COVID catch-up classes to nearly 100,000 students boost results

The Sydney Morning Herald

Almost 100,000 students have participated in COVID-19 catch-up tutoring this year as public schools use more teachers’ aides and assistants to run small-group tuition for students who have slipped behind in literacy and numeracy.

A NSW Department of Education report on the $720 million program shows it boosted student confidence and motivation, but an academic evaluation – and how much it succeeded in narrowing the achievement gap – will not be completed until term one next year.


Sonnemann said Australia should look to the US in expanding research in tutoring, pointing to Brown University using targeted studies with government districts to examine the roll-out of small-group tuition programs and how well they help students catch up.

She said given the size of NSW’s COVID-19 tutoring initiative, it was vital parents and schools know how well it was working and governments should consider rolling out long-term, systematic catch-up tuition.

“The spread of ability in a regular classroom can be huge, and we now have an opportunity to know how well we are delivering intensive support interventions, so we can close the education gap.”

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