The Department of Education’s Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection (Address Collection), formerly known as the SES Return, is the collection and reporting of student residential address information.
Address Collection data is used to determine the Commonwealth’s recurrent funding contribution for individual non-government schools, to help ensure that funding is fair and appropriate.
In 2018, The National School Resource Board reviewed The Department’s Address Collection methodology and recommended changes to improve accuracy and transparency.
This year, the Board’s recommendations and some additional changes were implemented which will affect how you collect and organise your data.
To help you navigate these changes and complete your Address Collection efficiently we have put together our top five collection tips!
1. Save the date
Address Collection can be one of those things you put on the back burner and tell yourself that you’ll get to it ‘one day’. However, the whole process can be time consuming, especially if your data requires manual manipulating.
It is recommended that you add the important dates for all government collections to your calendar and set a reminder to ensure that you are organised and prepared.
The Address Collection will close on Friday 13 March 2020.
2. Be aware of changes
The Department has made six significant changes which your school should be aware of. These include:
- A change of name - it is no longer called the SES Return but rather the Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection. This is quite a mouthful so we will be referring to it as Address Collection.
- A new Upload Data File Template - the template is in excel format and converts data to XML format for upload. See the Upload Data File Template Technical Specifications for more information.
- A new government platform to upload your data to - previously, the Address Collection was completed in School Entry Point but will now be completed in SchoolsHUB.
- A new entry format - all student and parent/guardian information must now be entered on the same row (this was previously one row per person).
- New address validation requirements - at least 95% of student and parent/guardian addresses must be valid for data to be submitted. To be classified as valid, the addresses are checked against an address database and marked as either valid or invalid. See page 11 of the Address Collection user guide for more information.
- Two new definitions:
- School community - the parents/guardians of students that attend your school
- Capacity to contribute - the function of the school community’s income and wealth.
Some of these changes will affect how you organise your data, so we recommend that you refer to the SchoolsHUB Address Collection Resources.
3. Use your school management system
Your school management system (SMS) is a central point of information, storing all student and parent/guardian details. To ensure that your SMS is up-to-date and that parents/guardians are aware of the collection, The Department recommends that schools send parents/guardians the 2020 Address Collection Notice: this informs parents/guardians of the collection and their privacy rights, and asks them to make sure that the school has their most up-to-date information.
If your school has a portal for parents/guardians, they will be able to simply log-on and review and update their addresses accordingly.
4. Correctly identify those responsible for each student
In addition to submitting the address information of students, the ‘Address Collection’ also requires you to submit the address information of up to two parents or guardians.
Typically, this will be the biological parents in the first instance. However, it may also be another legal guardian or foster carer.
Even then, in this day and age family make-ups can be complex and identifying which two parents or guardians to submit may not be that straightforward.
Ensuring that your school management software can correctly flag and identify who’s-who in the family dynamic will go a long way to ensuring the accuracy of your collection and completing it with minimal fuss.
See page two of the Guide to Reporting Student and Parents for more information on what is and isn’t accepted.
5. Know what can and cannot be reported
The way your school categorises and identifies data may differ to the Address Collection preferences. For example, your school may abbreviate and identify ‘street’ as ‘st’ - however, the Department prefers full form rather than abbreviations. A full list of what is and isn’t preferred can be found here.
It is also important that you only report residential addresses – the collection will not accept Post Office Box or work addresses.
If a student lives overseas, does not have a fixed address or cannot provide any information, you will need to enter the record manually through SchoolsHUB. Read more about Unusual Circumstances in the Guide to Reporting Student and Parents.
One way to ensure that your data is correct, is by validating your addresses – this not only improves accuracy and efficiency, but also improves consistency.
Check out our blog on Address Validation in Schools – it lists the best ways to cleanse your data and shows you how Address Validation can help your school.
The data you provide for the Address Collection can have a direct impact on your school’s funding, so it is vital that your data is accurate and consistent. When completing the collection, refer to SchoolsHUB’s resources to ensure that you are meeting the requirements.
TASS supports all Australian Government Collections by providing a platform to extract, check and upload data to the correct government body, in the format required. If you’re a TASS customer, you can also use our Address Validation functionality. This software checks and verifies addresses entered by parents/guardians or staff against known Australian postal addresses.