Right from the start of the first lockdown we knew that inequalities would be exacerbated during Covid-19, and as a group we knew we could support a change in digital poverty.
Every headteacher that we’ve worked with tells us about the digital divide with the gap between the numbers of children without adequate access or data and the allocation given from the Department of Education. Since schools have been filling in our survey to give a local picture of digital access, the story is still the same – headteachers need more devices and data plans to equip children with what’s needed to learn from home.
Here’s how we’re supporting headteachers across the region:
- Individual donations of laptops and tablets are safely and securely repurposed and allocated to a referral made from a school
- We partner with business organisations across the region and match bulk donations with schools.
- The generosity of cash donations from individuals and local industry enables us to purchase new devices for children via school referrals.
Comments from local headteachers:
“Thank you so much for all your work on the Asus devices. We now have 20 devices we can get out to children”
“What became very quickly evident to us as a school was the huge variation in the ability of our children to learn at home. We took a decision prior to the initial lockdown to up-skill ourselves on remote learning, using primarily Google Classrooms as a method for doing so. We had a bank of 25 laptops and a similar number of iPads which we leant out to families as lockdown began. This went some way to addressing immediate needs, but it was obvious that for some families, this simply wasn’t enough.”
“We are finding that we have about 5-10 children in each year group who have no device access at home”
“We have received over 200 computers from the Gov but this means that families with multiple children will not have a computer each and many of our feeder primary schools are really struggling as their computer allocation has been slashed”