English language proficiency

The loading for English language proficiency is a resource allocation to support students learning English as an additional language or dialect.

The English language proficiency loading supports:

  • students learning English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) who are migrants, refugees or humanitarian entrants or the children of migrants, refugees or humanitarian entrants
  • Aboriginal EAL/D learners who speak a dialect of Standard Australian English, traditional Aboriginal languages or other languages other than English.

In 2023, the equity loading for English language proficiency delivers resources to approximately 199,000 students in 1,638 public schools.

Schools with newly arrived students and students from refugee backgrounds continue to receive additional resources through the targeted (individual student) support component of the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).

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

Key messages

  • This loading is to be used to support the English language learning of EAL/D students in your school in the year for which it is 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, to 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.
  • Strategic Improvement Plans must outline how the needs of EAL/D students will be addressed. Accountability for the effective use of the EAL/D funding to improve student learning occurs through the annual report.

How are EAL/D students identified?

The English as an additional language or dialect learning progression, developed by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), is used to assess students’ phases of English language proficiency. English language proficiency is described as one of 4 phases:

  • beginning
  • emerging
  • developing
  • consolidating.

The data for all 4 EAL/D phases supports planning for learning, and informs the allocation of resources through the English language proficiency equity loading, to support English as an additional language or dialect learners.

How is the English language proficiency equity loading calculated?

Collection of data to inform the equity loading for English language proficiency is conducted in June each year via the English as an additional language or dialect annual survey. The student data collected each year through the enrolment and registration number (ERN) database includes EAL/D phase of English language proficiency, scholastic year, length of time in an Australian school and visa subclass.

This student data is used to calculate a school’s relative English language proficiency need using a methodology that includes evidence-based weightings for different elements.

Further information about the methodology underpinning the English language proficiency equity loading is available in the 2021 Revised methodology for the English language proficiency (ELP) funding model report.

Funding allocation

The EAL/D rate is determined by the total funding available for distribution and the total weighted EAL/D need for all students.

Schools receive their equity allocation for English language proficiency as a staffing allocation 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 or dialect receive an English language proficiency resource allocation.

Each year schools experience fluctuations in English language proficiency equity funding in response to changes in enrolment patterns and identified need in individual schools. 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 English language proficiency staffing component remains the same:

  • total 1,000 FTE
  • minimum allocation 0.2 FTE
  • maximum allocation 6.0 FTE
  • incremental allocation 0.2 FTE

A minimum of $2,400 is provided to each school with EAL/D enrolments. This can be used by teachers to access professional learning about how to support students to develop their English language proficiency.

A maximum of $720,996 is allocated to any one school with EAL/D enrolments, to ensure that resources for this loading can be provided to all schools with students with English language proficiency needs.

Return to top of page Back to top