Timeline of bilingual at FPS
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.