Refugee student support

Many students from refugee backgrounds need support in learning English as an additional language or dialect to enable them to access the curriculum. They may also have emotional, welfare and other educational support needs as a result of their experiences and sometimes disrupted or limited prior schooling. Like all students, refugee students need a safe and welcoming school environment.

School-aged refugee students, in particular high school students, generally require intensive and coordinated support. This funding supports refugee students who have been enrolled in an Australian school for less than 3 years. Funds may be used to provide:

  • bilingual learning support
  • counsellor support
  • additional English language learning and literacy support
  • support to assist refugee students to participate actively in the school community
  • mentoring to support refugee students in their transition to work or further education.

For more information go to the multicultural education website.

Supporting refugee students

Schools receive resources to provide English as an additional language or dialect support for refugee students through the New Arrivals Program or the English language proficiency equity loading.

Additional resources are provided to support refugee students through the targeted (individual student) funding component of the Resource Allocation Model. Schools receive a per capita amount for each refugee student who has been enrolled in an Australian school for less than 3 years. Data collected in the English as an additional language or dialect annual survey is used to allocate these funds.

Effective support for refugee students requires a coordinated whole school approach. Many schools have developed programs and strategies to support refugee students.

Examples of the effective use of the allocation include:

  • supporting teachers to differentiate teaching and learning through EAL/D professional learning that focuses on refugee education
  • creating a refugee support coordinator or team to coordinate personalised support for students from refugee backgrounds
  • identifying and targeting support for refugee students, including mentoring, tutoring, peer support, bilingual support and provision of essential equipment to facilitate active participation in school activities and the community.

All schools have a Strategic Improvement Plan in which they must show the school community how they propose to use the refugee student support funds. Accountability for the effective use of the funds to improve student outcomes occurs through the annual report.

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