Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) : My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health, the Honourable James Merlino. There is no question that every Victorian student has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It truly is a year like no other. I am so proud to be a member of a government that has committed to supporting these students through this challenging time and providing further economic and mental health resources. In recognition of the increased challenges posed by the pandemic, I was excited to see the minister’s announcement that more than 4100 tutors will be deployed across Victorian schools in 2021 to ensure no student is left behind. Our teachers have done a remarkable job this year, and with the additional support these teaching teams can ensure that students have dedicated and individualised support throughout 2021. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide an update on the deployment of tutors in Victorian schools across the Western Metropolitan Region?
Since my announcement of 13 October 2020 of a $250 million package to boost individual learning support in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, potential tutors across the state have been registering their interest through the Department of Education and Training, including preservice teachers, casual relief teachers, retired teachers and teachers who are on leave.
We expect that schools will begin engaging tutors throughout November and December by accessing this register, or through their existing employment channels, to commence in schools by Term 1, 2021. This will based on each school’s plan for supporting students in 2021, and how the tutoring program is best structured in their school. Schools will be supported by guidance from the Department about a range of evidence-informed strategies to identify and support those students who have been most impacted by the challenges of remote learning.