement in the understanding of diversity in schools.

'However, we have been concerned by both the data collection methodology and the results it has shown.

'The data collection is supposed to be nationally consistent but instead, schools and teachers are applying different criteria in submitting the data. In some cases it appears schools are including as many students as possible in the belief this will lead to them receiving more funding.

'This means the material that has been collected and published is not credible.

'I welcome Senator Birmingham’s comments on the integrity of NCCD SWD data and its usefulness.

'Support for students with disability is vital.

'Catholic schools in Victoria have a robust assessment process for each student with disability underpinned by independent advice from medical professionals. We use this to determine their funding needs in a consistent and methodical manner.

'Our processes are far more rigorous than the NCCD SWD and they show what is truly needed in order to gather consistent data.'

For further information contact Christian Kerr, Media Adviser, on 0402 977 352 or 03 9267 4411 

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