The Grattan Institute launched a new report today calling on the Federal and State Governments to provide investments to support 1 million disadvantaged school students recover learning lost during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
COVID catch-up: helping disadvantaged students close the equity gap calls on governments to send 100,000 tutors into schools between now and Christmas to conduct intensive small-group sessions on reading and maths.
The report argues that many disadvantaged students – those from the poorest 25 per cent of families and rural areas – will have fallen further behind their classmates during the COVID-19 school closures.
The authors note that even where remote learning was working well for advantaged students, disadvantaged students are likely to have lost a month of learning on average during the six-to-nine weeks of school closures.
The tutors should be drawn from teachers and teacher aides who work part-time, but especially from young university graduates and pre-service teachers, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 job and income losses
Most tutors would work about eight hours a week. They could earn up to $6,300 over the six months.
The report also recommends governments spend $70 million expanding successful literacy and numeracy programs, especially for students in the early years, and $30 million on trials of ‘targeted teaching’ and extra support for student well-being.
Watch this space!