The Department has confirmed its commitment to maintaining the current number of English as a second language (ESL) teacher positions from 2015 when the Gonski loading for students with limited English language proficiency is to be implemented (see letter in panel below).
This is a significant, positive response to Federation’s campaigning to protect the current statewide allocation of 896 (full time equivalent) ESL teacher positions since the announcement of the Local Schools, Local Decisions (LSLD) policy and the advent of the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).
Community support for the maintenance of ESL teacher positions was evident in the attendance of more than 200 people at a forum held in the Federation auditorium on July 22.
The Department’s maintenance of this staffing entitlement for ESL students will be welcome news in schools across the state. It is further affirmation of broad support for the Gonski funding model and an ongoing commitment to ensuring that the many thousands of public school students with additional needs are provided with the support necessary to achieve their potential in education and later life.
Federation will continue to work with the Department to ensure that the Gonski funding model is utilised to the benefit of all NSW public school students.
Gary Zadkovich is the Deputy President and Amber Flohm is the Multicultural Officer/Organiser.