CensusAtSchool home page
CensusAtSchool is a dynamic and ongoing project originally developed by the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education and the Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom to improve the statistical literacy of students. It was then adapted to suit many countries including South Africa, Canada and Australia. When developing the CensusAtSchool questionnaire for Australia, the ABS drew on experience from world-wide CensusAtSchool projects as well as consulting experts and key stakeholders. For example, students and teachers identified areas of interest and refined the wording of questions. In addition, education bodies, departments and teachers helped develop the educational strategy and teaching materials.
The CensusAtSchool questionnaire asks non-invasive questions about students’ everyday lives, experiences, opinions and interests. It opens at the start of February and closes at the beginning of August. New data is available once the questionnaire is closed, but data from previous questionnaires can be accessed at any time of the year through the Random Sampler or prepared samples.
Privacy and confidentiality
Respecting privacy and safeguarding confidentiality are fundamental to how the ABS conducts its business. To ensure the CensusAtSchool complies with these aims, the questionnaire is non-invasive and not compulsory. Teachers are also required to notify their Principals that the students will be participating.
In addition, student names are not recorded and Student Access Numbers are not part of the data. Furthermore, the questionnaire data is stored in accordance with ABS security protocols and encrypted when transferring to and from the ABS website. The collection, custody and use of CensusAtSchool data is consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act.
Unedited data from the CensusAtSchool questionnaires are only available through the Random Sampler and users must agree to its conditions of use. The Random Sampler has several in-built restrictions. For instance, if the results of a requested sample exceed 10% of the population or only one school is represented, a sample will be denied. And any result cannot exceed 200 samples.
This page first published 5 March 2008, last updated 4 April 2014