Early learning funds welcome, but more needed

Tasmanian Labor
  • Talk and Read Project welcome but needs to go much further
  • All students need more support catching up after COVID-19 disruption
  • Better funding would address inadequacies
  • Tasmanian Labor welcomes the program for early learners but says much more is needed to help all students catch up on the learning they’ve lost because of COVID-19.

    Shadow Minister for Education Josh Willie said it is vital that more funding is provided to help our kids catch up.

    “During the COVID-19 crisis, our teachers and other school staff made an extraordinary effort to minimise the disruption to learning,” Mr Willie said.

    “And, while they all did an exceptional job, we know the toll it took, with national research from the Grattan Institute showing some students lost as much as a month of learning over the lockdown period.

    “Although the funding has been announced before, Labor is pleased to see the government supporting early learning through the Bouncing Back – Talk and Read Project. But this project will only do so much, and much more is needed to support all students.

    “Bouncing Back, when first announced, was designed to support students in Kindergarten to Year 2. With 4,500 children in kindergarten alone, $180,000 and nine redeployed teachers are nowhere near enough to make a real difference to early learning*.

    “The government has also missed an opportunity to help all students who are struggling to catch up.

    “Students going through key transition points and other vulnerable cohorts would clearly benefit from more investment in catch-up learning.

    “Tasmanian school students already had poor outcomes before the pandemic, so we must heed the Grattan Institute’s call for investment in ‘catch-up’ learning to ensure that learning disadvantage is not carried forward.”

    *Question on Notice provides detail

    Josh Willie

    Shadow Minister for Education

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