Language diversity on display at Western Sydney public schools


The number of Western Sydney students from a language background other than English (LBOTE) is almost double the State average, according to new data from the Department of Education, as linguistically diverse schools continue to demonstrate strong academic results.

Nearly three-quarters (73.2%) of Western Sydney students come from a home where languages other than English are spoken. Around NSW, an average of just over a third (38.6%) of public school students come from a home where languages other than English are spoken, while in Greater Sydney public schools the average is 58.1%.

A new NSW Department of Education Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) report shows 247 language backgrounds are represented in NSW public schools.

At Canley Vale Public School, 97% of students come from a language background other than English, representing 35 language groups, making it the school with the fourth highest percentage of students with a language background other than English in Western Sydney.

The school’s diversity helps create a harmonious community within and outside the school gates, says Canley Vale Public School Principal Margaret Creagh.

“With so many different languages, everyone is accepting of every culture. We have a beautiful school culture where a strong sense of belonging, and inclusiveness exists. This is certainly something that I am proud of.”

Students at Canley Vale Public School have made significant achievements in Literacy and Numeracy programs in recent years as a result of implementing explicit teaching programs, and the school has seen a boost in attendance in recent years.

The school supports its students academically with the help of its equally diverse staff, with Vietnamese, Khmer, Cantonese, Arabic, Hindi and Italian among the 23 languages spoken by its teachers and support staff.

Understanding language diversity helps principals and schools tailor student support, giving schools the ability to provide culturally inclusive education celebrating students’ cultural and linguistic diversity.

You can view the full CESE report.

Top 10 schools with the highest percentage of LBOTE students in Western Sydney:

  • James Ruse Agricultural High School
  • Girraween Public School
  • Auburn North Public School
  • Canley Vale Public School
  • Granville East Public School
  • Girraween High School
  • Old Guildford Public School
  • Parramatta High School
  • Auburn Girls High School
  • Granville Boys High School

Top 10 schools with the highest percentage of LBOTE students in NSW:

  • Wiley Park Public School
  • Bankstown South Infants School
  • Bankstown Senior College
  • Lakemba Public School
  • Bankstown North Public School
  • Chullora Public School
  • Greenacre Public School
  • Belmore Boys High School
  • Bankstown Girls High School
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School

Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Early Learning and Minister for Western Sydney Prue Car said:

“Our NSW public schools are high quality learning environments where each student is supported for their unique abilities, including their language background.

“It is fantastic to see students from some of our most linguistically diverse schools achieving academic success, particularly in Western Sydney.”

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said:

“As a former public school student from a non-English-speaking family I know firsthand the incredible work our teachers and language support teachers do in supporting our LBOTE students to gain English proficiency so they can thrive and excel in their education.

“As they leave school and begin their adult lives in an increasingly globalised world, our students can only benefit from the cultural insights and connections they develop in NSW’s public schools.”

/Public Release. View in full here.