Customised COVID recovery for Southwestern Sydney Students

Southwestern Sydney students most affected by last year's COVID lockdowns will benefit from a targeted package of extra support

Ag student and teacher with a cow Ag student and teacher with a cow
Image: Prairiewood High one of the SW Sydney schools to benefit from COVID support

A targeted package for students in South Western Sydney who have been hardest hit by COVID-19 has been created by the NSW Government, providing support to improve educational outcomes.

The program will provide additional support to the 480 public schools in the 12 former Local Government Areas of concern that last year experienced the strictest restrictions and highest rates of COVID cases in NSW.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the support would build on the successful COVID Intensive Learning Support program (ILSP) by providing a holistic suite of learning and wellbeing supports to those most impacted in 2021.

“While the Government is focused on supporting all NSW schools and students, this strategy recognises the significant impacts felt by students in South Western Sydney as a result of their extended learning from home period and ongoing COVID experiences,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This package will develop initiatives specifically for students in South Western Sydney, from preschool through to Year 12 and beyond.

“After consulting with school leaders and students, including 220 school principals, 500 students, and a number of local and government organisations, we understand where students need additional support to recover from the challenging period.

The strategy builds on $73 million in ILSP funding to provide small-group tuition to students in South West and Western Sydney who have fallen behind in literacy and numeracy, a figure which represents 25% of government school funding for the program in 2022.

Other features of the program include:

  • $500,000 to support transition to school and early childhood learning,
  • $5 million to partner with the Department of Communities and Justice on Supporting Families into early childhood learning,
  • $8.3 million to expand psychology services,
  • $800,000 in wellbeing programs and professional development,
  • $4.5 million to support students with disability,
  • $2.5 million to provide allied health support for Kindy and Year 1 students,
  • Community roundtables to better understand the needs of culturally diverse communities,
  • $200,000 for language and culture camps for Aboriginal students, and
  • More than $8 million to improve skills training and post-school pathways.
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