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November 25, 2013

Australia | Education

Australia: funding changes hit ESL support program

adrian-piccoli.jpg Experts warn that education department cuts in New South Wales will have an adverse effect on ESL programs for immigrant children.

Vulnerable refugee and migrant children will be disadvantaged by the abolition of specialist support for teachers of English as a second language, academics and community groups have warned.

Ten academics from the state's top universities fear the changes are the beginning of the end for the English as a second language program in public schools across NSW.

"These changes are widely being interpreted as the beginning of a dismantling of the system-wide, targeted ESL program support infrastructure developed over the last four decades," their letter to NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said.

The academics said the NSW government plan to devolve control of school budgets from the Education Department to individual principals would also put the future of the state's 1600 specialist ESL teachers at risk.

The academics from the University of Sydney, University of NSW, University of Western Sydney, Macquarie University, Australian Catholic University and University of Technology, Sydney, said targeted funding was needed to sustain ESL teaching.

Read the full article from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Photo: NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli (

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