This policy responds to the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of NSW. It commits schools to providing opportunities that enable all students to achieve equitable education and social outcomes and participate successfully in our culturally diverse society.
Changes since previous version
2022 Aug 09 - updated links in policy statement.
2022 Feb 25 - updated links and role titles in policy statement and implementation document: Interpreting and translation services: Guidelines for schools.
2021 April 17 - updated implementation document: Interpreting and translation services: Guidelines for schools.
2020 Jun - updated contact details and minor changes to style guide.
Updated implementation document EAL/D Advice for Schools.
Policy reflects departmental changes and changes in state policy and related legislation. Support documents listed in the Policy Implementation section reflects changes in requirements over time including responsibilities under the Multicultural NSW Act (2000) and mandatory reporting requirements relating to the Multicultural Policies and Services Program.
From 2016 schools are no longer required to complete a New Arrivals Program survey as the information is now collected via the EAL/D Annual Survey.
English as a Second Language: Guidelines for schools
Multicultural Education Policy Statement, 1983 (ISBN-0-7240-8417-7)
- Policy statement
- Schools foster student wellbeing and community harmony through the provision of programs and practices which counter racism and discrimination.
- Schools provide teaching and learning programs that develop intercultural understanding, promote positive relationships and enable all students to participate as active Australian and global citizens.
- Schools ensure inclusive teaching practices which recognise and respect the cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds of all students and promote an open and tolerant attitude towards cultural diversity, different perspectives and world views.
- Schools provide programs that enable students learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) to develop their English language and literacy skills so that they are able to fully participate in schooling and achieve equitable educational outcomes.
- Schools deliver differentiated curriculum and targeted teaching and learning programs to address the specific learning and wellbeing needs of students from culturally diverse backgrounds, including newly arrived and refugee students.
- Schools promote positive community relations through effective communication with parents and community members from diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds and by providing opportunities for their active engagement in the life of the school.
- Audience and applicability
- All staff working in public schools, as well as educational services teams and state office. It also applies to students who attend public schools and has implications for each school community.
- The cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of NSW is reflected in its students, staff and school communities. More than one-third of all students in public schools come from language backgrounds other than English, both overseas and Australian born. These students speak over 230 different languages and hold a range of religious and spiritual beliefs.
- The Multicultural NSW Act 2000 recognises and values the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of NSW. Under the Act, Multicultural NSW is legislated to act across government and across the whole community to promote diverse, cohesive and harmonious multicultural society with mutual respect for and understanding of cultural diversity.
- The Multicultural principles contained within the Multicultural NSW Act 2000 provide the framework for the implementation of the Multicultural Education Policy.
- Responsibilities and delegations
- The Deputy Secretary, Learning Improvement is responsible for ensuring the implementation and monitoring of the policy and the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB).
- Executive Directors and Directors are responsible for examining practices and procedures that support public schools to ensure that they are consistent with the policy.
- Principals are responsible for ensuring that school policies and practices are consistent with the policy and for including multicultural education strategies in their school plans. They are also responsible for ensuring that the EAL/D Annual Survey is completed accurately to provide information on English language proficiency of students for resourcing purposes and to inform planning and support strategies in the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB).
- All staff members are responsible for ensuring their practices are consistent with the policy.
- The Leader, Multicultural Education is responsible for publication and currency of the policy and support material, the provision of advice on the interpretation and implementation of the policy, and the development and implementation of the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB).
- Monitoring and review
- The Deputy Secretary, Learning Improvement will report, through the department’s Annual Report and the Multicultural Policies and Services Program (MPSP) Report, on progress in implementing the policy and the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB).
- The Leader, Multicultural Education will monitor the implementation of the policy and the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB) and coordinate reporting on achievements in multicultural education through the NSW Public Schools MPSP Report and MPSP Appendix of the department’s Annual Report.
- Executive Directors and Directors will report annually, through their contributions to the department’s MPSP Report, on progress in implementing the policy and the department’s Multicultural Plan (PDF 1804 KB).
- The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation through the Statistics Unit will report annually on numbers of students from language backgrounds other than English in government schools.
- Schools will report annually on achievements in multicultural education in their Annual School Reports.
Leader, Multicultural Education
02 7814 2826