Policy last updated

27 September 2023


  • Schools
  • School councils

November 2020



This policy outlines the operation of the Tutor Learning Initiative in Victorian government schools.

The Tutor Learning Initiative has been extended through 2024 and 2025. For more information, refer to Extension of the Tutor Learning InitiativeExternal Link (staff login required).

For information about 2023 TLI funding, please refer to the 2023 Student Resource Package guide, available at Student Resource Package – Targeted Initiatives: Tutor Learning Initiative (Reference 129).

For information about indicative 2024 TLI funding, please refer to the 2024 Student Resource Package indicative guide, available at Student Resource Package – Overview: Resources.

Please note that the chapters in the guidance section are under review and will be updated to support school implementation in 2024.


The Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI) provides government and low-fee non-government schools with funding to employ tutors to deliver targeted small group learning support to students who need it most.

Tutoring plays an important role in a school’s teaching and learning program. Using a Response to Intervention (RTI) framework, TLI is categorised as a Tier 2 support, where a targeted intervention is provided for identified students.

Response to Intervention framework

Refer to 'View long description' for details
Response to Intervention framework


The Response to Intervention framework is as follows.

Tier 3 (Individual)

Intensive interventions for students needing additional support to access the curriculum. Evidence-based intervention is provided individually or in very small groups by an Improvement Teacher.

Tier 2 (Small group)

Supplemental intervention for some students. Delivered in small groups by an Improvement Teacher.

Students are provided with the support they need to succeed in a general education classroom.

Tier 1 (Whole-school)

Teachers have professional learning opportunities to design whole-class instruction that meets the needs of as many students as possible. With the support of school leaders and instructional leaders (such as Improvement Teachers), teachers gather evidence about which students are responding to Tier 1 instruction and which students need additional support.


The framework is presented as a 3-tiered pyramid with Tier 3 at the top, Tier 2 in the middle and Tier 1 at the bottom.

Download Response to Intervention framework

As an effective Tier 2 intervention, tutoring should:

  • address identified gaps in students’ learning
  • use evidence-based approaches for teaching.

More information on the RTI framework in the TLI context can be found at Arc – Events Response to Intervention (RTI) Webinar 1External Link (staff login required).

The focus of the TLI is on the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy, which are critical for success in school and life.

Some students identified for TLI may have low self-esteem and may not self-identify as an effective learner, and this can often manifest as disengagement. Tutoring can contribute to reconnecting students to school.

The Guidance tab includes information on TLI requirements for:

  • tutor arrangements – information on the role of a TLI tutor, eligibility criteria to be employed as a tutor and guidance on how schools can employ tutors in 2023
  • student selection – criteria and assessment advice for selecting students to receive TLI support
  • program design – guidance on designing a TLI program, including in-class and out-of-class models, and the frequency of tutoring sessions
  • assessment – advice on using a range of assessment tools to monitor student learning growth
  • monitoring requirements – guidance on monitoring requirements, including coding of tutors on EduPay and tagging students on CASES21.

For information about 2023 TLI funding for government schools, please refer to the 2023 indicative student resource package guide, available on the Resources tab of Student Resource Package – Targeted Initiatives.


Schools can contact their regional office student achievement managers (SAMs) with queries relating to delivery of the TLI.

In addition to SAMs, schools can direct queries as follows:



This guidance includes the following chapters:

  • Tutor arrangements
  • Student selection
  • Program design
  • Assessment
  • Monitoring requirements

For information about Tutor Learning Initiative funding, please refer to the 2024 indicative student resource package guide, available at Student Resource Package – Overview: Resources. Please note that the chapters in this section are being reviewed and will be updated to support school implementation in 2024.

Tutor arrangements

Tutor arrangements

Tutor role

Tutors are employed by schools to deliver small group learning support, with a focus on literacy and numeracy.

Tutors work closely with teachers and staff to:

  • identify a student’s point of need, through diagnostic assessments
  • define SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) learning goals (recorded in an approved template) that can be achieved within a short, 5 to 8-week cycle of learning
  • implement evidence-based, high-impact teaching strategies to progress learning
  • regularly evaluate learning progress via formative assessments.

Tutor qualifications

Tutors must be either:

  • a teacher currently registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)
  • a teacher with VIT Permission to Teach (teacher tutor)
  • a pre-service teacher (employed as an Education Support (ES) class employee) working under the supervision of a registered teacher
  • a speech therapist or occupational therapist (employed as an ES class employee) tutoring in specific identified student needs
  • a retired teacher who has re-registered with the VIT – retired teachers may contact the VIT for support.

The VIT offers advice about eligibility requirements for tutors. For more information visit Victorian Government Tutor Learning Initiative – Victorian Institute of TeachingExternal Link .

Employing tutors

Tutor employment arrangements must be consistent with the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 (VGSA 2022) and relevant department employment policies.

Government schools select and recruit tutors to work in their schools using their regular recruitment processes. Schools are supported in their recruitment through the Recruitment Online Portal (ROL) pool of interested tutors. Further information on registering interest through the ROL is provided at the Tutor learning initiative: information for prospective tutorsExternal Link webpage.

Consistent with the VGSA 2022, the school's tutor workforce plan should be developed using the school’s consultative arrangements, including the use of merit processes to ensure the best tutor is selected to meet the needs of identified students. This process applies to both local workforce decisions and ROL tutor processes.

Victorian government schools are not required to advertise tutor positions for the TLI on Recruitment Online. Instead, schools will be able to access the register of interested tutors through the ROL to identify and shortlist suitable tutors for recruitment.

In the case that a school would like to appoint an existing employee through their regular, merit-based human resources processes, the school can use a General Ledger (GL) override on eduPay to assign the employee’s tutor portion to TLI code 80026.

Guidance and resources on the process for tutor appointments are available on Recruitment Online Help for RecruitersExternal Link (staff login required).

All tutors will be subject to the usual pre-employment check requirements that apply under the Recruitment in Schools guide.

The role and responsibilities of tutors should be defined according to their classification and range. Schools can refer to:

Tutor laptops

Schools can nominate a tutor for a notebook under the Notebooks for school staff program in the same way they do for their eligible school staff. Nominations for notebooks are based on a set of eligibility criteria, found on the Notebooks for School Staff Program page.

For any questions regarding notebooks for tutors please refer to Notebooks for school staff program –

Student selection

Student selection

Students should be selected for participation in tutoring using the following criteria in priority order:

  1. students below the National Minimum Standards (NMS)External Link in National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) or equivalent level in literacy or numeracy
  2. students at risk of falling below the NMS in NAPLAN or equivalent level in literacy or numeracy.
  3. Other students who would benefit from small group instruction.

For students in Foundation to Level 2, schools should use the following resources to identify those students most in need of support:

Schools should notify families of those students selected for participation in tutoring and the support their child will receive.

Schools must record students receiving support through TLI on CASES21 by the end of week 6 each term. Student details must be updated regularly by tagging or untagging students in CASES21 to reflect the students currently receiving TLI support. When recording TLI student details schools must specify if the focus of the support is literacy, numeracy, or both.

Students selected for support through TLI may have complex learning and other needs. Tutoring through TLI is intended to build upon and be integrated with existing supports as part of a whole-school approach to learning intervention.

For more information, visit:

Program design

Program design

Tutors should be working with small groups of students (generally up to 5 students) at a time.

For students to experience accelerated learning growth, evidence suggests that they should ideally participate in three 45-minute small group learning sessions per week, lasting anywhere from 6 to 20 weeks. Some students may benefit from longer term support through the Tutor Learning Initiative. Evidence suggests that tutoring cycles of between 5 to 8 weeks are most effective (E4L 2021; Grattan Institute 2020). Schools can consider the needs of their students, including age or learning difficulties, and their local circumstances when establishing their tutoring timetable.

Tutoring can be delivered in-class, out-of-class, or in a hybrid model. The specific model is a school-based decision.

In-class support can include:

  • providing intensive, ongoing small group or individual student learning
  • teaching mini lessons to a small group of students (or individual students, where appropriate) to support skills required in the whole-class setting.

Out-of-class support can include:

  • students being withdrawn from the classroom for small group or individual learning which has been differentiated to their point of need
  • students attending an additional scheduled session for small group or individual learning differentiated to their point of need
  • students attending a session immediately prior to a classroom lesson to preview vocabulary, skills or concepts, enabling students to be better prepared to access content.
  • students remaining in the classroom during introductory instruction, engaging in application activities in a separate space with the tutor during the middle of the lesson, and returning to class at the conclusion of the lesson to share in whole-class reflection.

Hybrid support combines or adapts the above approaches.

Where sessions take place out-of-class, it is recommended that students do not regularly miss the same subject to ensure continuity of learning across the curriculum.

Schools may choose to use a portion of their TLI funding to appoint a TLI coordinator to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the initiative in their school.

Schools are encouraged to view the following resource to inform their tutoring program: Tutor Learning Initiative – What works? Implementation insights (DOCX)External Link .

Tutor group learning plan

Some students in TLI will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which outlines key information including their literacy and numeracy learning goals.

If not all students in a TLI tutoring group have an IEP, then the tutor is required to develop a TLI group learning plan (DOCX)External Link or equivalent to capture the delivery approach and learning goals for each group of students receiving support.

Tutors can of course develop a TLI group learning plan, even if all students have a pre-existing IEP.

Reporting to parents/carers

Schools may include information in the regular written reports to parents/carers about what additional learning support was delivered as part of the TLI program and what student outcomes were achieved.

Schools may also invite tutors to directly contribute to written reports by providing a short comment on:

  • a student’s participation and engagement
  • information on progress and achievement of learning goals set within the initiative.

For information on general reporting requirements, refer to Reporting Student Achievement and Progress Foundation to 10.


Tutoring occurs within a whole-school approach to learning and wellbeing and it is recommended that, where appropriate, school leaders ensure tutors can consult with other workforces such as:

Program reflection

Schools and tutors can use the TLI Implementation Continua (the Continua) (DOCX)External Link to reflect, self-evaluate, and track their progress regarding TLI implementation.

The Continua includes 6 dimensions unpacked across 4 levels of proficiency to support school self-assessment and setting of developmental goals.

The Continua should be used during semesterly implementation reflections with your area’s student achievement manager (SAM).

It will guide collective discussions between SAMs and school leaders, classroom teachers and tutors to:

  • self-evaluate their current TLI implementation and small group learning practice and understand what improved practice looks like
  • engage in reflection, inquiry and conversations about improving TLI implementation
  • sustain 2022 TLI implementation learnings into 2023 to support sustainable small group learning.



Schools should measure student attainment using a standardised assessment tool at the commencement and the conclusion of tutor learning.

To support this, all Victorian government schools will continue to have free access to the ACER Progressive Achievement Test (PAT) linear and adaptive assessment tools until 31 December 2023. Schools are strongly encouraged to use the Adaptive PAT-R (Reading) and Adaptive PAT-M (Mathematics) for students in Years 3 to 10 to measure student achievement at the start and at the conclusion of their participation in the tutoring program. Schools have also been provided with access to the PAT Online Assessment and Reporting System (OARS).

Other high-quality standardised assessment tools recommended for use in the TLI include:

The National Numeracy Learning ProgressionsExternal Link and National Literacy Learning ProgressionsExternal Link are also useful resources to map student's developmental progress.

ACER statewide licence

Schools with existing state-wide accounts in 2022 will have their access automatically renewed. Government schools who have not yet signed up to access the free PAT state-wide licence, can sign up at PAT Statewide Licence – Opt-InExternal Link .

By participating in this license arrangement, you agree to ACER sharing with the department’s Performance and Evaluation Division your school’s student level assessment data, to support evaluation of programs such as the Tutor Learning Initiative.

The adaptive PAT-R and adaptive PAT-M are usually used to compare learning growth over a time interval of 9 to 12 months.

English Online Interview and Mathematics Online Interview

Primary schools are also strongly encouraged to consider having tutors complete the EOI and MOI assessments for TLI students in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 before commencing tutoring and again in Term 4.

It is recommended that a different EOI module is used to assess students for a second time in Term 4 because each module uses different reading texts and asks different questions.

The recommended EOI modules for each year level and term are as follows:

Year level Term 1 2023 Term 4 2023
Start of Foundation year Module 1 Module 2
Start of Year 1 Module 2 Module 3
Start of Year 2 Module 3 Module 4

Teachers have the flexibility to choose the most appropriate module for their students. This decision should be made balancing the recommendations above with the particular needs of the individual student, with consideration given to the range of difficulty of the tasks and questions in each module.

Monitoring requirements

Monitoring requirements

Schools are required to:

  • record tutors on eduPay using the TLI code: 80026. Note that if tutors are being appointed from the school’s existing staff, their tutoring FTE must be re-coded to the TLI code: 80026 using a General Ledger (GL) override on eduPay. Refer to Tutor onboarding via eduPay (PDF)External Link (staff login required) and 2022 Business Manager WebinarExternal Link (timestamp: 9:48 minutes to 12:40 minutes). For further assistance refer to the eduPay User GuidesExternal Link (staff login required)
  • record and update students identified for TLI support as students enter or leave the initiative by adding TLI tags on CASES21. Recording of students, by tagging and un-tagging in CASES21, needs to be completed by the end of week 6 of each term. Refer to Recording and reporting in CASES21 for TLIExternal Link (staff login required)
  • utilise an approved template for tutors to record students’ learning goals
  • complete implementation surveys.

Schools may be asked to participate in the evaluation of TLI to inform and improve implementation, and to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the initiative.

To monitor their implementation of TLI, it is recommended schools use the TLI continua of practice (DOCX)External Link twice-yearly as a collaborative reflection between school leaders and the school’s regionally based student achievement manager (SAM).



Tutor Practice Guide – 2023

The Tutor Practice Guide (PDF)External Link provides targeted advice for educators working in the Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI). This includes advice for tutors on program design, curriculum planning, pedagogy and assessment. The guide will also be useful to school leaders, school improvement teams and classroom teachers to ensure tutoring is integrated into the school’s broader teaching and learning program.

Tutor Learning Initiative – 2024 funding

For information about 2024 TLI funding, please refer to the 2024 indicative student resource package guide, available at Student Resource Package – Overview: Resources.

Student achievement managers

Student achievement managers (SAMs) are located in the department’s regional offices and are the first point of contact for schools.

SAMs work with schools to:

  • support the implementation of TLI by working proactively with schools, networks, principals and their teams to build school improvement capacity through evidence-based best-practice literacy and numeracy intervention models.
  • support schools to reflect on their implementation of TLI through use of the TLI Implementation Continua
  • facilitate communities of practice (CoPs), which are an opportunity for tutors to connect with other schools in the region to share practice approaches and discuss challenges.

Professional learning

The department offers professional learning webinars throughout the year to support the implementation of TLI, advertised through In Our ClassroomsExternal Link .

Professional learning is also offered by regional offices, please contact your school’s SAM for further information.

Key resources, including past professional learning, can be found on the:

  • TLI Arc channelExternal Link – tutors, school leaders and regional staff can watch webinar recordings or register to attend upcoming, free webinars that are designed to provide guidance and support in the implementation of TLI. Arc will be updated throughout the year as additional professional learning is made available to support schools and tutors. Please note: some webinars require a staff login.
  • TLI HubExternal Link (staff login required): contains professional learning modules with key information for tutors, including professional reading and links to webinars. The modules cover the essential requirements of tutors, as well as guidance and resources to enhance small group teaching skills. Additional modules will be added to the TLI Hub over time and will be accessible throughout the year.

A catalogue summary of all TLI webinars (PDF)External Link (staff login required) delivered to date is also available.

Key insights from the implementation of the Tutor Learning Initiative

The department commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to evaluate the first year of implementation of the Tutor Learning Initiative in 2021. The evaluation demonstrated many positive impacts of the initiative and the key insights (DOCX)External Link are available for download

Tutor Learning Initiative – What works? Implementation insights

The Tutor Learning Initiative – What works? Implementation insights (DOCX)External Link is designed to support school leaders and tutors to learn more about the positive impact of the TLI in 2021 and ‘what works’ when implementing the initiative. Along with outlining critical factors for success, it also provides an opportunity for school staff to reflect and consider any TLI implementation improvements that they may wish to make in 2023.

TLI implementation Continua

The TLI Implementation Continua (DOCX)External Link (the Continua) is designed to support schools to reflect, self-evaluate, and track their progress towards TLI implementation. The Continua includes 6 dimensions describing the TLI policy parameters and related guidance. Each dimension is unpacked across 4 levels of proficiency to support school self-assessment and setting of developmental goals.

The Continua can be used to guide collective discussions between student achievement managers and school leaders, classroom teachers and tutors to:

  • self-evaluate their current TLI implementation and small group learning practice and understand what improved practice looks like
  • engage in reflection, inquiry and conversations about improving TLI implementation
  • sustain 2021 and 2022 TLI implementation learnings into 2023 to support sustainable small group learning.

Recruitment assistance

Recruitment Online Help for RecruitersExternal Link (staff login required) includes a training tutorial video, frequently asked questions and instructions on how to search the talent pool and appoint applicants who have expressed interest in employment as a tutor.

Information for families – templates

Schools can choose to use this template letter to families of students that have been identified to receive additional support (DOCX)External Link through the Tutor Learning Initiative.

Schools can choose to distribute this template letter to families providing general information about the TLI (DOCX)External Link through their regular communications channels (for example, as part of their newsletters, learning management systems and emails). Versions of this letter translated into 34 community languages are available below.

The templates can be modified to include information about the school’s selected practice approach, frequency of small group tutoring sessions and curriculum focus. Schools should consider whether this letter requires translation into a language other than English or if the English version requires tailoring to best meet their local context and community’s needs.

Tutor Learning Initiative: General information for families – translated into 34 languages

The ‘Tutor Learning Initiative: General information for families’ document is available to download in different languages:

Useful data sources

The following resources provide practice advice and strategies to support small group, literacy and numeracy intervention in schools:

Reviewed 04 October 2021