Support Boost for Refugee Students in Non-Government Schools

Newly arrived refugees attending Catholic and independent schools will benefit from $2.7 million to fund intensive language tuition and other specialist support. Education Minister Rob Stokes announced today the one-off funding over two years to assist non-government schools cater for the significant influx of refugees arriving under the humanitarian intake from Syria and Iraq.

“We listened to the concerns raised by the Catholic and independent school sectors about the need for additional resources and have responded,” Mr Stokes said. He said the significant refugee influx through the humanitarian intake impacts all education sectors. The money is additional to that allocated to public schools.

The NSW Government recognised the challenges refugee students face as they adapt to the local education system. “Our government values the crucial contribution that education plays in smoothing the passage of these families into our community and creating young people who will contribute to Australia’s future,” Mr Stokes said.

“The additional $2.7 million over two years for the Catholic and independent sectors complements the excellent work being undertaken by public schools, particularly in western and south-western Sydney. “This has included providing Intensive English and Transition Support for refugee students from the additional humanitarian intake from Syria and Iraq”

Currently, there are more than 10,000 students from refugee backgrounds enrolled in NSW public schools, including 3,300 in the past year. The level of funding for non-government schools is based on the maximum State funding rate. Needs-based State and Commonwealth funding have additional loadings for students with low English language skills and socio-economic backgrounds.