Digital access is vital for children's learning, but lack of devices is often a barrier. Partnerships between schools and employers can help to address some of the shortages.
BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, has been pleased to be able to support local schools – by joining up with The White Horse Federation of schools to ‘rehome’ a set of laptops.
BCS’ Director of Sales, Jason Chandler explained that eleven laptops at BCS were no longer needed after they had been originally used for training purposes and he was keen to make sure they found a new home where they would be put to good use.
“We know that CAS members have told us about the issues faced by many children and schools, and the impact that the ‘digital divide’ has on outcomes,” said Jason. “I was really moved to learn about the difficulties so many children face and the impact that lack of devices has on young people’s learning and confidence.”
Jason approached Simon Cowley, Executive Director for Primary Education at the Whitehorse Federation which operates over 30 schools across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Swindon.
“Simon explained just how a lack of access to technology was impacting some students and their ability to learn during the lockdown period, and beyond,” said Jason.
“Some families are facing extraordinary challenges: for instance, a family with 5 children sharing a mobile phone to access all their online learning.
“We know that access to devices will continue to be essential as children have to self-isolate, so we were pleased to be able to donate these laptops to The White Horse Federation to be used wherever they are most needed.
“White Horse runs schools close to us at BCS in Swindon, and my own child attends one of their primaries, so it was great for us to be able to give something to support our local community.
“This year particularly has really highlighted the need for businesses, organisations and schools to come together and look at what we can offer to make a real difference.”
The 11 laptops were all refurbished and were passed onto White Horse earlier this term.
Simon Cowley told us; "With many children having to learn from home, it is crucial that we do everything we can at The White Horse Federation to help bridge the gap between children with different access to learning resources and technology at home. Each of these laptops make a huge difference to children at our schools who without would struggle to access remote learning resources from home."
Has your school teamed up with local organisations and businesses to try to address digital inequality? We’d love to hear about your success stories of local partnerships and ideas to share. Email email@example.com