Benalla Ensign

Tutoring program to continue


The state government will make sure not one school student in Northern Victoria is left behind in the wake of the pandemic, with the state’s extraordin­arily successful tutor program to continue until the end of next year.

State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced $230.4 million would extend the single biggest boost to individual learning support in the state’s history — allowing Victorian schools to retain the tutors that have supported students throughout 2021.

“There’s no question that this pandemic has been a challenge for many students – but we’re making sure no Victorian child is left behind,” Ms Symes said.

“We’re making sure every child across the north east is given the support they need to succeed at school.”

The tutor program has called on pre-service teachers, teachers on leave, retired teachers and casual relief teachers to sign up and get back in the classroom — with at least one tutor in all government schools to ensure every Victorian child comes out of the pandemic with the confidence that their learning is on track.

While the past two years have seen some students thrive with the flexibilit­y and self-direction remote learning gave them, for others this period has been profoundly difficult — and the tutors have worked in the classroom and through remote learning to identify and support the students who needed extra help with their learning.

Students who struggled most during the pandemic included those with low levels of English, those already at risk of disengagin­g from school, or those with home environmen­ts not conducive to online learning.

The tutors have had a hugely positive impact on hundreds of thousands of students, with Victoria recording nation-leading NAPLAN results in August, and an independen­t evaluation by Deloitte concluding the initiative improved attendance, achievemen­t, and engagement among students — and had a positive impact on their confidence.

Schools are responsibl­e for employing their tutors based on the needs of their students, with tutors offering a range of expertise, experience and support to the students who need it most.

Tutors work in small groups to provide tailored support for identified students who need assistance to catch up — regardless of their circumstan­ces or background.

The extra support for onsite tutors next year will also ensure teaching teams can continue to provide dedicated and individual­ised support for students who need help.

Small schools will also see their funding allocation increased from a minimum of $15,000 to $25,000 per school — allowing them to hire more support for their students after the challenges of 2021.

Individual schools will continue to determine how tutoring support is best implemente­d in their school, ensuring the program is tailored to the needs of each student.

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