Purpose of the program

The Department of Education and Training’s (the Department) Community Language Schools Funding Program provides annual funding to support accredited 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.

The Department’s Community Language Schools Funding Program has a robust accreditation process that ensures funded schools have the capacity to provide students with high-quality language programs that comply with the Department’s requirements and expectations.

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.

Period of accreditation/re-accreditation

Accreditation or re-accreditation is usually granted for a period of three years.

Community language schools that are granted accreditation or re-accreditation in the 2018 round will be eligible to apply for student per capita funding from 2019-2021 under the Department’s Community Language Schools Funding Program, provided they meet the eligibility for per capita funding terms and conditions.

Applying for accreditation/re-accreditation

The process of applying for accreditation or re-accreditation involves the following steps:

  1. The community language school must determine that it meets the eligibility requirements to be able to apply for accreditation/re-accreditation.
  2. The community language school must prepare all the required supporting documentation in the required format and manner. Partially complete applications will not be processed.
  3. The community language school must 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. The community language school must submit the completed and signed application, together with all supporting documentation, via email to clsaccreditation@gmail.com by 31 July of the year prior to that in which accreditation is sought, or as specified by the Department.

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

  1. The applicant school will receive acknowledgement in writing that their application has been received.
  2. The application and supporting documentation will be checked and the applicant school may be contacted for further information if required.
  3. 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: Schools requiring assistance with preparing their application should contact the Ethnic Schools’ Association of Victoria (ESAV) at: info@esav.org.au.