NSW Labor to invest $17.9 million to support community languages in schools

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NSW Labor has announced it will invest an additional $17.9 million into the NSW Community Languages Schools Program to make learning a language more affordable and accessible. 

This commitment is the biggest increase in funding for community languages in more than a decade. 

A key feature is a $100 rebate for parents whose children pass their end-of-year exams and achieve an 85 percent attendance record throughout the year. The rebate will reduce the overall costs parents pay for language classes and help foster attendance. 

Other features of Labor’s policy include: 

  • Increasing the per capita grant to $200 per eligible student;
  • Improving security of tenure for language schools with three-year agreements for the use of a host government school; 
  • Expanding the use of digital and online lessons to give regional and rural students the opportunity to participate in language classes if none operate near them; and 
  • Establishing a professional pathway for the 3,000 community language teachers to become qualified to teach in NSW public schools. 

There are 35,000 students studying 60 different languages in more than 250 community language schools across NSW.

The policy is part of NSW Labor’s Fresh Start Plan to support diverse communities and promote a vibrant multicultural society in NSW. 

NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Steve Kamper, said “speaking more than one language is an increasingly valuable skill in a globalised world.”

“Labor’s policy will make it easier and more affordable for every child who wants to learn a language to do so,” Mr Kamper said.

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