More than 5,600 tutors are working across Victorian schools to ensure no student is left behind in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The huge number is 1,500 more than the initial target of 4,100 set for the 2021 school year and includes more than 30 extra tutors in non-government schools – well above the 600 expected.
Every school received at least $15,000 to ensure they could participate effectively, with the amount provided to each calculated on the number of enrolments and the number of social disadvantage-funded students in the school.
Funding for each school was calculated on an evidence-based model of around 20 per cent of students receiving two or three 45 minute sessions each week, in small groups, for 26 weeks.
Schools have employed tutors based on the needs of their students. Some work part-time and offer a range of experience and support levels, and some have deployed existing teaching staff to tutoring roles.
Last October the Andrews Labor Government announced a $250 million package and called upon pre-service teachers, teachers on leave, retired teachers and casual relief teachers to sign-up to be tutors – the single biggest boost to individual learning support in Victoria’s history.
Tutors are available at every government school and work in small groups, providing extra support for more than 200,000 students across Victoria no matter their circumstances or background.
While teachers did a remarkable job last year, having the extra support of onsite tutors in 2021 will ensure these teaching teams can provide dedicated and individualised support for students who need help.
Evidence shows students who struggled most with online learning 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 remote learning. To help bring these students up to speed, the $250 million support package includes:
- $209.6 million for every government school to attract and employ 3,500 tutors across the 2021 school year
- $30 million to employ 600 tutors at non-government schools to support disadvantaged students.
- $8.6 million in 2021 for Family Engagement Initiatives to support schools working with families to lift student outcomes and re-engage students with learning. This includes an additional 16 Koorie Engagement Support Officers and 60 additional multilingual and bicultural workers.
Schools determine how tutoring support is best implemented in their school. The tutors are providing targeted teaching to students, with a focus on foundational skills of literacy and numeracy.
As stated by Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino
“2020 was a year like no other and while we know some students thrived during remote learning, we also know some struggled. This year, we’re using our educators’ skills to help students catch up in the classroom.”
“Exceeding our initial target shows the dedication of our educators and means every child in every school across Victoria will be given the support they need to succeed at school and ensure no student is left behind.”