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Linked child protection and NAPLAN dataset Data Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term609857
Registration status:Help on this termAIHW Data Quality Statements, Endorsed 21/10/2015

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term

The 2013 dataset was created by linking data from the Child Protection National Minimum Data Set (CP NMDS), and the National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). 

The dataset includes children who:

  • Participated in 2013 NAPLAN testing for Year 3, 5, 7 or 9 (including those recorded as exempt, absent or withdrawn), and
  • Were ‘in care’ at the time of testing (14–16 May 2013). ‘In care’ is defined as children aged 0–17 years whose care arrangements have been ordered through the Children’s Court, where parental responsibility for the child or young person has been transferred to the Minister/Chief Executive. This definition was selected to align with the agreed scope for the National Standards for Out-of-Home Care.
  • Had data that was able to be linked across the CP NMDS and NAPLAN datasets.

The dataset includes data for six states and territories: New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory.

The dataset includes data on participation in, and results from, NAPLAN assessment, along with demographic characteristics (including age, sex and Indigenous status), and statutory child protection-related characteristics (including living arrangements and care and protection orders).

The inclusion of data on different school sectors varies across jurisdictions. NSW, Vic and ACT data include government and non-government school students. WA and Tas data include government school students only. NT data include government and Christian school students only.

Institutional environment:Help on this term

CP NMDS data are provided annually to the AIHW by the state and territory departments responsible for child protection.

NAPLAN data were provided to the AIHW by the participating state and territory data custodians—in 5 jurisdictions (NSW, Vic, Tas, ACT, NT) this was the state/territory NAPLAN Test Administration Authority, in 1 jurisdiction (WA) this was the state/territory education department.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia’s health and welfare. It is an independent corporate Commonwealth entity established in 1987, governed by a management board and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health portfolio.

The AIHW aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians through better health and welfare information and statistics. It collects and reports information on a wide range of topics and issues, ranging from health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury and mental health to ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.

The Institute also plays a role in developing and maintaining national metadata standards. This work contributes to improving the quality and consistency of national health and welfare statistics. The Institute works closely with governments and non-government organisations to achieve greater adherence to those standards in administrative data collections to promote national consistency and comparability of data and reporting.

One of the main functions of the AIHW is to work with the states and territories to improve the quality of administrative data and, where possible, to compile national data sets based on data from each jurisdiction, to analyse the data sets and disseminate information and statistics.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act, in conjunction with the compliance provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwlth), ensures that the data collections managed by the AIHW are kept securely and under the strictest conditions to preserve privacy and confidentiality.

For further information, see the AIHW website www.aihw.gov.au.

Timeliness:Help on this term

The reference period for the 2013 dataset is from 14 May 2013 to 16 May 2013; the 3 day period for 2013 NAPLAN testing.

The dataset was collected for the first time for the 2013 reference period. As such, there are no prior collections, and no subsequent collections are currently planned.

For the 2013 dataset, the first iteration of data was due to the AIHW by May 2014 to commence the multi-step linkage process, and the linked data were finalised for participating states and territories in March 2015. During this period, the timing of the linkage process for each jurisdiction varied, pending the timing of completing data access arrangements, and jurisdictional resources to extract and supply data to AIHW. Data from the 2013 dataset were published in October 2015.

Accessibility:Help on this term

Publications containing data from this dataset will be available on the AIHW website www.aihw.gov.au/child-protection/. These reports are available free of charge.

Requests for unpublished data can be made by contacting the AIHW. See http://www.aihw.gov.au/data/. A cost-recovery charge may apply to requests that take substantial resources to compile. Depending on the nature of the request, requests for access to unpublished data may require approval from the state and territory data custodians and/or the AIHW Ethics Committee.

General inquiries about AIHW publications can be made to the Digital and Media Communications Unit on (02) 6244 1000 or via email to info@aihw.gov.au.

Interpretability:Help on this term

Supporting information on NAPLAN testing, the population in-scope for the dataset, and the data linkage process and statistical methods used are provided in the report. Supporting information is also provided in the footnotes accompanying tables and figures, and the report Glossary. Readers are advised to consider all supporting and contextual information to ensure appropriate interpretation of analyses presented by the AIHW.

Relevance:Help on this term

The dataset was created by linking data from the Child Protection National Minimum Data Set, and the National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy. 

The Child Protection NMDS is the authoritative source of national Australian child protection data. The NAPLAN is the only Australian collection that provides nationally comparable data on the performance of students in the areas of literacy and numeracy.

The dataset includes children who:

  • Participated in 2013 NAPLAN testing for Year 3, 5, 7 or 9 (including those recorded as exempt, absent or withdrawn), and
  • Were ‘in care’ at the time of testing (14–16 May 2013). ‘In care’ is defined as children aged 0–17 years whose care arrangements have been ordered through the Children’s Court, where parental responsibility for the child or young person has been transferred to the Minister/Chief Executive. This definition was selected to align with the agreed scope for the National Standards for Out-of-Home Care.
  • Had data that was able to be linked across the CP NMDS and NAPLAN datasets.

The dataset includes data for six states and territories: New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory.

The inclusion of data on different school sectors varies across jurisdictions. NSW, Vic and ACT data include government and non-government school students. WA and Tas data include government school students only. NT data include government and Christian school students only.
The dataset includes data on participation in, and results from, NAPLAN assessment, along with demographic characteristics (including age, sex and Indigenous status), and statutory child protection-related characteristics (including living arrangements and length of time in care).

Data sourced from the dataset are used for reporting under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, the National out-of-Home Care Standards,  and in the annual Report on Government Services.

Accuracy:Help on this term

Overall, the quality and coverage of data in the dataset are good.

Data from the source CP NMDS and NAPLAN collections had been previously finalised and used for national reporting, before being linked and included in the dataset. Data from the source collections were extracted by relevant data custodians, according to definitions and technical specifications agreed to by the data custodians and AIHW. Where possible, the dataset definitions and specifications were aligned with the definitions and specifications used by the source collections for national reporting elsewhere.

The dataset only includes in-scope children who were able to be linked across the CP NMDS and NAPLAN datasets. In-scope children who were unable to be linked (due to poor linkage data and/or differences in how linkage items are recorded across the source datasets) may be excluded. It is difficult to determine the number of excluded children. The linkage rate between the CP NMDS and NAPLAN datasets for NSW, Vic, Tas, ACT and NT,  was 22% of eligible children in the CP NMDS. Eligible children in the CP NMDS included all children aged 5–17 years at the time of 2013 NAPLAN testing, to allow for age variation within school years (Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 undertake NAPLAN testing). A different linkage methodology was used for ACT. Further information is provided in the report.

There may be differences between the children in the linked records and non-linked records, but the nature, extent and impact of potential biases in the final matched data used for analysis is uncertain.

Data on number of placements during the continuous episode of out-of-home care are not available for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Coherence:Help on this term

The dataset was collected for the first time for the 2013 reference period. As such, there are no prior collections, and no subsequent collections are currently planned.

Where possible, the dataset definitions and specifications were aligned with the definitions and specifications used by the source CP NMDS and NAPLAN collections for national reporting elsewhere.

The inclusion of data on different school sectors varies across jurisdictions. NSW, Vic and ACT data include government and non-government school students. WA and Tas data include government school students only. NT data include government and Christian school students only.

A different linkage methodology was used for one jurisdiction (ACT); further information is provided in the report.

National minimum standards achievement rates for the study population were calculated using a different methodology to the published rates for all students (which include imputed scores); further information is provided in the report.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
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