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Disabled student data close to release

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Katina Curtis

A clearer picture of how many disabled students in Australian schools need more funding to help them learn better should be available shortly after the ACT government is sworn back in.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham expects the picture will surprise many.

States and territories agreed to release the 2015 nationally consistent collection of data, but the ACT didn't participate because its government was in caretaker mode.

However, Senator Birmingham told a Senate committee hearing there may still be a way to go until the collection of data about students with disabilities was actually nationally consistent.

The data collection is a key step towards governments knowing how many students would need extra funding at their school.

The reported levels of adjustment varied much more widely between jurisdictions than anyone had expected, Senator Birmingham told the committee.

"There are some parts of the country where you can appreciate ... due to a range of obvious factors in some parts of the country where you would expect to see higher incidence of students requiring greater assistance," he said.

"But, in the main, you wouldn't expect double or more than double as is the case in some circumstances."

The minister said he was keen to make the numbers public to manage expectations about the data collection and funding and "let people know it's not a process that has gone as perfectly as they may have hoped".

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