A primary school student laughs and smiles at Steph Cooke, who sits at a primary-sized desk in a classroom.

For the first time in NSW, students will receive free tutoring in 2021 thanks to a landmark $337 million program as part of the NSW 2020-2021 Budget.

This program will provide support for students after a disruptive school year.

The Government will employ up to 5500 additional staff to deliver small-group tuition at every NSW government school, as well as non-government schools with the most significant levels of need.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she is thrilled to see the government is committed to ensuring students’ educational outcomes continue to improve in 2021.

“2020 has been a tough year, particularly for our students and teachers. Our schools have done an incredible job despite the many challenges we have faced, including several weeks of remote learning due to COVID-19,” Ms Cooke said.

“Remote learning wasn’t for everyone and for some students the pandemic has meant their learning stalled. Tuition in small groups will help re-engage these students in their education,” Ms Cooke said. 

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the program will not only support students, it will also provide employment opportunities for qualified teachers and university tutors who may be short on work. 

“We have many enthusiastic young teachers starting their careers, and we also have experienced teachers who are now retired who can help support our students next year,” Ms Mitchell said.

“We will also make sure rural and remote schools can access the expert additional staff members they need to implement the program successfully,” Ms Mitchell added.

The COVID intensive learning support program is the latest measure in the NSW Government’s strategy to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes and ensure that every school and every student can improve every year.

People interested in taking part can register at https://www.teach.nsw.edu.au/find-teaching-jobs/covid-learning-support-program