Free laptops for Shadwell pupils to get online
- Credit: LBTH
A batch of free laptops have been provided for schoolchildren in Shadwell to get them online.
The delivery marks the 110,000th device delivered up and down the country by the National Grid for Learning since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The devices were given to 12 lucky pupils at Blue Gate Fields Infants by the not-for-profit organisation in a deal with Tower Hamlets Council aimed eventually at reaching all youngsters in the East End.
“We’re working to get every child online,” Mayor John Biggs said. “I know what a difference is made by having access to a laptop or tablet.
“We’ve been distributing devices and lobbying the government for more funding. It’s vital that we get every child online and end the digital disadvantage in education.”
You may also want to watch:
Access to online learning was an essential requirement during lockdown for many who could not continue their education in the classroom.
It remains vital despite schools reopening in March “to ensure opportunity and access are spread equally”, the authority maintains.
Donations totalling £1,300 to Every Child Online paid for seven devices at Blue Gate Fields while the town hall chipped in to pay for another five.
- 1 14 charged with alleged drug dealing and money laundering offences
- 2 19 arrested and cash seized in East End dawn drug raids
- 3 'Utterly horrific': Tower Hamlets MPs react to Sir David Amess stabbing
- 4 Police officers save lives in two sperate emergencies on same shift
- 5 £18,000 awarded to Bethnal Green church to bring loo up to scratch
- 6 Prison sentence increased for 'violent and dangerous' man
- 7 Lock-up garage space in Spitalfields used for social housing
- 8 Man, 19, charged after alleged sexual assaults in Tower Hamlets
- 9 Volunteers thanked for running East End food bank for 70 weeks
- 10 Police called as furious families told to quit Bow's 'dangerous' block
Headteacher Catherine Jones said: “These will have a genuine and life-changing impact on our youngsters and open up new avenues of learning and opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
The National Grid organisation, the second largest distributor of devices to schools after the Department for Education, has been critical about slow access to technology for youngsters during the pandemic.
It had made a massive #BridgeTheDivide purchase of devices at a big discount with savings passed on to local authorities like Tower Hamlets at cut rates.
The organisation’s Richard Martin said: “We always seek to help wherever we can to give schools what they need to support teaching and learning that improves the life chances of their pupils.
“Delivering to Blue Gate Fields Infants marks the 110,000th device we’ve provided to schools and local authorities.”
The Council has estimated an extra 10,000 laptops were needed on top of the 10,383 the government has already provided.
But the Conservative group on the council said it was "disappointed" that Labour voted in March against a Tory proposal to spend £1.6m on 8,000 more laptops "which would have bridged the digital divide". The council had bought just 300 devices.