Emergency notice

Review of foreign government, organisation support for language education

The NSW Department of Education has completed a review of foreign government / foreign organisation support for language education in NSW public schools.

The full report (PDF 1944.15KB) (with minor redactions to protect personal and in confidence information) has been proactively released under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

The department is also proactively releasing two earlier versions of the report, the final report of the review prepared internally in November 2018 (PDF 9417.88KB) and a subsequent version (PDF 2244.22KB) with minor corrections that was provided to the NSW Department of Education Executive in April 2019. A summary of all these minor corrections (PDF 154.88KB) made between the earlier versions and the final report has been provided, with redactions for personal and in confidence information.

Purpose and scope

The review was conducted internally by the Department at the request of the former Minister for Education, Rob Stokes.

The review examined all agreements the department has with foreign governments or organisations to support language education in NSW public schools. It included specific advice on the operation of the Confucius Institute established in the NSW Department of Education in 2012.

Key recommendations of the review

The review made six recommendations, that the department:

  • improve the administration of arrangements with foreign governments or organisations;
  • review the renewal clauses of all agreements;
  • maintain a thorough record of all agreements the department has with foreign governments or foreign organisations that support language education in schools;
  • continue to support the teaching of Chinese in NSW schools;
  • re-negotiate the current Confucius Institute agreement with Hanban to remove any possible perception that the agreement could facilitate political influence by a foreign government in schools and the department and
  • consider terminating the agreement with Hanban, if re-negotiation is not possible.

Response to the review

The department has also published our response to each of the recommendations in the review.

The NSW Department of Education has accepted the recommendations of the review and has commenced work on the recommendations relating to the administration of arrangements with foreign governments or organisations.

The department will now develop formal guidelines for all language agreements; review the governance of all existing agreements; and end its agreement with the Confucius Institute.

The department will continue to support the teaching of Chinese in NSW schools.

Additional information

View the NSW Department of Education Secretary, Mark Scott’s related media release.

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