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Discussion guide

The discussion guide provided to participants in the consultations.

Mobilising The Australian Early Development Census: Discussion Guide

You are invited to participate in an interview about opportunities to improve use of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data in schools and communities.

ACIL Allen Consulting has been engaged to undertake this research for the Victorian Department of Education and Training (the Department).

AEDC utilisation and dissemination

The AEDC is a nationwide data collection of early childhood development at the time children commence their first year of full-time school. The AEDC highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families by providing evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning.

The Department is supported by the Commonwealth Government to facilitate the collection of AEDC data, achieve a high participation rate, and increase government and community utilisation of the AEDC results.

This engagement

The engagement will identify opportunities and practices that support schools and communities to turn AEDC data into action. It also examines the alignment between the AEDC data with government policy to build understanding of the relevance of data in achieving policy goals. There is a particular interest in the social competence and emotional maturity indicators given limited change over time and the potential impacts of COVID-19.

Why am I being asked to participate in this consultation?

As part of the research, ACIL Allen are undertaking consultations with selected participants to explore the strategic intent of AEDC and opportunities to mobilise action in communities and schools.

You are invited to participate in the consultations to explore the alignment between the AEDC and action in schools, including opportunities targeted by government policy. Areas for discussion are included below to assist in guiding the discussion.

What will the consultation involve?

The consultations will be undertaken with you individually by phone. We expect consultations to last approximately 25-30 minutes.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Watkin Nolan at the Department of Education and Training at or Tom Peachey, the Project Manager at ACIL Allen Consulting, at


Policy context

  • How have the objectives of the Department in supporting the social and emotional development of students evolved over recent years, such as with the Education State focus?
  • How do you expect it to evolve into the future? Are there particular case studies or events which inform your thinking about what can be achieved longer term?

Data as a population monitoring tool

  • In general (i.e. across development domains), in what ways have schools developed in their use of data for:
    • individual monitoring?
    • group / population monitoring? 
  • Are there learnings from progress made in these areas of school data use that could be applied to encourage use of AEDC data? 
  • Schools may see AEDC data as data point in isolation. In what way/s could the data be contextualised or complemented to better assist schools?

Turning data into action

  • What are the constraints on the actions that schools can take in response to such results?


  • Are there other opportunities for the AEDC to be more influential in supporting student social and emotional development in schools and their communities?