The purpose of this policy is to ensure schools are aware of the requirement to inform parents or carers of newly arrived students for whom English is an additional language of the intensive English language support available for their children, and how it can be accessed.
- The Department provides access to intensive EAL instruction for eligible students.
- Schools must inform parents or carers of newly arrived students for whom English is an additional language of the intensive English language programs available to them and how they can be accessed.
- Students who have been assessed as eligible typically attend an English language school or centre for between six and twelve months, depending on their educational background and/or refugee/humanitarian status.
- The Virtual New Arrivals Program (VNAP) is available for students in isolated or rural schools who cannot access an English language school or centre.
- For more information on where intensive English programs are available, and for more detailed advice on the VNAP see the Guidance tab.
Principals or their delegates must inform parents or carers of eligible English as an Additional Language (EAL) students who are newly arrived to Australia, that they may enrol in an English language school or centre, or to participate in the VNAP. This must be done before the principal or their delegate enrols the student in their school.
To be eligible to attend an English language school or centre or to participate in the VNAP students must:
- hold a visa that entitles them to enrol in a Victorian government school and that attracts funding
- speak a language other than English as their main language at home
- have a level of proficiency in English, determined at the local level by a school or English language school, that requires intensive assistance to enable them to participate fully in mainstream classroom programs
- begin at an English language school or centre or enrol in the VNAP
- within 18 months of arrival, if entering Foundation year
- within 6 months of arrival, if entering any other year of schooling
- at the time of enrolling in an English language school or centre or the VNAP, be undertaking or intending to undertake primary or secondary education at a Victorian government school as soon as practicable after completing the course.
A student who has previously been enrolled in an intensive English language program in an English language school or centre or VNAP is eligible to re-enrol in an intensive English language program only when the student:
- was enrolled in and attended a new arrivals program in the first instance for a minimum of one term and
- has been absent for a period of 2 years or more and
- during the period of absence was not resident in Australia, in education in another state or territory of Australia, or enrolled in education where English was the medium of instruction.
Fee paying overseas students requiring an intensive English language course before entering mainstream classes can enrol in an English language school or centre to undertake such a course.
Students must enrol in a school through the International Student Program before enrolling in an English language school or centre.
Support for schools
In addition to supporting schools to implement effective school-based EAL programs, EAL Regional Program Officers (RPOs) can support schools with newly arrived students and advise on intensive English language programs that might be available to students. For information on school-based EAL program, refer to: .
English language schools and centres can support schools in assessing student eligibility for a new arrivals program. The four metropolitan English language schools have an outreach officer available to assist schools assess student English language proficiency and recommend the most appropriate program. Rural and regional schools can contact their regional English language centre or their EAL RPO for support with EAL students.
To speak to an EAL RPO, contact:
- North Eastern Victoria Region
- North Western Victoria Region
- South Eastern Victoria Region
- South Western Victoria Region
Further information on the various intensive English language programs available across Victoria, as well as the support they can offer schools, is available on the Guidance tab.
Reviewed 06 May 2021