Independent report backs COVID tutoring program

NSW Department of Education’s COVID Intensive Learning Support Program has been shown to be effective in supporting students impacted by lockdowns.

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A report released today by the NSW Audit Office has highlighted the successful design and implementation of the NSW Government’s landmark COVID Intensive Learning Support Program, and provided insight into the second phase of the program in 2022.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said despite considerable disruptions to learning in 2020 and 2021, the NSW Government’s $383 million Intensive COVID Learning Support Program, or COVID tutoring, is helping NSW students catch up.

“The Report found the program was effectively designed based on evidence to help students catch up on learning loss and is being effectively implemented,” Ms Mitchell said.

"The feedback has been incredibly positive from students, teachers and parents, which is now being backed up by this report. The report and its recommendations have been used to further strengthen this innovative program to better support students who have been impacted by the most recent lockdown.”

The Report found the design of the program aligned with data on student learning progress, with early guidance helping schools prepare to implement the program successfully.

“We have made changes where necessary and refined the program during the rollout to respond to feedback from our schools,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Mitchell said the program takes into account both the disadvantage of schools and the days schools spent learning from home.

“This means that schools serving highly disadvantaged communities that also spent an extended period learning from home receive the most funding. Approximately $73 million will flow to schools in South-Western Sydney. This represents around 25 per cent of the total funding that will be dedicated to government schools, with $40 million being allocated to schools in Western Sydney.”

The NSW Department of Education has also reviewed the six lessons for future programs in the Report. A full evaluation of the program by the Department will be available next April.

The NSW Audit Report can be read here.

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