Using interpreting and translation services

Help parents and carers from non-English speaking backgrounds to communicate  

It is vital that parents and carers from non-English speaking backgrounds can understand key information about their child’s education. 

To make this easier, the Department provides funding for a range of interpreting and translation services.  

Teachers can use these services to support children and young people enrolled in Victorian government schools whose parents and carers are from a language background other than English and require communication in their first language. 

All interpreter and translator bookings must be authorised by the school’s principal. 

What the services can be used for  

Interpreting services can be used for a range of one-on-one meetings, such as parent-teacher interviews, student services assessments, and discussions about educational progress, integration, careers, welfare or discipline. 

Translation services can be used for the following categories of work: 

  • key item for newsletter — up to 500 words 
  • notice — up to 750 words 
  • information on a program or activity — up to 750 words 
  • learning support material – up to 1000 words 
  • specialist school and integration student reports — up to 500 words 
  • individual learning plans – up to 500 words. 

The services are not available to help individual students in classrooms, for activities or events such as graduations or performances, or for full fee-paying overseas students.  

Translation services are also not available to translate lengthy documents such as school charters and policy documents. Schools need to meet translation costs where services fall outside the translation guidelines. 

How to book the services  

Before booking an interpreting service, schools must be registered with the Department’s interpreting and translator provider, the Victorian Interpreting and Translating Service.  

To register, contact LanguageLoop by phone: 03 9280 1955. 

Once registered, teachers can book services online or contact LanguageLoop for support. 

To request a translation, teachers can also email: translations@languageloop.com.au  

Documents for translation should be prepared in Word and written in plain English. 

How much notice is required?  

Prior permission from the Department is not required for most interpreting services. 

Where possible, bookings for an interpreter should be made at least five business days before the interpreter is required. 

During periods of high-demand, such as end-of-term parent-teacher interviews, up to 10 business days’ notice may be necessary. Bookings are made for 90 minutes unless otherwise requested.  

Translation requests should be made at least 10 business days ahead. In exceptional circumstances and based on the urgency of the request, a shorter timeline may be approved subject to the availability of translators. 

Find out more 

For more information, refer to Interpreting and Translation Services policy on the Department’s Policy and Advisory Library.