PUPILS across Dorset have benefitted from more than 4,500 laptops and tablets to date, as the government hits an important milestone in its roll-out of devices to support disadvantaged young people.
More than one million devices have now been delivered to schools and local authorities across England as part of a £400million investment that will support schools and young people for years to come.
A total of 31,147 devices have been delivered across the South West, including 4,521 in Dorset. This includes 2,769 in the Dorset Council area and 1,752 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Schools in the Lyme Regis area have also benefitted from public appeals for unwanted laptops and tablets from the Rotary Club of Lyme Regis, Lyme Regis Baptist Church and Lawson Computer Repairs based at the Community Waffle House in Axminster.
The news comes after the Department for Education last month announced a further 300,000 laptops and tablets to help more disadvantaged children and young people learn at home.
Schools are now receiving top-ups to their original allocations, with those with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils being prioritised first.
The 1.3 million devices the government is providing sits alongside a package of extensive support for the most disadvantaged children.
This includes partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300million being invested in tutoring programmes building on the existing £1billion Covid Catch Up Fund.
To further strengthen remote education provision, the government has provided more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring no child is prohibited from receiving a quality education due to a lack of internet access.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I know what a challenging period this has been for pupils, teachers and parents, but it has been nothing short of inspiring to see schools and staff going above and beyond, as they always have done, to give our pupils the very best education possible.
“Online access has been an important part of this work and will continue to be as we help young people catch up after the disruption caused by the pandemic, which is why the delivery of these one million laptops is so vital.
“They represent one million children who will not let their education be overcome by this virus.
“I want parents to know that we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect our children’s education at this unprecedented time and ensure they have the tools they need to get on with and make the most of their lives.”
For more information and support on home learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare