Purpose of the program

The Department of Education and Training’s (the Department) Community Language Schools Funding Program provides annual per capita funding to support not-for-profit community language schools to deliver community language programs to Victorian school-aged students outside school hours.

For the purposes of this program, a community language is defined as a language used on a daily basis to communicate with family members, and within their own community, by members of a cultural or linguistic group resident in Victoria.

Community language schools must first apply for and be granted accreditation with the Department before they can apply for per capita funding for their students. This applies for both new schools and any new campuses for existing accredited schools. The accreditation process enables the Department to assess whether schools are delivering quality programs and are aware of their obligations for child safety and wellbeing. The accreditation does not support a community language school to be registered as an education provider as defined through the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

As part of the accreditation process, community language schools must submit an application form and supporting documentation to demonstrate their capacity to deliver high-quality language programs that comply with the Department’s requirements and expectations.

Applications for accreditation (or re-accreditation for currently accredited community language schools) are accepted once a year. The accreditation period is one, two or three years, depending on the year in which the application is made, to align with the Department’s common 3-year cycle. The current cycle is 2019-2021.

These guidelines outline the process that new and existing community language schools must follow, and the documentation they must provide when applying for accreditation or re-accreditation with the Department.

Applying for accreditation

To apply for accreditation of a new school, or new campus of an existing accredited school,  a community language school must:

  1. Demonstrate that it meets the eligibility requirements to be able to apply for accreditation/re-accreditation.
  2. Prepare all the required supporting documentation in the required format and manner. Partially complete applications will not be processed.
  3. Complete the application form when seeking accreditation for the first time, seeking accreditation for a new campus, or seeking re-accreditation. If seeking accreditation for more than one campus, each campus must be detailed in the application form. The Department will not fund students attending a campus that has not been approved.
  4. At least two members of the school (including the Principal) must have checked all documentation to ensure it is complete. Both members must then sign the application form to confirm this.
  5. Submit the completed and signed application, together with all supporting documentation, by the date specified by the Department.

Once an application for accreditation or re-accreditation has been submitted:

  • The applicant school will receive acknowledgement in writing that their application has been received.
  • The application and supporting documentation will be checked and the applicant school may be contacted for further information if required.
  • The Department will endeavour, where possible, to notify applicant schools of the outcome of their application by 31 December of the year prior to that in which accreditation is sought.

Assistance with applications

The application round for accreditation of new schools in 2020 (for funding from 2020-2021) has closed. The application round for accreditation and funding of new schools in 2021 will open during 2020. An application form is provided to each community language school after eligibility has been determined. For more information contact: clsaccreditation@gmail.com.

An application round for new campuses of currently accredited schools is open and will close on 3 February 2020. If your school is already accredited, but wishes to have a new campus accredited, please contact clsaccreditation@gmail.com in order to complete additional documentation.

Schools requiring assistance with preparing their application should contact Community Languages Victoria (formerly called Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria, ESAV) at: info@communitylanguages.org.au.