Devon County Council has received 730 laptops and tablets to help support disadvantaged children and young people learn at home.
The new devices are part of the Government’s commitment to deliver 1.3 million laptops and tablets to help disadvantaged pupils during the national lockdown.
Over 700,000 devices have been delivered so far, including 100,000 in the last week alone.
Over 100,000 were delivered last week alone, and by the end of the week more than 700,000 laptops and tablets will have been delivered to schools and local authorities.
The Government has also announced that a further 300,000 devices will be made available to pupils across the country, taking the total number of laptops and tablets for disadvantaged young people up to 1.3 million.
The additional 300,000 devices lifts government investment by another £100 million, meaning over £400 million will have been invested in supporting disadvantaged children and young people who need the most help with access to technology through the pandemic.
These extra devices are part of the Government’s mission to give every child a high-quality remote education while schools are closed.
Other measures it has taken include providing more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring that no child’s education is prohibited by a lack of internet access, and working in partnership with the UK’s leading mobile phone operators, including EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone, to deliver free internet access for those students until July 2021; with a number of these providers committing to work with the Government-funded Oak National Academy to provide free access to its online lessons which this week includes the launch of a Virtual School Library
To further boost the quality of remote education for all students, the Government has strengthened the minimum standards for remote learning provision, so every child, no matter where they learn, receives the great education they deserve.
Commenting, Selaine Saxby MP for North Devon said:
“Whilst schools remain shut for the majority of students across North Devon, it is vital that we do all we can to give every child access to a high-quality remote education until they are allowed to re-open.
The new laptops we have received from this Government, alongside the raft of measures to help schools deliver high-quality online learning, will help to make this a reality, ensuring that no child’s education is hindered because of their background, location or their circumstances.
The moment that this dreadful virus permits, all our children will be back in school with their teachers and their friends. But until then, these measures will ensure that every child can get the world class education that they deserve.
A number of schools and parents have contacted me concerned about their broadband connection, be that at the school or at home. I have been working with providers over the last year to accelerate the Fibre to the Premises roll out in North Devon and we have seen some significant successes. The upgrade Lynton and Lynmouth, over 1200 households is almost complete and having contacted Openreach they are surveying Holywell Primary School in Tawstock this week to ensure that they are able to support their pupils adequately.
Schools who are concerned about their connection or that of their pupils, can apply for a 4G router via their covid technology email address, and I would urge schools to take advantage of this offer if broadband is presenting a problem for students.”
Commenting, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“I know just how difficult this year has been for parents and teachers, now more so than ever. I want nothing more than for every child to be in the classroom with their friends and teachers, but with that not possible we are doing everything in our power to support schools with high-quality remote education.”
“These additional devices, on top of the 100,000 delivered last week, add to the significant support we are making available to support schools deliver high-quality online learning, as we know they have been doing.”
“Our guidance reflects the increased number of hours pupils should benefit from, and schools publishing their plans lets parents know that their children are not missing out on the great education they deserve”.