Thousands of pre-used laptops are to be provided to Sheffield’s children who need them for home-schooling.
Laptops for Kids unable to home-school without them
Sheffield City Council have announced a plan to purchase thousands of laptops for children unable to home-school currently.
1,000 pre-used laptops will be purchased by the council initially and funding provided for 5,000 more.
Working in conjunction with the Laptops for Kids campaign, the computers will be distributed to children of all ages across the city.
“Over the past year, the pandemic has particularly impacted on our young people. After the Government announced that schools were to be closed for most children, it has left many of our young people without access to online learning.
“This is increasing the inequalities in education, with some children having the technology to work from home whilst some simply do not have devices or the internet connections that are needed.
“As a council we cannot stand by and let this happen, we owe it to these children to do everything we can to get them the support they need to make online learning work as effectively as we can whilst schools remain closed. In this time of crisis, it is crucial that we do everything in our power to make sure we are not leaving our children behind.
“We want to provide enough devices so we can make sure that no child is left without and with our support, we will provide 6,000 laptops to those who need them. This will enable more children to learn at home, reducing the number of children that are in school which will help to reduce the transmission of the virus.”Councillor Bob Johnson, Leader of Sheffield City Council
Connectivity for children left digitally stranded during school closures
Additional to the Laptops for Kids scheme, connectivity will be funded for children who do not have access to it.
The council’s investment into this project will be in the region of £1.5million.
The Laptops for Kids campaign has also seen many organisations across the city join the project and pledge to provide thousands of devices for those who need them. Many see the project necessary in the face of a lack of government support in this area.
Sheffield City Council is working with Learn Sheffield and schools across the city to identify those who don’t have access to such devices and connectivity.
“We welcome this powerful show of support for our campaign from Sheffield City Council. We have proved our model of securing donations, securely wiping the devices, and distributing them according to need in Sheffield has worked, and are sharing our approach across the North of England.
“We would like to thank our partners for all their hard work to date and of course our incredible donors.
“Our campaign demonstrates the power of teamwork between business and civic leaders and we urge employers and individuals to continue supporting our efforts. No child should be denied their basic right to education just because they cannot get online at home. The need is growing, and we must redouble our efforts to close the digital divide across South Yorkshire and the North.”David Richards, Technology Entrepreneur behind Laptops for Kids
Digital Summit leads to Laptops for Kids
The announcement of the council’s Laptops for Kids commitment follows the city’s first Digital Summit last friday.
Over 100 individuals and organisations across a variety of sectors took part in the virtual summit.
Partner organisations of Laptops for Kids include Learn Sheffield, WANdisco, the Northerm Powerhouse Partnership, Twinkl, Blancco, Natterhub and Sheffield City Council.
“Our audit identified that Sheffield schools, academies and colleges have already provided around seven thousand devices by loaning out existing equipment and purchasing additional devices. This is in addition to the donations from the Laptops for Kids campaign and devices from the Department for Education. The investment from Sheffield City Council makes the hope of providing a device and connectivity for every Sheffield child or young person who needs support into a reality.”Stephen Betts, Chief Executive of Learn Sheffield
“I would like to thank all of our teachers, schools, pupils and parents who are doing an incredible job in these unprecedented times.
“The response to the Laptops for Kids campaign from the people of Sheffield and the business community has been phenomenal, we have seen thousands of devices already pledged, but the failure of Government to plan and provide the funding needed means many children are still being left without.
“We know that the digital divide runs much deeper than this and I continue to urge our local businesses and the people of Sheffield to support the amazing work of this brilliant campaign.”Councillor Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
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