In Victorian government schools, 27 per cent of the student population is from language backgrounds other than English and 13 per cent of the student population are English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners. The provision of appropriate educational support, particularly EAL programs, is essential to supporting these students.
For detailed data on students from language backgrounds other than English and EAL programs in Victorian government schools, see: EAL reports
EAL Index funding
Funding provided to mainstream schools for EAL programs is known as EAL Index funding.
EAL Index funding is allocated to schools to provide EAL programs based on the number of students who:
come from a language background other than English
speak a language other than English at home as their main language
have been enrolled in an Australian school for less than five years
attract Student Resource Package (SRP) funding.
EAL Index funding is allocated through the Student Resource Package (SRP). Funding is based on data from the Language Background Other Than English Census collected from all government schools in August each year.
A weighted formula, that reflects both the length of time in an Australian school and the stage of schooling, is then applied to the students identified. Schools must meet a funding threshold before receiving EAL Index funding.
Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs)
All schools reaching the funding thresholds for EAL Index funding have a funding component for employment of Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs). The MEA funding component is approximately 25% of the EAL Index funding allocation.
Multicultural education aides assist with communication between the school and parents of students from language backgrounds other than English. They also assist students in the classroom or on a one-to-one basis. Information about MEAs in schools is published each year in the EAL report. For further information, see: Multicultural Education Aides (MEAs)
For more information about the Student Resource Package, see: Student Resource Package
EAL contingency funding
Schools which experience significant increases to their EAL student profile throughout in the year may be eligible for EAL contingency funding. Such schools should run the CASES 21 report ST21038 and email the report to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request to be considered for contingency funding.
All schools receiving EAL Index funding are required to complete the EAL Survey as part of the annual mid-year supplementary census. The survey provides a profile of students and EAL programs operating in government schools in Victoria, including information on assessment using the EAL companion to the AusVELS.
Support and advice
The EAL handbook (pdf - 343.89kb) | The EAL handbook (docx - 523.66kb) – provides advice to schools on programs for supporting students learning English as an additional language.
EAL Regional Project Officers – support schools in their region to develop and implement effective EAL programs.