The Isolated Children's Parents Association Qld has welcomed the announcement from Education Minister Kate Jones on Friday that almost $1.5 million is to be invested to upskill home tutors educating their children through distance education.
The initiative, Partners in Learning, will provide specialist advice and strategies to home tutors to support students’ reading development.
ICPA Queensland president, Kim Hughes, said it was extremely welcome recognition of the vital role tutors play in delivering the curriculum and education of their children on a daily basis.
"As we understand it, the program will help home tutors to build their knowledge and understanding of how to improve the reading of students enrolled in distance education,” she said.
According to Education Minister, Kate Jones, it will help make sure Queensland children who live in remote parts of the state have the same access to quality education as everyone else.
”The program was developed following extensive consultation with rural and remote families and education providers in 2017,” she said. “It is part of the government’s strategy to improve rural and remote education in Queensland state schools.”
The Partners in Learning initiative begins as a four year trial starting in 2018, and will be delivered as a residential program of up to four days with participants from six Queensland Schools of Distance Education – Cairns, Capricornia, Charleville, Charters Towers, Longreach and Mount Isa School of the Air.
It will concentrate on reading in the early years, and the Schools of Distance Education will partner with the Education Department’s Reading Centre so the program suits the individual needs of the home tutors involved and the children they work with.
“Follow-up assistance will be given to home tutors to help children with any extra needs,” Ms Jones said.
“ICPA Qld is delighted with this announcement and is grateful that the government has listened to the feedback from rural and remote communities in regards to home tutor support in distance education,” Ms Hughes said.