Laptops for Suffolk School Kids
Local council provides Suffolk children with laptops for their home learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
18:19 22 October 2020
Nearly 900 laptops were distributed to Suffolk children during the Covid-19 pandemic to help them continue their education at home. It is part of the Department for Education's Covid-19 technology scheme designed for low income and disadvantaged families. Besides the 876 laptops, the council also distributed 68 tablets and 128 4G hotspots.
Suffolk County Council’s Conservative cabinet member for education, Mary Evans said: “Under the DfE Covid-19 technology scheme, SCC allocated 876 laptops, 68 tablets and 128 4G hotspots to children with social workers and care leavers who do not have adequate access to technology.
“These devices are empowering disadvantaged children to continue their learning and stay connected with services, friends and family in this difficult time where being in touch has never been more important. We are still continuing to distribute devices as need arises.
“One child upon receiving a laptop said, ‘Thank you so much for this, I can’t wait to use it to catch up with my classes, study for my exams, and make my mum proud!’”
Meanwhile, Jack Abbott from the council’s opposition Labour group, said that the move was a little too late.
He said: “It is encouraging that this equipment has finally started to reach the children who desperately needed it and we must not forget schools like Copleston High School, Ipswich Academy and Piper’s Vale who have been exceptional in providing hundreds of devices.
“However, it was a huge failure from the Government that their laptops and routers only started coming through three months after lockdown started. This is a devastating gap in a child’s education and represents yet another broken promise.
“We are now in October and the provision of less than 900 laptops and just 120 hotspots is unlikely to be anywhere near what is needed, given that 40,000 children were living in poverty in Suffolk before the pandemic, a situation that has since worsened.
“Throughout this pandemic, education has felt like an afterthought. With hundreds of children still having to self-isolate, it’s clear that the Government needs to do far more to close the digital divide and prevent further damage to the education of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”