NCCD breakthrough

IEU Education Coordinator Veronica Yewdall explains a year-long process to reduce workloads – and the positive outcome.

In response to member concerns about the process of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on school students with disability, the IEU conducted a survey in late 2020 to establish the breadth and severity of workload and wellbeing concerns.

Our research in 334 schools showed there was widespread respect for the NCCD and its aims. However, it was equally clear that teachers were struggling with unsustainable evidence collection expectations at school and system level, as well as various complications arising from the post-enumeration verification process.

The IEU reached out to the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) in Canberra in March 2021, with the aim of finding workable solutions.

In this special four-page liftout, you’ll find the result of six months of meetings between DESE and the IEU, culminating in a substantial reduction in workload, as explained in the Fact Sheet.

This Fact Sheet contains key clarifications of the NCCD guidelines, providing teachers with mandated information that challenges the current duplication and layering of evidence. You will also find:

  • a timeline of the IEU’s engagement on this issue
  • the joint Fact Sheet developed through collaboration between DESE and the IEU
  • IEU commentary that clarifies the practical application of the Fact Sheet in schools
  • a thank you to our NCCD Working Group
  • next steps for the IEU and next steps for members.

The NCCD Evidence Fact Sheet provides guidance on what is and what is not required. You can download the Fact Sheet here:

Timeline of the IEU's engagement with the NCCD process

Next steps

For the union

1. Seeking a second round of meetings with employers.

During the initial meetings with employers, the union flagged its intention to seek follow up discussions once the guidelines were finalised. Employers now have the Fact Sheet, and the IEU has sent invitations requesting further consultation on implementing the guidelines consistent with the advice and spirit of the Fact Sheet.

2. Many principals have already received the Fact Sheet through the IEU. We invite them to contact the union if they have any questions.

3. Monitoring post-enumeration verification in schools.

The NCCD Fact Sheet is an important and empowering tool for teachers, but the IEU is acutely aware that its success depends on the audit or post-enumeration verification process operating within the Fact Sheet guidance. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has agreed to provide the Fact Sheet to the post-enumeration contractors (auditors). In addition:

  • the IEU has sought separate meetings with DESE to raise particular issues members face during the audit process
  • once the Fact Sheet has been disseminated, members in schools who are selected to participate in a post-enumeration verification will be asked to provide feedback to the IEU on various matters, including the contractors’ level of awareness of the Fact Sheet, and any issues of concern arising out of their understanding of the Fact Sheet guidance.

4. Following up with members. The IEU will conduct a follow-up survey — initially with the 334 schools that responded to our research survey — in September 2022, to establish the effect of the Fact Sheet and provide further feedback to DESE.

For members

What should members do next? Shout it from the rooftops! You can also:

1. Display the Fact Sheet in your staff room or common area so other members are aware of it; tell other members about it.

2. Let non-members know about the success achieved through collective action on this issue and invite them to join the IEU.

3. Contact your Organiser to arrange a Chapter meeting to discuss what the Fact Sheet means in practice at your school.

4. Use the Fact Sheet as a reference during discussions should employer representatives or consultants visit your school to assist with the NCCD process and check any proposed duplication against DESE’s guidance.

5. Contact the IEU to give some feedback if your school is involved in a post-enumeration verification or audit.

6. Look out for the IEU’s online NCCD briefing sessions to be held later in Term 1.


The IEU is indebted to the eight members of the NCCD Working Group who gave up their time after school and during vacation periods to meet, in person and online, to review multiple draftsof the Fact Sheet.

The engagement of members in the work of achieving change is one of the great strengths of the union. The positive outcome we achieved would not have been possible without the experience, expertise and generosity of these members.

In their discussions, the members of the NCCD Working Group were mindful of the various contexts in which schools operate and were focused on achieving an outcome that would provide substantial improvement as widely as possible.

Thanks to their efforts, this Fact Sheet applies right across the non-government sector and will empower teachers as they fulfillthe requirements of the NCCD in a far more balanced and sustainable way.

In the words of one member of the IEU’s NCCD Working Group: “This is an extraordinary outcome. It will be reassuring to know that the adjustments we put in place and the evidence we store, accessible to all student stakeholders, will be the same place that auditors will check. The time wasted in data duplication for the NCCD can now be spent improving the quality of adjustments and for more direct engagement with students.”