Members want answers on NCCD and audit process
Our union is demanding answers from the Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the multinational financial management firm auditing the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD).
The deadline of the NCCD is now complete and members are anxiously waiting for audits to commence.
To what criteria, standards or process the audit involves we still do not know.
Government refused to shed light on NCCD process
After initially accepting an invitation to meet with our union’s Education Committee, PwC withdrew from presenting a summary of the NCCD auditing processes and requirements, late last term.
When contacted, a PwC representative expressed concern that without government representatives to co-present, they were uncertain whether they could present an accurate summary of the audit’s processes.
IEAU-QNT Organiser Nicole Carlill said this was not good enough in light of the significant extra workload members have faced in this process.
“The workload associated with completing the NCCD process is unreasonable and excessive, leaving many members under extreme pressure to fulfil unknown standards,” she said.
“It can take up to 20 hours to complete just one student’s profile which is time teachers do not have.
“NCCD data collection and moderation doesn’t finish with the audit deadline – it is an ongoing process as teachers must provide continuing evidence of students’ needs to pass an annual audit.
“The fact teachers have been made to complete this at all without clear instructions on exactly what is needed and to what standard, is disgraceful.”
We need answers
Our union has written to the Federal Education Minister and PwC for clear answers to the following questions:
- Is there a separate audit of process and data or are the two audited at the same time?
- What is the anticipated frequency of audits?
- Are state schools audited, or only non-government schools?
- Does the audit involve the same process from primary and secondary?
- How much notice does a school receive prior to audit?
- Does the audit take place at the school or remotely?
- Are staff interviewed during audits?
- Is the process consistent across schools?
- What protections are there in place to mitigate loss of funding if a school does not meet audit requirements?
- If there is no data, or inadequate data, documented for a year will this reduce funding for the next year of a given student?
- Following audit, is the school given an opportunity to upload additional data if required?
- Teachers are reporting that it takes 20-30 hours to identify, annotate and upload information, what is the government’s position on this?
- What is being provided, in general terms, that is either insufficient or excessive?
We have also requested reports from a number of NCCD Quality Assurance Projects which were referenced in the Consultation Paper for the National School Resourcing Board’s Review of the loading for students with disability, in the hope they might provide answers.
Mock audits adding to pressure
Now that audits are imminent, our union has had reports of members being directed to undergo mock-audits – further adding to workload and time away from students.
Our union applauds the inclusion of students with additional needs as an integral part of modern and equitable education.
However, quality inclusion requires the provision of adequate support and resources for teachers, support staff and students.
As it stands, the NCCD process takes teachers away from the students it is supposed to support.
While many workplaces have responded effectively to NCCD workload issues, some have left teachers to absorb the additional workload pressure.
We will provide members with ongoing updates on the NCCD including any answers received from the Minister or PwC.
Members are encouraged to read through the NCCD resource pack on seeking support with NCCD related workload issues.
These resources can be accessed by contacting our union on FREECALL 1800 177 937 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more on the NCCD, click here.