Disadvantaged pupils to get free laptops for online lessons
Hundreds of children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the Bradford district are to receive free laptops and tablets to help them with home schooling during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Bradford Council has more than 2,151 computers to distribute to children to support them learning from home while schools remain closed to most pupils because of the pandemic.
As well as the laptops and tablets, the council also has 348 4G routers that will enable pupils from low-income families who don’t have the internet at home to get online.
The digital devices have been secured through a government scheme and the council will work with schools and other agencies to get them to eligible families who need them most. Children are eligible if they don't already have suitable equipment and either have a social worker or are care leavers, or are underprivileged Year 10 pupils who are due to take their GCSEs next year.
However, Bradford Council believes there are many more young people who don’t qualify for the government scheme but would benefit from having better access to technology so they are working with local businesses to donate devices to needy pupils.
Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “It is good news that we are able to get this vital equipment for children who really need it.
“Lockdown has highlighted digital inequality. Many of our most disadvantaged children normally rely on schools and libraries to access the internet. With these closed, they are struggling to get online.
“Schools and teachers have been doing brilliant work to keep pupils learning at home during this crisis but children without a laptop or tablet and easy access to the internet at home have been at a disadvantage.
“Distance learning should be accessible to all pupils while their schools are closed, regardless of their background.
“Although the government scheme is helping to get IT equipment to many of our most disadvantaged school pupils, it does not cover everyone and that is why we are asking businesses to help those not covered by the scheme.
“No child in the Bradford district should be disadvantaged by not having basic IT equipment and access to the internet.”
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