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Community Language Schools FAQ's

​The Community Language School

Q. What is a community language?

A community language is defined as one used on a day-to-day basis by members of cultural/linguistic groups residing in Western Australia to communicate with family members and within their own community.

Q. What is a community language school?

Community language schools (CLS) are defined as those that:

  • are non-profit making
  • are open to all students, irrespective of their linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • complement language education provided in mainstream schools
  • provide authentic cultural contexts for language learning
  • promote the learning of a wide range of languages and an understanding of different cultures within Australian society
  • are funded by communities, often with assistance from the Western Australian Government.

Q. What are Community Language School Grants?

Community Language School grants are administered by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) within the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC).

The program provides support to community language schools to:

  • deliver quality language teaching
  • develop and maintain effective administration of management systems and processes.

Grants are available for community language schools in Western Australia that operate after-school-hours programs in languages other than English for students in years K–12


Q. Is my organisation eligible to apply for funding?

To be eligible for grant funding, the applicant organisation must:

  • be a not-for-profit organisation based in Western Australia or an association operating under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 based in Western Australia
  • have a constitution or school charter stating that the organisation’s purpose is to provide language education
  • have a board or management committee that includes representation from at least one member of the language group’s community, and one parent of a student at the school
  • be open to students from Kindergarten to Year 12 (K–12)
  • hold classes outside of school hours
  • provide a minimum of one-and-a-half hours of face-to-face language teaching per lesson based on an educational program that is linked to the Western Australian or Australian Curriculum where possible
  • have a minimum of 10 students enrolled in a school year with average attendance rates of at least 70 per cent
  • provide at least 35 weeks of language classes each year
  • be committed to all teaching staff and at least one administrator the professional learning program delivered by the Australian Institute of Management Western Australia (AIMWA)
  • comply with the requirements of the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 and be committed to becoming a child-safe organisation

Applications from community language schools or organisations with outstanding reporting for grants funded through OMI or DLGSC may not be considered for assessment.

Applying for a grant

Q. When can applications be submitted for Community Language School Grants?

Applications are only accepted during funding rounds.

Information on opening and closing dates for funding rounds are published on the Community Language Schools page.

Applications may be submitted any time during the funding round period before 4.00pm on the round closing date. Late applications will not be accepted.

Q. What activities are supported by the Community Language School Grants?

The funding guidelines for each funding round will detail the types of applications that can be supported.

There are two grant categories:

  1. New School grants provide one-off funding to new CLS to support the administrative costs of setting up the school, and to maintain and increase school enrolments. To qualify for a New School grant, a school must demonstrate it has been operating between 12 and 52 weeks.
  2. Per Capita grants assist established CLS with the costs of operating the school. The grant amount is based on the number of students enrolled in the school.

Grant funding may not be used for items expended in the previous school year.

Q. What costs can be supported by the grant?

The funding guidelines for each funding round detail the costs that can and cannot be supported.

The following is some general advice that applies to what grant funding may be used for:

  • rental of a school venue
  • teaching materials, resources and minor equipment
  • stationery and photocopying
  • payments to teachers (including wages, travel allowance and honorariums)
  • costs associated with professional learning for teachers and school administrators
  • payment of membership fees to representative peak industry bodies/associations
  • expenses associated with school administration, including insurance and Working with Children checks.

Grant funding may not be used for capital purposes such as buildings, building repairs, maintenance or renovations; for domestic or international travel; or to religious instruction.

Q. What is the requirement on student attendance?

To qualify for a grant, a CLS must demonstrate that it achieves an average attendance rate of at least 70 per cent over the school year.

Q. What is the WACE bonus?

Schools with students completing language courses as part of their Year 11 or 12 WACE studies can apply for additional funding for each student completing this level of study as part of their Per Capita grant application. To qualify for the bonus, schools must provide evidence of student enrolment in Years 11 and 12 language study with their grant application.

Q. What is the application process?

To qualify for funding​​, community language schools must be enrolled in the Pathways to Improvement Program. Further information can be found on the Community Language Schools page.

Schools that are new to the program should contact OMI before commencing the application to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and understand the assessment criteria.

The application form and funding guidelines can be downloaded from the Community Language Schools page.

The application and supporting documentation must be submitted by 4.00pm of the round closing date.

All applications are reviewed by OMI to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and can be considered for assessment.

Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not progress through to the assessment stage.

Applications are assessed by a panel comprising representatives from the community and/or education sectors. Panel recommendations are made to the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests for final review and approval.

Applicants are notified in writing about the outcome of their applications and can request feedback on the outcome.

Q. Who in my organisation can complete an application for funding?

The application should be completed by a representative of the organisation with the authority to commit the organisation to a grant agreement. The representative is generally the President, Secretary, Treasurer, CEO, Manager or Coordinator. The organisation’s constitution provides guidance on who in the organisation is authorised to sign legal documents on behalf of the organisation.

Q. Can my organisation apply for funding more than once?

A school can only receive a New School grant once

Schools that receive a New School grant are required to wait for the next Per Capita funding round to apply for a Per Capita grant.

CLS are able to apply for Per Capita grants at each annual funding round.

Q. What is an in-kind contribution?

An organisation or group often contributes to a project with their own resources, which may reduce the amount of actual cash needed. These contributions would have been an expense if they were not donated.

An in-kind contribution means support, other than money, provided by and to your organisation towards your project. This can include voluntary labour (e.g. poster design work or office administration) or donated goods and services (e.g. food or professional advice from an accountant).

The calculation of your in-kind contribution is based on your best estimates. In-kind volunteer general labour is normally calculated at $20 per hour, and in-kind volunteer specialist labour (e.g. services of a lawyer or accountant) are normally calculated at $45 per hour. In-kind provision of goods is normally calculated at the retail or market price that the goods would have been bought for.

You will be asked to include in-kind contributions to your project as part of your application budget. This will provide the full monetary value of the project, inclusive of any cash income.

Q. Is there additional information I should provide with my application?

Yes. An overview of required information is included in the checklist at the end of the application form.

All applications must include a copy of the applicant organisation’s Certificate of Incorporation.

There may be additional materials that you are required to provide with your application. These resources are available on the Community Language Schools page.

Q. Are there other resources that can assist with the application?

Templates are available for your use in developing support documentation for your application. These resources include a budget template, lesson planning template, curriculum template and a student enrolment template.

Q. How do I get further information about Community Language School grants?

The funding guidelines are made available on the OMI website when the funding round is open.

If you have further queries contact the Grants Administrator on (08) 6552 1603 or email Community Languages

Receiving a grant

Q. When and how will my organisation know if our application has been successful?

After the application deadline, the assessment and approval process takes a minimum of two months. The applicant organisation will receive a letter with the outcome of the application at the completion of the process. Following this, applicants can request feedback on their application.

Grant recipients are listed on the Previous Grants Recipients page.

Q. When can we expect the grant funds?

Grant recipients will receive a letter confirming their successful application and providing information on the next steps.

A funding agreement must be signed by the organisation’s legal authority before payment can be released.

Q. How does the organisation acknowledge OMI support in advertising for the project?

It is a condition of your agreement that you ensure that OMI’s support of your school is appropriately acknowledged through communications and promotional material, and at any school events. An outline of these requirements is included in the agreement.

The OMI logo and guidelines for logo use are available for download on the Logos page of the OMI website. Grant recipients are required to use the ‘supported by’ logo.

Any events related to the school can be registered on the OMI Community Events Calendar.

To arrange for an OMI banner for display at any school events, complete an OMI banner form and return it to

When sharing promotional content and images of your school online, you can use #multiculturalwa or tag @multiculturalwa to connect with OMI’s social media platforms. You may also email promotional content and images with credits through to

Q. What happens if there are changes at the school or student numbers?

OMI understands that changes may occur. However, it is essential that any changes school lessons and activities, timelines or budget are discussed with OMI. A formal variation to the grant agreement may be required to reflect the changes.

Written requests for a variation can be made by emailing

Q. How do CLS meet their Professional Learning Program (PLP) requirements?

CLS in receipt of grant funding are required to attend the PLP each year. Teachers from CLS supported by grant funding who do not have a recognised teaching qualification are required to complete the Tell Me Now; Show Me How workshop.

Q. What are the reporting requirements for a grant?

All successful grant recipients are required to provide a final report, including a Certified Financial Statement, within 60 days of completion of the project. The project report should be accompanied by copies of photos, promotional materials and media coverage.

There may be a requirement to provide progress reporting as part of receiving your grant. All reporting requirements are outlined in your grant agreement.

Where the grant funds are valued at under $50,000, financial statements must be certified by the Chairman, CEO or equivalent of the organisation.

Where the grant funds are valued at $50,000 or more, financial statements must be certified by the Chairman, CEO of the organisation, or equivalent and certified by a professional auditor who is:

  • not an officer or employee of the organisation
  • registered as a company auditor or equivalent under a law in force in Western Australia, or
  • a member or fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants.

Sector support and resources

Q. What is the Pathways to Improvement Program?

To qualify for funding in the March 2019 grant round, community language schools must be enrolled in the Pathways to Improvement Program.

The Pathways to Improvement (PIP) supports the development of quality teaching and operations in CLS in Western Australia. The aim is to improve and maintain quality language teaching and learning for school leaders to understand how well a school is operating and how it can be even better.

The program is offered free to all CLS in WA, including schools that do not receive grant funding.

The PIP supports CLS through an assessment and evaluation process. It provides CLS with tools to assess their effectiveness and progress towards best practice in the management and delivery of community language learning.

The PIP comprises:

  • four stages of development that reflect how CLS operate
  • standards and domains for school effectiveness and progress
  • information and tools that measure effectiveness and progress and identify areas for improvement. This includes a school self-assessment tool and a formal evaluation process.

Further details of the PIP can be found at Community Languages WA.

Q. What is the Community Languages WA website?

The Community Languages WA (CLWA) website offers a destination for information, resources, networking and collaboration for community language teachers and administrators

It is an excellent resource for the sector and encourages CLS to contribute stories and experiences.

The website can be found at Community Languages WA.

Q. What is the Professional Learning Program?

A professional learning program is provided free of charge for teachers and administrators of CLS, including schools that do not receive grant funding. The purpose of the Professional Learning Program (PLP) is to:

  • support the delivery of consistent and quality language education and administration
  • build the capacity of CLS to deliver language education that complements language education in mainstream schools.

For CLS that receive a grant, it is a requirement that teachers attend the PLP each year. Teachers without a recognised teaching qualification are required to complete the Tell Me Now; Show Me How workshop.

Tell Me Now; Show Me How is a one-day professional learning workshop. Participants are volunteer teachers of community languages who may or may not have formal training in teaching languages or education in general.

The workshop is practical with teachers participating in language learning activities and deconstructing, analysing and evaluating the effectiveness of the activity and its potential benefits in their own classes.

Further details of the PLP and the professional learning workshops schedule can be found at Community Languages WA.

Q. What is the Community Languages Collection and where is this situated?

The State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) houses an extensive collection of teaching materials and resources for more than 40 languages. The collection has been made available to language teachers, particularly those from the community languages sector, through the Office of Multicultural Interests.

The Community Languages Collection (CLC) comprises a range of hardcopy, digital, audio and visual resources that can be used in classes or in the development of lesson plans, ensuring students are receiving the best possible language education.

The CLC is available at the State Library of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, 25 Francis Street, Northbridge. Orientation training sessions on how to access the CLC are regularly provided by SLWA staff.