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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Tutors support student learning

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

ARARAT government schools are beginning to see the benefits of the Victorian Government’s statewide tutor program.

PHOTO: Ararat College year 12 student, Tara Charlesworth, with tutor Heidi Rees. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

The $250 million package was announced last October as the single biggest boost to individual learning support in Victoria’s history.

It has seen the employment of more than 4,100 tutors across Victorian primary and secondary schools to ensure no student is left behind in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ararat 800 Primary School principal, Ryan Oliver, said the program is designed to assist students lacking growth across all academic levels.

“The inequity of remote learning sort of proved to us that you can be a really academically high-level student but show no growth. And you can be an academically low student and show high growth,” he said.

“We're specifically targeting those kids that may not have had the supports through the remote learning phase that others did. That's just the natural inequity that families experienced.”

Each school is determining how tutoring support is best implemented in their school, whether that be with small groups in or out of the classroom.

Mr Oliver said Ararat 800 has been utilising a combination of both to work with the students effectively.

“We're utilising all of those different methodologies depending on the needs of the individual classroom,” he said.

“It’s not a one size fits all, we’re taking in the context, coupling that with the expertise of the teaching staff in the room and utilising that to the best of our abilities.”

Mr Oliver said his school has two tutors, Bernie Fitzpatrick and Terri Dalgleish, who are both working part-time.

Mrs Dalgleish said her and Bernie are already beginning to see the benefits for the students gaining extra attention.

“Ideally, this is what schools would have all the time. It's just one of those wonderful things that would just make such a difference to so many children if it were over a long period of time,” she said.

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