Almost two years on, the introduction of a new system to calculate students with disability loading has had a significant impact on how schools receive funding – and on the expectations, judgement and workload of teachers and principals.
In effect since 1 January 2018, the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for Students with Disability (NCCD) model should, in theory, provide for heightened effectiveness in targeting funding required to implement adjustments in educational provision for students with disability. However, part of this heightened effectiveness must be the appropriate support and resourcing of staff involved in all aspects:
- the identification of adjustments
- the implementation of adjustments, including planning of PLPs and other curriculum adjustments, teaching and LSO support work, recording, assessment and reporting, and preparation and participation in Program Support Groups (PSG)
- the undertaking of internal NCCD moderation processes to ensure consistency of decision making
- the collection and entry of NCCD data required, including recording of evidence of adjustments, and
- any NCCD audit process the school may be required to go through.
The NCCD model requires schools to:
Step 1:Determine which students are receiving adjustments to access education because of disability, consistent with definitions and obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards).
Step 2: Determine which of the four levels of adjustment is being provided to each of these students (QDTP – within ordinary range of differentiation, Supplementary, Substantial, Extensive) and identify and collate evidence to support the decisions made.
Step 3:Determine the broad category of disability under which each student best fits and identify and collate evidence to support the decisions.
Step 4: Record and submit the data.
The processes and procedures used to identify and document the level of adjustment provided for each student with a disability can be audited by the Federal Government. For a student to be included in the NCCD, the school must have evidence of adjustments provided to meet ongoing, long term specific needs associated with disability that have a functional impact on the student’s schooling. Evidence and any associated records for the NCCD must be kept for a minimum of seven years. Schools will need to develop processes to record, store and maintain evidence and allocate sufficient time and staffing to this.
Managing workload checklist
Opposite is a checklist that may be useful for individual IEU members and IEU subbranches/chapters to use in identifying the key workload drivers associated with the NCCD and the measures needed to manage the workload of individuals and ensure reasonable and equitable workloads across staff.
In many Catholic system and independent school industrial agreements, there are clauses relating to various aspects of workloads, including clauses on consultation on workload matters.
In some agreements consultative committees are established and have a role in recommending workload management processes. Even with these agreement clauses, the key is to make them work effectively in managing workloads and reducing stress.
It is important that workload management is a central resourcing consideration of systems and schools, not only when new and additional directives and initiatives are being implemented, but in an ongoing basis in respect to teachers’ overall workloads, as well as in specific times of high workload activity. Time is the chief answer. Time to do one’s job! Adequate staffing levels are key, as is adequate additional resourcing in high need periods.