Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Community Language Schools FAQ's

​​​Q. What is a community language?​​​

A community language is defined as a language that is 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
  • operate after-school-hours programs in languages other than English for students in Kindergarten to year 12 (K-12).

Q. What are Community Language School Grants?

Community Language School (CLS) grants are administered by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) within the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC). Grants are available for new and established CLS to support their administration and operation.


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
  • 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
  • participate in the Pathways to Improvement Program (PIP) and develop and maintain a school portfolio that meets Registration stage
  • commit to continuous improvement in the area of child safeguarding aligned to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations [1] and comply with the requirements of the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004.


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

The funding round is usually announced in January to coincide with the commencement with the school year.

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.

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

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 purchased 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 for 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 12 Western Australian Certificate of Education (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 WACE bonus, schools must provide evidence of student enrolment to sit the WACE language exam with their application.

Q. What is the application process?

To qualify for funding, community language schools must have achieved Stage 1 - Registration of the Pathways to Improvement Program (PIP) or be working with a PIP Evaluator towards Registration.

Schools that achieve the Registration stage will qualify for future CLS grants, subject to maintaining their PIP portfolio documentation. The annual application process will require schools to provide updated school information, student enrolment details, and a budget. All other information is gathered through the PIP.

Schools that are new to the program should contact the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) before commencing the application, to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and requirements.

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

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

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

Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria are not progressed for funding consideration.

Funding is approved by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests.

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

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?

An organisation can receive a New School grant one time only.

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

Established CLS can continue to apply for the Per Capita category at each annual funding round, on the condition that they maintain their Pathways to Improvement portfolio to meet Registration stage.

Q. What information is required in the application?

All information requested in the application form must be completed. This includes providing up to date information on:

  • Details of organisation and school contacts
  • Class locations and times
  • Student enrolments (full name, date of birth, and year level at the community language school)
  • School budget

If claiming the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) bonus for Year 12 students sitting language exams, the individual student number, as issued by the Department of Education, must also be included.

If information in the application is incomplete, the funding request cannot be verified, and the application cannot be progressed for approval.

The school budget provided in the application must include in-kind contributions. An organisation or group often contributes to a project with their own resources, which reduces the amount of actual cash needed. These contributions would be an expense if they were not donated. 

An in-kind contribution is 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.

Funding from other sources (e.g. from your own organisation or from other grants), also needs to be shown in the budget.

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.

For further information contact the Grants Administrator on (08) 6552 1603 or email

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

will take approximately three 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 to receive the grant funds?

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

For grants of $10,000 and over, a funding agreement must be signed by the organisation’s legal authority, and an invoice must be received before payment can be released.

Q. How does the organisation acknowledge OMI support?

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 delivery of an OMI banner for display at any school events, please 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) to

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

OMI understands that changes may occur. However, it is essential that any changes to 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. What are the reporting requirements for a grant?

All successful grant recipients are required to provide a final report, including a Certified Financial Statement. The due date for the report is included in your funding advice letter and grant agreement. The project report requests information on student attendance (which should be recorded at each class) as well as highlights and learnings from the school year. You can include 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 Chairperson, CEO or equivalent of the organisation.

Where the grant funds are valued at $50,000 or more, financial statements must be certified by the Chairperson, 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, community language schools (CLS) must participate in the Pathways to Improvement Program (PIP).

The 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 PIP supports CLS through a self-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. A PIP Evaluator works with your school to help you through the process and to achieve Registration stage.

The PIP comprises:

  • 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.

Schools that achieve the Registration stage will qualify for future CLS grants, subject to maintaining their PIP portfolio documentation. The annual application process will require schools to provide updated school information, student enrolment details, and a budget. All other information is gathered through the PIP.

Further details of the PIP can be found at

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 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.

​Teachers without a recognised teaching qualification are encouraged to attend the Tell Me Now; Show Me How workshop.

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

The workshop is designed to be practical, with language learning activities and exercises that allow teachers to explore, analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of their delivery, and to learn the benefits of these exercises for their own classes.

​Further details of the PLP can be found at

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

The State Library of Western Australia has an extensive collection of teaching materials and resources for over 40 languages. The collection is available at no cost to language teachers, particularly those from the community languages sector, through the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI).

​The Community Languages Collection (CLC) includes a range of hardcopy, digital, audio and visual resources that can be used in class, or in the development of lesson plans, to ensure students receive the best possible language education.

​The CLC is available at the State Library of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, 25 Francis Street, Northbridge.

​Further information on the CLS can be found at​