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Interpreting and Translation Services

Policy

This policy outlines the requirements and available services relating to communicating with parents and carers who require interpreting and translation assistance.

Summary

  • Schools must offer interpreting and translation services to parents and carers who have limited or no English language skills to communicate key information about their child’s education.
  • Schools must use the Department’s provider, the Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service LanguageLoop, to access funded interpreting and translation services.
  • Information on how to access this service is available on the Guidance tab.
  • The Department covers the cost of a range of interpreting and translation services, as detailed in this policy and the Guidance tab, noting that the costs for interpreting and translation services for full fee paying overseas student are not met by the Department and are to be met by the school.

Details

The Department provides funding for interpreting and translation services to support children and young people:

  • who are enrolled in government schools, school operated early childhood services or other support services delivered or funded by the Department, and
  • whose parents are from a language background other than English and require communication to be undertaken in their first language

This Department funding does not cover costs for interpreting and translation services for full fee paying overseas students.  These costs must be met by the school.

Offering interpreting and translation services

Schools must offer interpreting and translation services to parents and carers who have limited or no English language skills to communicate key information about their child’s education, such as for parent-teacher interviews or other one-to-one meetings.

Wherever possible, schools should also offer interpreting and translation services for other school communications such as consent forms, newsletters and letters to parents or carers.

Interpreting and translation services provider

Schools must use the Department’s provider, the Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service (VITS) LanguageLoop to access Department funded services — refer to the Guidance tab for information on how to access this service.  The services can be used for:

  • parent-teacher interviews
  • information dissemination
  • discussions about educational progress, integration, careers or pathways, welfare or discipline. The student year level must be recorded.
  • student services assessments. The nature of the assessment (for example, speech pathologist, psychologist, social worker, and visiting teacher) must be included in the booking. In addition, the student year level must be recorded.
  • discussions about transition to primary or secondary school
  • discussions about student enrolment. The student year level must be recorded. If enrolling more than one student from the same family, include year levels of all students being enrolled.

Any requests not included in the categories listed above are classed as 'unusual situations' and require approval from the Department by contacting the Targeted School Services Unit on language.services@education.vic.gov.au.

The services are not available to assist individual students in classrooms or to support curriculum-related activities or events such as graduations or performances. Refer to EAL Support and Funding for further information on supporting EAL students in the classroom.

Multilingual notices support communication between schools and families from language backgrounds other than English. Schools are encouraged to use these notices when appropriate.

19 school notices commonly requested for translation are available in 37 languages, available on the Resources tab.

If schools wish to write their own notices, payment for the translation may need to be met by the school. Any inquiries regarding notices should be directed to the Targeted School Services Unit on email language.services@education.vic.gov.au

Department policy outlining the requirements and available services relating to communicating with parents and carers who require interpreting and translation assistance

Reviewed 30 March 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Targeted School Services Unit

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