The Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) is a scale that represents levels of educational advantage. A value on the scale assigned to a school is the average level for all students in the particular school. ICSEA is calculated by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
ICSEA was developed to enable fair and meaningful comparisons of the literacy and numeracy performance of students in a given school, as assessed by the National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, with the performance of students at schools catering for statistically similar students in terms of the level of socio-educational advantage (SEA).
The development of ICSEA involves collecting student family background data and identifying, through the use of regression models, the combination of variables that have the strongest association with student performance, and within that combined grouping, how much each of those variables contribute to performance in NAPLAN tests. This statistical modelling is used to construct the SEA measure.
The SEA measure is based on two alternative data sources:
- Information relating to parent/guardian occupation, school education, non-school education and language background obtained from student enrolment records
- Information relating to education and occupation variables corresponding to area level data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Population and Housing.