English language proficiency

The loading for English language proficiency is a resource allocation for students learning English as an additional language or dialect who are migrants, refugees or humanitarian entrants or the children of migrants, refugees or humanitarian entrants.

Key messages

  • This loading is to be used to support the English language learning of EAL/D students in your school in the year allocated.
  • This loading may be allocated as a teaching component, as flexible funding or a combination of both.
  • Teaching allocations should be filled by qualified EAL/D teachers wherever possible.
  • Flexible funding can be used to employ EAL/D teaching staff (for example $21,877 equals approximately 0.2 teaching allocation at standard cost), provide EAL/D professional learning for teachers or bilingual support for students.
  • This loading may be combined with funding from other sources to support the needs of EAL/D students.
  • School plans should outline how the needs of EAL/D students will be addressed. Accountability for the effective use of the funds to improve student learning occurs through the annual report.

How is the loading calculated?

The loading is calculated using each school's reported level of English language proficiency need, identified by the English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) Learning Progression. This progression, developed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), is used by schools to describe each student's level of English language proficiency.

English language proficiency is described as one of the four phases of learning:

  • beginning
  • emerging
  • developing
  • consolidating.

A student's phase must be updated in ERN. This information is collected through the annual EAL/D survey and used to inform each school's equity loading for English language proficiency.

The loading provides funding for students in all four phases of English language proficiency. The level of funding for each phase is calculated using evidence-based weightings.

The greater a student's level of need, the higher the weighting and the higher the level of resources provided. For example, students identified as being at the ‘Beginning' phase attract the highest weighting because they require more intensive support. A weighting for refugee students is also applied.

The loading provides a higher weighting for EAL/D students in secondary schools recognising that limited English language proficiency has a greater negative impact on student outcomes in high school than in primary school.

Each student's reported EAL/D phase is moderated by the length of time they have been in an Australian school.

English language proficiency loading

In 2020 the equity loading for English language proficiency is delivering resources to approximately 189,000 students in 1,549 public schools. The total allocation of school-based EAL/D teacher positions has increased to 1000 FTE.

Schools with new arrivals and refugee students continue to receive additional resources through the targeted (individual student) support component of RAM.

Intensive English Centres and the Intensive English High School continue to have their own resourcing arrangements separate to the resources allocated under this equity loading.

Fund allocation

Schools receive their equity allocation for English language proficiency as staffing and/or a flexible funding component. The use of a flexible funding component enables a more equitable allocation of resources and ensures that all schools with students learning English as an additional language receive an English language proficiency resource allocation.

Schools are resourced according to need so it is anticipated that under this loading there will be a degree of change from year to year as students' progress through the phases of learning English.

The criteria for calculating the ELP staffing component remains the same:

  • Total FTE 1000
  • Minimum FTE allocation 0.4
  • Maximum FTE allocation 5.4
  • Incremental FTE allocation 0.2

A minimum of $400 (equivalent to approximately one teacher relief day) is provided to a school. This can be used by teachers to access professional learning about how to support students to develop their English language proficiency.

A maximum of $678, 181 is allocated to any one school to ensure that resources for this loading can be provided to all schools with students with English language proficiency needs.

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