News State Victoria Victoria to employ thousands of tutors to help students catch up after lockdown

Victoria to employ thousands of tutors to help students catch up after lockdown

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Most Victorian students are back in classrooms – although there are concerns some will have fallen behind after missing most of the school year. Photo: Getty
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The Victorian government is spending $250 million to recruit and deploy more than 4100 tutors to Victorian schools in 2021 to help students who have struggled during the state’s coronavirus lockdown.

The Education Minister, James Merlino, said the funding was the single biggest boost to individual learning in the state’s history and would benefit every government school across Victoria.

The government will also allocate $30 million to recruit 600 tutors to work with disadvantaged students in Catholic and independent schools.

“We know some students thrived during remote learning, but we also know some struggled. This is about ensuring that no student is left behind,” Mr Merlino said.

“My message to parents and carers, if your child has fallen behind, we will bring them back up to speed.”

The package will support more than 200,000 students who have may have fallen behind in their studies or become disengaged during remote learning.

Almost 600,000 students returned to face-to-face learning in Victoria on Monday, after two months of learning from home under the state’s coronavirus lockdown.

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The state government wants retired teachers and relief teachers to apply for the roles.

‘Our kids need you’: Govt appeals to potential tutors

The Education Minister has appealed to retired teachers, casual relief teachers and pre-service teachers to put their hands up to fill the roles being offered.

“We want you, and our kids need you,” he said.

“It’s important to note and to understand this is over and above the existing workforce.”

The government expects 80 per cent of the positions to be filled by women.

The funding includes $8.6 million to recruit 16 Koori support workers across the state, and 60 multilingual and bicultural workers to support students whose first language is not English.

How will the tutoring work?

The tutors will be deployed for the duration of the 2021 school year, with individual schools given autonomy to determine how best to use the extra support staff.

Students will be individually assessed during the remainder of 2020 to identify those who need extra help to get up to speed.

The Education Minister said the tutoring could happen in small groups of up to five children, in sessions of about 45 minutes.

“All the evidence, international and domestic, shows that this is the best way to get the biggest difference in bringing kids back up to speed,” Mr Merlino said.

“The Grattan Institute released a report that shows small-group tutoring can provide an additional five months of learning in just 20 weeks.”

The government is asking interested tutors to pre-register at education.vic.gov.au.