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Home Tutor Scheme

Funding for the Home Tutor Scheme ended on 30 June 2017 so this web page has been developed as a legacy and an ongoing resource to support information sharing and learning what works to improve outcomes for children and young people.

The Smith Family facilitated the Home Tutor Scheme (HTS) as an AMEP service provider, funded by the Australian Government. The Home Tutor Scheme is a service directed towards eligible migrants and refugees that need further assistance to develop their English language skills for successful settlement in Australia.

The Home Tutor Scheme involves training and then matching volunteer tutors with newly arrived migrants and refugees from non-English speaking backgrounds, to provide one-on-one English tuition in students' homes. A home tutor ensures that students do not become isolated or excluded from participating in the community due to language barriers.

The Smith Family facilitated this program throughout Northern Sydney, Illawarra, Hunter and Rural and Regional NSW.

Home tutor scheme

How the Home Tutor Scheme works

Our tutors

Our volunteers require no previous teaching experience as a course in Volunteer English Tutoring is provided to equip tutors with the basic skills required to teach English on a one-to-one basis. The motivations for joining the program are as varied as the tutors themselves, but common themes such as giving back to the community, getting to know other cultures and to gain personal satisfaction are a few key motivating factors for volunteers.

Our students

Our students come from diverse cultural backgrounds and have varying levels of English language competency. Students who are referred to the Home Tutor Scheme are those that are attending low-intensity English classes, or are unable to attend classes, due to family or work commitments, geographical isolation, they are elderly or they have various barriers to learning such as illiteracy, trauma or are uncomfortable in a formal learning environment. Students' English levels and goals are assessed before the tutoring commences; this way our volunteers can tailor classes that are specific to their student's needs and assist their student in achieving their target objectives.


Volunteer tutors are required to complete a comprehensive and informative online training course in Volunteer English Language Tutoring. The course is designed to run for 15 hours. It is compulsory for tutors to complete all components of the training course.


Before tutors make their first visit we contact students to do a language and learning needs assessment. As tutors travel to students' houses, we aim to match volunteers with students as close to their home or place of employment as possible. The tutor then goes on to visit their student once a week for a minimum of one hour. To ensure a continuous and optimal learning situation, we ask for a minimum six-month commitment from all our tutors.

Support for volunteer tutors

Our office provides support for volunteer tutors via phone, e-mail and face-to-face information sessions. We send out regular newsletters via e-mail, hold coffee club meetings and organise tutor support workshops and an annual social event to ensure both tutors and students are provided with a social forum to touch base and give feedback about the program.



The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

The AMEP provides up to 510 hours of English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants to help them learn foundation English language and settlement skills to enable them to participate socially and economically in Australian society.

Information for tutors

Tutor resources

Home tutor scheme

Tutor resources

A warm welcome to all our tutors. Home Tutor Scheme has prepared a series of lesson plans and resources that may be useful for tutoring your student. Lesson plans cover topics such as Australian culture, everyday life and Politics and current affairs.

Tutor resources

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