Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students across Greater Sydney return to the classroom today, with more than 148,000 students leading the first stage of the 800,000 public school students returning over the next week.
To help students catch up on any learning loss experienced due to COVID-19 lockdowns and learning from home, the NSW Government has announced the extension of the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program into next year.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said following the positive reception and uptake of the 2021 program, the NSW Government was committing an additional $383 million to continue to support students next year.
“We know our students are resilient but there’s no doubt that 2021 has been a tough year, with many students learning from home for twice as long as last year,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Early insights from the ongoing evaluation of the program show that students are bouncing back thanks to the intensive tutoring delivered through the program, and we are committed to helping them do so again next year.”
Treasurer Matt Kean said the tutoring program, which has been delivered by educators in partnership with classroom teachers, had exceeded its employment goal.
“This program has employed more than 7,500 educators to date in government schools alone, providing employment opportunities right across the State,” Mr Kean said.
“Building on this success, the extension of the program will not only provide extra support for students to ensure their learning remains on track but also additional employment opportunities for our fantastic teachers and educators.”
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program was first introduced in Term 1 this year to help students, who had fallen behind after last year’s disruptions, improve their core knowledge and skills.
“This program is based on research which demonstrates that small-group tuition is highly effective at getting students back on track,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Principals and teachers I have spoken with over the last few months have been unanimous in their support for the program in meeting their individual school and student needs.”
“Our additional investment for 2022 will continue the focus on literacy and numeracy and enable us to strengthen the provision of online tuition, ensuring greater accessibility to meet student need.”
The Department of Education will work with schools and key stakeholder groups during Term 4 to refine the program to ensure the greatest benefit is delivered for students who need it most.
More information will be provided by the Department to schools during Term 4.