Our response to the review report
This is our response to the recommendations in the report from the review of foreign government / organisation support for language education in NSW government schools.
Improve the administration of arrangements with foreign governments or organisations.
The department will form a dedicated team to review its arrangements with foreign governments and organisations. This team will establish formal guidelines for the development of all agreements with foreign governments or organisations. It is anticipated that this review will be completed by the end of Term 4, 2019.
Review the renewal clauses of all agreements.
The department will review all currently operating agreements with foreign governments or organisations by the end of Term 4, 2019. This work has commenced.
Maintain a thorough record of all agreements the department has with foreign governments or foreign organisations that support language education in schools
The department will develop a central registry of agreements with foreign governments or organisations, and implement an ongoing process to maintain this registry. This will be completed by the end of Term 4, 2019.
Continue to support the teaching of Chinese in NSW schools.
The department will continue support for the teaching of Chinese language in NSW schools through access to professional learning and curriculum resources.
Specific support will be provided by the department to schools with Confucius Classrooms, including $1.2M to replace assistant teachers from China, until at least the end of 2022 (when the existing agreement was scheduled to end).
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. (This includes removing the Confucius Institute from within the department to an alternate location).
Accepted in principle.
Consideration was given by the department to re-negotiation of the Agreement and the removal of the Confucius Institute program to an alternate location. The department was concerned that investigation of a relocation could potentially cause uncertainty for schools in relation to their Chinese language programs for 2020.
Consider terminating the agreement with Hanban, if re-negotiation is not possible.
The department’s prime objective is to ensure that Chinese language teaching programs continue and that there is no disruption to student learning.
In order to provide certainty and continuity of learning for students, the Department will end its agreement with the Confucius Institute at the end of the 2019 school year.
From 2020, the department will invest $1.2 million each year in support for the 13 Confucius classroom schools to continue their learning of Chinese language, including replacing the assistant teachers from China with local Chinese speaking assistants until at least the end of 2022.