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Reading vouchers for 1,200 West Australian children.



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Media Release

READING VOUCHERS FOR 1,200 WEST AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN

3 February, 2005 MIN 1042/05

More than 1,200 Western Australian children will be able to receive one-to-one reading tuition with today’s announcement that Group Training Australia (WA) has been selected to deliver the pilot Tutorial Voucher Initiative in Western Australia.

Under this important Australian Government initiative, parents and caregivers who have been advised that their child was below the national Year 3 reading benchmark in 2003 can apply to receive a tutorial voucher of $700 (exclusive of GST), per eligible child, for individual reading tuition outside of school hours. An estimated 1,200 students will be eligible to participate in Western Australia.

The vouchers can be redeemed with tutors appointed by Group Training Australia and may include private tutors, individual teachers or schools who choose to offer tutoring through this initiative.

Group Training Australia (WA), selected through an open tender process, has extensive community experience, and a strong member network throughout Western Australia. They will promote the pilot initiative, monitor its effectiveness, assist parents/caregivers by verifying a child’s eligibility to receive tuition, contract suitable tutors and administer payments.

The Government is committed to improving the literacy and numeracy standards of all Australian children and to strengthening the role of parents in their child’s education. Parents have the right to receive information about their child’s literacy and numeracy achievement against national benchmarks.

The Howard Government has committed $20.3 million to this initiative, in addition to the

$2 billion Literacy, Numeracy and Special Needs Programme. This pilot initiative recognises that there is a role for one-to-one reading tuition being made available specifically to those children who need it most and provides the assistance for parents to give their child added support to gain essential literacy skills - the foundation for life, work and personal development.

Parents of eligible students should contact Group Training Australia (WA) to ensure that their child receives this assistance. Prospective tutors should also contact GTA (WA) to obtain a registration form.

In coming weeks I will announce the successful tenderers for the other States and Territories as contracts are signed.

Group Training Australia (WA) can be contacted on Freecall 1800 819 747. General information about the initiative is available at: www.dest.gov.au/schools/tutorialvoucher/. Queries can also be directed to the Tutorial Voucher Initiative Hotline on 1800 655 476, or by email to tutorialvoucher@dest.gov.au.

Media Contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office: Yaron Finkelstein 0414 927 663 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Chris John 0412 650 549