How outside help could keep our kids on track

Coaching companies say regional kids need their services. Do they?
Coaching companies say regional kids need their services. Do they?

REGIONAL Queensland children who are struggling at school are often unable to access the help they need.

But a Queensland startup aimed at helping students no matter where they live could have the answer.

This paper, as part of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign, revealed regional Queensland's young people are less likely to finish Year 12 than those in the city. Educational experts said regional Queensland students have poorer access to out-of-school help and are often unable to afford it.

The campaign comes as a Chartered Accountants of Australia study calls for the education sector to better train students for work.

Brisbane-based startup ClassCoach believes it can help struggling maths students, and even entire classes, through test analytics and 24/7 online tutoring.

ClassCoach head of customer engagement Simon Free said the online system was designed to help every maths student access the help they needed.

"The idea is to introduce analytics to classes to help identify areas that certain students, or the entire class, might need extra help in," he said.

"Regional areas do not have the same access to quality help outside of school. Those services might exist but that doesn't mean the students are able to access them.

"The beauty of ClassCoach is that if you have the internet you can access it. Our plan is that will keep it more affordable for those kids and families that need it most."

Irlen Syndrome is a condition where light may interfere with the brain's ability to process visual information.

Irlen Clinic director Peter Freney, a former school principal, said students with learning difficulties were not always properly catered for in schools.

He said tutoring or wider educational intervention were ways of helping those students who had fallen behind.

"But remember, the tutors come from the wider educational system and bring the culture and all the strengths and weaknesses of that system," he said.

"Kids with learning difficulties and dyslexia don't need more of the same, they need a different approach. This requires investment in professional development for teachers."

The education system has also come under fire from Australia's businesses.

Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand policy leader Geraldine Magarey said a survey of 800 business leaders found only four in ten believed school did a good job preparing people for work.

"This demonstrates a lack of confidence by organisations in the education sector's ability to equip the future workforce with the skills they will need," she said.-NewsRegional

Topics:  education fairgoforourkids qldelection2017 tutoring

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