School Survey – an introduction

School Survey is a web-based survey response data collection tool that schools, jurisdictions and school systems can use to gather information about their school communities' perceptions.

School Survey is pre-loaded with ministerially-approved national parent and student school opinion survey modules, as well as pilot national staff opinion survey modules, and demographic modules. The demographic modules can be added to surveys with the parent, student and staff opinion modules.

Schools, jurisdictions and schooling systems may use School Survey to collect response data for these and/or any other surveys, modules or questions.

This term is used to describe the national parent, student and staff items (and corresponding demographic questions) that have been pre-loaded into the National Library.

Ministers have agreed that the nationally-agreed survey items should be included in parent and student surveys. Under the National Education Agreement and Schools Assistance Act 2008, schools are required to report on parent, student and staff satisfaction annually in their annual reports. The School Survey system provides an ideal vehicle by which reporting requirements under the Schools Assistance Act 2008 can be met. Please contact your administrative or representative body for more information about your obligations.

The national parent and student opinion and demographic modules were developed by a working group comprised of representatives from the government, Catholic and independent education sectors. The parent and student opinion modules were approved by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood in April 2012.

The pilot staff opinion and demographic modules were agreed by a working group sub-committee. These have not been ministerially approved but can be used to survey staff. These modules will be piloted in September–December 2013 and a report submitted to Ministers in early 2014.

School level

School Administrator Survey Administrator Survey Editor
Create and edit surveys, modules and questions Check Check Check
Browse and use library items Check Check Check
Create survey distributions Check Check
View reports Check Check
Add and edit school users Check
Publish items in school library Check

Jurisdiction level

Jurisdictional Administrator Jurisdictional Survey Administrator
Create and edit surveys, modules and questions Check Check
Browse and use library items Check Check
Create survey distributions Check Check
View reports Check Check
Add and edit school users Check
Add and edit jurisdiction users Check
Publish items in jurisdiction library Check
Role Jurisdiction user email address School user email address Survey respondent email address uploaded by a jurisdiction user Survey respondent email address uploaded by school user
Jurisdictional Administrator Yes (for the specific jurisdiction only) Yes (for schools in the jurisdiction only) Yes (for the specific jurisdiction only) No
Jurisdictional Survey Administrator Yes (for the specific jurisdiction only) Yes (for schools in the jurisdiction only) Yes (for the specific jurisdiction only) No
School Administrator No Yes (for the specific school only) No Yes (for the specific school only)
School Survey Administrator No Yes (for the specific school only) No Yes (for the specific school only)
School Survey Editor No No No No

Note that any email addresses uploaded into the system are saved on the ESA servers. ESA is bound not to use or disclose any information uploaded onto School Survey, but it is important that you check whether you are acting within your privacy policy before uploading email addresses into the School Survey system.

ACARA does not have access to any data in the School Survey system. Access to data in School Survey depends on four factors:

  • whether a school has a Jurisdictional Administrator who has set permissions to view data (this should always be advised to you by your Jurisdictional Administrator which will be the relevant government education department, Catholic Education Office, or other governing body)
  • whether a module is used
  • which library the module is taken from
  • what role a user holds in the system.

These tables set out data sharing rules:

If the Jurisdictional Administrator data-sharing permissions indicator is set to 'Yes'

Role Questions from any library Modules from the national library Modules from a jurisdictional library Modules from a school library
Jurisdictional Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for modules distributed by the jurisdiction and by all schools in the jurisdiction. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for modules distributed by the jurisdiction and by all schools in the jurisdiction. Cannot view any data.
Jurisdictional Survey Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for modules distributed by the jurisdiction and by all schools in the jurisdiction. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for modules distributed by the jurisdiction and by all schools in the jurisdiction. Cannot view any data.
School Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only.
School Survey Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only.
School Survey Editor Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data.


If the Jurisdictional Administrator data-sharing permissions indicator is set to 'No'

Role Questions from any library Modules from the national library Modules from a jurisdictional library Modules from a school library
Jurisdictional Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Cannot view any data.
Jurisdictional Survey Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the jurisdiction only. Cannot view any data.
School Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only.
School Survey Administrator Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data for surveys distributed by the school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only. Can view non-identified individual and aggregated response data at school level for own school only.
School Survey Editor Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data. Cannot view any data.

Collected data will not be published by ACARA. Decisions about reporting are up to the relevant school, schooling system and/or jurisdiction.

School Survey has a 'print distribution' function, which can generate individually-coded or generic print surveys.

This will depend on the way in which School Survey is used. Overall, using School Survey should reduce time currently spent on surveying and communicating response data between a jurisdiction and a school (where required). Schools will need to:

  • manage school users (if more than one)
  • manage respondents
  • construct surveys (or copy existing ones)
  • distribute surveys
  • generate reports.

All of these functions can be automated and/or batch processed (as applicable). Much work has been done during development and trial to ensure that the system is as user-friendly and efficient as possible.

Security

Results are stored in Australia on servers hosted by Education Services Australia.

Results data is stored indefinitely.

System requirements

  • 1024 x 768 monitor resolution – screen design has been optimised for this recommended minimum
  • For PC (desktop or laptop) – Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 512 Kbps bandwidth
  • For iPad – iOS Version 6 operating system.
  • PDF reader for printing reports and surveys
  • Excel for capturing data extracts
  • Chrome 28+ (Vista, 7, OSX)
  • Firefox 15+ (Vista, 7, OSX)
  • Internet Explorer 7 (XP)
  • Internet Explorer 8 (XP, Vista)
  • Internet Explorer 9 (Vista, 7)
  • Safari 5.0 (OSX).

The web address https://www.schoolsurvey.edu.au works correctly without being added as a trusted site; however, if your browser security is set as 'high' you will need to add the School Survey website as a trusted site.

For Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome:

  • cookies must be enabled
  • JavaScript must be enabled.

Pop-up blockers do not affect School Survey. Pop-ups open as a new tab or as a page within the browser.

Access and passwords

Find out from your school administration office whether your school is already registered on School Survey. If so, your School Administrator can add you to your school’s profile.

If your school is not registered on School Survey, you will need to contact your Jurisdictional Administrator: see Contact page.

Email the support contact for your jurisdiction and ask to be invited to register – for details see How do I register for School Survey?

Your username for School Survey is your email address.

To reset a forgotten password:

  • Go to the School Survey login page
  • Select the 'Forgot your password?' link
  • Enter your email address and select 'Send'.

You will then receive an email with a link to prompt you to enter a new password.

You can change your email address within School Survey.

  • From the user drop-down menu to the left of the Logout button, select 'Edit my profile'
  • Enter your email address
  • Select the ‘Save’ button.

School Administrators cannot update the email addresses of other school users. They can, however, ask users to log in themselves and update their own email addresses – see How do I update my email address?

To reset a forgotten password:

  • Go to the School Survey login page
  • Select the 'Forgot your password?' link
  • Enter your email address and select 'Send'.

You will then receive an email with a link to prompt you to enter a new password.

You can update your name in School Survey.

  • From the user drop-down menu to the left of the Logout button, select 'Edit my profile'
  • Enter your personal and family names
  • Select the ‘Save’ button.

Once you have successfully registered in School Survey, a registration successful page will display.

For further assistance, email the support contact for your school or jurisdiction – see How do I register for School Survey?

User guide location

From the global menu, select 'Support', 'User guides' and the appropriate user guide link.

Surveys – create or edit

Select the 'Create survey' button at the right of the global menu bar and select from the two options:

  • Create a survey from a template - If your school participates in the National School Opinion Survey, this is the option you will use to create your survey. Contact your Jurisdictional Administrator if you require more information.
  • Create a new blank survey.

Follow the prompts and complete all the fields. To view the survey as it will appear to a respondent, select the 'Online preview' link below the global menu bar.

A survey can be deleted if:

  • no distributions have been created – delete from the 'My surveys' section of the dashboard
  • a distribution has been sent but no responses have been received – delete the distribution then delete the survey.

A survey cannot be deleted if responses have been received.

Yes, but any changes will only apply to future survey distributions.

Survey questions

Modules published to a library or inserted into a survey cannot be edited. Users must copy a module to their dashboard and then make changes. If you wish to make changes to a published module and have the correct access, first copy the module to your dashboard. Next, make your changes and then publish in the library. You may wish to delete the old version of the module, to prevent any duplication.

You can copy a national or jurisdiction module from the national or jurisdiction library to your dashboard and then edit the module. If you are required to report on module results to your jurisdiction, you must insert the corresponding module directly into your survey from the jurisdiction or national library.

Any content in a jurisdiction's library can be edited by jurisdictional administrators.

Any content in a school library can be edited by school administrators.

Survey distribution

There is no address book in School Survey. Email addresses must be loaded fresh for each distribution.

A case sensitive, unique link is generated for every new survey distribution. This link forms the last section of the survey URL. You can change this link; however, it must be unique, can only contain letters and numbers (no spaces or special characters) and cannot exceed 100 characters.

Yes. From the 'Add recipients' page, choose the 'Select file' button under the 'Upload a file' section, find your file and open it. You may format recipients' details in a format provided in one of the sample template files.

Note that any email addresses uploaded into the system are saved on the ESA servers. ESA is bound not to use or disclose any information uploaded onto School Survey, but it is important that you check whether you are acting within your privacy policy before uploading email addresses into the School Survey system.

If you choose to distribute your survey via email within School Survey, a message will display after completing the distribution steps. The message will include the number of emails sent and that the action was successful; for example, 'Successfully sent 1 email.'

Survey results, report or extract

Yes. Survey results can be exported as a data extract to a CSV file or to an Excel spreadsheet.

You will need to generate a report to view survey results. Select 'Reports' from the global menu, then 'Generate reports'. Select to generate a report for a 'Single distribution' or 'Multi distributions' from the Reports drop-down menu of the appropriate survey.

Enter the report parameters and select the 'Generate report' button. Wait a few minutes, then check your registered email address for the notification that your report is ready. The email will contain two links – select the first to download your report in the chosen format (PDF, Excel, Word or CSV) or the second to launch the View reports page of the School Survey site where you can view all reports generated in the previous 14 days.

Survey results are displayed in generated reports. Select 'Reports' from the global menu, then 'View reports'. All generated reports for the previous 14 days will be displayed in the list. Select the appropriate report name to launch the report or select one of the options from the Actions drop-down menu.

If your role has the authorised access, survey results for any survey distributed within your school or jurisdiction can be generated in a standard report or exported as a data extract. Note: School Survey Editors cannot generate any reports.

Along with summary and detailed reports, School Survey generates the following reporting options:

Report options

Report type Periods / extent Options Summary Detail Standard report Output format: XLS, DOC, PDF Data extract
Survey Single distribution Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi distributions Aggregate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Module from national or jurisdiction library Single year Aggregate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Single year School vs School Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Single year School vs Aggregate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple years Aggregate Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Module uptake by school Aggregate Yes No Yes Not PDF No

Roles

Jurisdiction School
Report type Periods / extent Options Jurisdiction Administrator Survey Administrator School Administrator Survey Administrator
Survey Single distribution Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi distributions Aggregate Yes Yes Yes Yes
Module from national or jurisdiction library Single year Aggregate Yes Yes No No
Single year School vs School Yes Yes No No
Single year School vs Aggregate Yes Yes No No
Multiple years Aggregate Yes Yes No No
Module uptake by school Aggregate Yes Yes No No

Users and schools – add or edit

You must be a Jurisdictional Administrator to add a school.

  • Log in as a Jurisdictional Administrator and select 'Schools' from the global menu
  • Select the 'Manage schools' option
  • Select the 'Add school' button at the top right of the page
  • Enter details
  • Select the 'Save' button.

If you are a School Administrator:

  • Select 'Administration' from the global menu
  • Select the 'Manage users' option
  • Locate the school and select 'Manage users' from the 'Actions' drop-down menu
  • Select the 'Add user' button, select a role and enter an email address
  • Select the 'Add' button.

Only Jurisdiction Administrators can add jurisdiction users.

To add a jurisdiction user:

  • Log in and select 'Administration' from the global menu
  • Select the 'Manage jurisdiction users' option
  • Select the 'Add user' button, select a role and enter an email address
  • Select the 'Add' button.

Contact your Jurisdiction Administrator – see Contact page.