ESL provision at risk

Unity ticket … Cheryl Miller (Berala PS P& C), Jenny Diamond (Federation), Susie Boyd (South Western Sydney Regional P&C), John Kaye (The Greens), Carmel Tebbutt (ALP), Dr Michael Mitchell (UNSW) and Ken Cruikshank (Sydney University) back ESL

Amber Flohm
Multicultural Officer/Organiser

Teachers are urged to engage their school community in the campaign to protect English as a Second Language (ESL) provision and services.

Under the Resource Allocation Model being implemented by the Department of Education and Communities funds will be dispersed to schools as untied funding rather than the current staffing entitlement for ESL, so ESL instruction will no longer be guaranteed for children in need.

Currently about 136,000 migrant and refugee students (almost 20 per cent of all students in NSW public schools) require exclusive ESL instruction.

For campaign materials to inform the school community and to lobby your local MP visit Federation’s website at www.nswtf.org.au. Click on the Campaigns tab and select ESL campaign. Scroll down and click on “ESL - Going, Going, Gone?” under Campaign Resources.

Petition

The NSW ESL and Refugee Education Working Party seeks signatures for its petition to the NSW Government to maintain an effective ESL program.

Members of the working party include university academics, community members and Federation.

The petition calls for:

•an ESL program supported by a statewide service plan

•guaranteed targeted funding and delivery of ESL services staffed by qualified ESL teachers

•establishment of an accountability framework to monitor and report on the access and effectiveness of ESL services for the ESL target group

•schools continuing to have local expert support from multicultural/ ESL consultants, refugee support and community information officers by re-establishing this service in the new departmental structure.

The petition can be found at www.nswtf.org.au/files/working_party_esl_petition_0.pdf. The petition will be presented to the Legislative Assembly early next year.

Passing the buck

The ESL and Refugee Education Working Party’s Passing the Buck — English as a second language (ESL) in the NSW Government education reform report was launch at NSW Parliament House recently.

The report analyses the move from statewide needs based tied funding of ESL to ESL operation under the Resource Allocation Model.

The report also examines international research on second language acquisition and the impact of devolved systems such as Local Schools, Local Decisions on the ability of systems to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. The executive summary can be read from a link at http://www.nswtf.org.au/files/passing_the_buck_-_executive_summary.pdf.