Hundreds of laptops sent to students that need them
Over 1,500 laptops have been distributed by Hackney Council to disadvantaged school children in Hackney to help them continue learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Along with the laptops, over 100 4G routers have been delivered by the Hackney Learning Trust as part of the government’s Covid-19 Technology Support Scheme, which seeks to provide support to disadvantaged Year 10 pupils, care leavers and children with a social worker aged 0-19.
As students in Hackney and beyond are facing the prospect of more home learning, the tech will form an integral part of the education for some pupils over the next few months.
However, although the scheme will help some vulnerable students, the borough has received less than half of the devices needed to help pupils who fall into the eligibility criteria and do not have the adequate facilities to learn.
We are focused on making sure our young people in Hackney do not lose out on their education as a result of the pandemic. We know that there has been a Government scheme to get laptops out to some Year 10 pupils and some vulnerable children, but that’s a small proportion of the young people who don’t have access to technology and ministers need to do better.
I urge the Government to not only send enough equipment for all pupils who are eligible, but to review the eligibility criteria and broaden this so that more young people can benefit from attaining the essential equipment needed to succeed.
In order for children to learn successfully over this long period where children have been out of school, they need to have access to technology to be able to keep up with their learning. This is just one aspect of learning and Ministers need to do more to demonstrate they understand all the challenges young people are facing during the pandemic.
The equipment was delivered to the Council last week and is in the process of being distributed to young people over the next couple of weeks. The Council is also looking at other local options to supplement this initial batch of laptops if the Government fails to meet the remaining need.