Timeline of bilingual at FPS

Parents of FPS
3 min readSep 23, 2020


August 26 — School terminates the Veitnamese bilingual program without community consultation.

October — Following community advocacy Minister reinstates program.

December — School loses 2 Vietnamese teachers and recruits 4 new Vietnamese teachers for 2017.


Additional Department 2 year funding begins.

School begins bilingual education from Grade 2 (previously from Foundation).

No efforts are made to recruit new Vietnamese teachers.


December — School loses 4 Vietnamese teachers, including the bilingual coordinator. School recruits 1 new Vietnamese teacher for 2019.


March 15 — Independent School Operations Review (including bilingual program) Report submitted to Department. Parents and staff (current and past) make submissions.

April 16 — Department acknowledges 8-year lack of oversight since 2011.

April 30 —School parents write to Minister requesting advice regarding Department’s 8-year lack of oversight. No response received.

May 17 — Department writes via School Newsletter informing community Independent Review Report had been received and Department will work with School Leadership to develop action plan based on reviewer’s recommendations.

June 26 — Principal announces leaving school for appointment at alternative school.

August — School Council President writes to Department requesting update on Independent Review recommendations.

October 17 — Department commissions the University of Melbourne to conduct a survey ask parents to preference Italian, Japanese or Vietnamese as the bilingual language. Language preference results are not published.

October 22 — FOI application to access Independent Reviewer report.

December 9 — FOI returned document, findings and recommendations redacted.


January — New Principal and Vice Principal start at school.

March — Department delivers school a report by the University of Melbourne recommending school end Vietnamese bilingual and change to Italian, Japanese or a common-taught language. Report refers to October 17 (2019) survey whilst omitting results for language preference. Report is not made available to parent community.

April 15 — School Council decision to end Vietnamese bilingual program in closed meeting.

April 17 — Parent writes to Minister seeking advice regarding concerns of the process.

April 24 — Department meeting with Local MP, Vietnamese Community Australia — Vic (VCA), Victorian Multicultural Commission, two Department representatives, Principal, Local MP, and parent. No change in Department position.

July — Survey to choose new bilingual language (excluding Vietnamese option).

July 22 — VCA meets with Department. No change in Department position.

July 29 — School chooses Italian as new bilingual language.

July 31 — VCA meets with Department. No change in Department position.

August /September — Petition requesting reinstatement of Vietnamese bilingual program collects over 17,000 signatures.

September — School declines meeting with petitioners and VCA to discuss Vietnamese bilingual program. No change in Department position.

October — Open letter to Minister requesting review of decision signed by community leaders, academics, educators, past and present school parents and community members.



Parents of FPS

We’re a group of parents who want to save the Vietnamese bilingual program at Footscray Primary School