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NCOSS has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to invest millions in funding thousands of new educators to support students who need extra support following COVID-19 lockdowns.

The $337 million package will employ as many as 5,500 extra staff to deliver small group teaching in every NSW public school, as well as independent schools with the most significant levels of need.

The decision follows the release of modelling commissioned by NCOSS and other NSW peak organisations, which found that mean NAPLAN scores in Year 9 maths will fall by 23.6 points (3.5 per cent) in 2021 compared to 2019 results.

As well as this, analysis of school closures in response to COVID-19 public health measures by the Grattan Institute found that the achievement gap widens at triple the rate in remote schooling compared to regular classes.

NCOSS CEO, Joanna Quilty said the pandemic and recession have had a dramatic impact on students across the state and the NSW Government’s intervention was vital.

“Minister Mitchell should be commended for this outstanding decision which will support students who need it and also deliver employment opportunities for tutors right across NSW,” Ms Quilty said.

“2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but particularly students who may have missed out on opportunities at school and will need extra support to catch up.

“It is also those from disadvantaged families who will be most at risk of disengaging from education.

“We know the pandemic has been really disruptive for students across NSW, and the modelling tells us that there will be longer-term impacts on their education as a result.

“We’ve seen disruption of face-to-face learning because of public health orders and increased absenteeism.

“And experience tells us that parental job loss and economic recessions negatively impact on student attainment, with students from disadvantaged families experiencing the largest learning losses. This can impact productivity and earnings across an individual’s lifetime.

“Urgent intervention is needed now to support students who are in desperate need and prevent these poor outcomes. The NSW Government is doing just that.”

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Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138