HOW TO START A NEW COMMUNITY LANGUAGE SCHOOL
a guide to help you prepare
Ask around in your community; are there parents with school age children who are willing to participate and want to enroll their children in your school?
Funding under the Community Languages Schools Program is for students from K-12.
Create a ‘Student’s interested in enrolling’ form to keep track of interested families.
Once classes are set up, each parent then fills out an Enrolment Form.
Each School has to fill out a Teacher Profile Form for each teacher. This form is submitted when you apply to register your school. It records your teachers' teacher training and experience.
If you don’t have an experienced language teacher, the committee can agree for him/her to teach, if he/she agrees to undergo training.
There are free Language Teaching course being offered by NSW Department of Education and Sydney University's Sydney Institute for Community Languages Education; you can read about them here.
All teachers and volunteers who interact with students without their parents being present, have to do a Working with Children Check.
FIND A VENUE FOR YOUR SCHOOL
You can choose your own premises. Some schools teach in their community hall, club or religious building.
You can apply to use a NSW Government School facilities for your school program.
Community Languages Schools have free use of Government School facilities.
Decide on the most convenient suburb for your students to attend your language school - look at student details of where they live/go to school). Then find the government school (primary or high school) and prepare to approach that school to request hosting. Read the guide about Approaching a School to seek use of its premises.
Please note: Schools which are teaching the same language cannot operate within 2km of each other.
PLAN YOUR TEACHING
Teaching resources are one of the most important parts of your school. You can get resources by:
asking in your community - are there other Community Languages Schools for your language in NSW? Find them here and ask them for suggestions;
contacting people you know in your country to send out materials;
producing your own materials.
Once you have collected some resources, you can plan what you will teach.
FORM A COMMITTEE
You have to form a committee. Please read information about a Committee. Your first meeting will be the Annual General Meeting (AGM), when the committee members are being voted in. The minutes (a transcript of the meeting) of this meeting are often needed for opening a bank account. Minutes have to be written in English. If you are not familiar with the procedures of forming a committee and holding meetings, the Education Officer, Kara will help you.
You must set up an incorporated association before you can run a community language school or apply for a grant from the NSW Community Languages Schools Program. The incorporated association must be able to demonstrate close links with a community whose first/heritage language is a language other than English. You can read more about this process here: Setting up your incorporated association.
GET AN ABN NUMBER
Your Community Language School needs to have their own Australian Business Number (ABN). To apply for an ABN visit the Australian Business Register.
OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOUR SCHOOL
Open up a bank account for your non-profitable organisation. To open a bank account you will need the minutes of your Annual General Meeting. The Committee members who will be signatories have to go and meet at the bank together with their identification papers. Please ask your bank for further details about what is needed.
PLAN YOUR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
You will need to track your income and expenditure. This is an example of how you can set up your book keeping with an Income, Expenditure and Petty Cash sheet.
After receiving a grant from the Department of Education, at the end of the year you will need to have information on your income and expenditure to complete a Grant Acquittal Report. You can see the Grant Acquittal Forms here (scroll to the bottom of the page).
ORGANISE YOUR PUBLIC LIABILITY AND VOLUNTEERS' ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Your Community Language School needs to have Public Liability Insurance and insurance for your volunteers. Members of Hunter Community Languages are able to purchase their Public Liability Insurance and Volunteers Insurance at a much reduced cost.
DEVELOP YOUR TEACHING PLAN
Now that you're close to opening, spend some more time developing your teaching plan - what will be taught at your school, over a year, a semester, week by week and eventually for each lesson. You need to plan where you are heading with your teaching, what the students will learn and how you will assess their skill development. Kara, your Education Officer at Hunter Community Languages, can help you to develop your teaching program.
Once the school is ready for operation you need to ensure that all of the School administration and funding forms are filled in. You can access these form here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/community-languages-schools/community-languages-school-forms
After 3 months (1 term) of operation of school, you can apply for an Establishment Grant. The Education Officer can help you.
More information about starting a Community Languages School can be found on the Department of Education's website: https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/community-languages-schools
The Community Languages Schools Program Guidelines are available here.