Trafford Council has distributed hundreds of laptops to disadvantaged children, families and young adults across the borough.
The Department for Education provided the equipment to councils nationally as part of a special scheme to help young people access education remotely during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Trafford Council were allocated 646 laptops and 118 4G dongles as part of the scheme and, last week, a team of volunteers from Manchester United Foundation helped out by delivering 318 laptops to 36 schools across the borough. The remaining devices are being distributed to the children and young people by Trafford Council’s social care teams – and care leavers were given their devices last week.
Trafford Council has been working very hard to identify every child and family where a device is required to ensure the DfE initiative is fully maximised and education and communication with these children and families can continue.
Cllr Karina Carter, Trafford Council’s Lead Member for Education said:
“It’s sometimes taken for granted that young people have access to IT equipment, but this is not the case. I am really pleased that we’ve been able to team up with Manchester United Foundation to ensure the laptops are delivered to young people in our most deprived communities. It is important that every young person in our borough has the correct school equipment.
The schools have really appreciated having these laptops directly delivered to them. One of the Council’s top priorities is providing support to children and young people in our borough. Well done to everybody involved in this scheme, it has proved to be a real success.”
Matt Johnson, Director of Operations at Manchester United Foundation, said:
“We believe passionately in supporting our local communities and young people and to do this effectively we have developed strong relationships with key organisations like Trafford Council. This partnership will make such a difference to young people of Trafford; such a large proportion of young people want to learn but have not been able to home-school during the pandemic because they don’t have access to IT equipment. By distributing these devices it’s a small but important role we can play in helping young people.
National statistics show that the pandemic will develop an academic attainment gap larger than ever seen before because children from deprived backgrounds are not getting the support they require. One of the barriers is that they don’t have access to Wifi and IT devices. This intervention will mean that over the summer holidays the young people of Trafford will be able to access teaching resources, engage with their school and teachers, and ultimately learn new skills and gain greater knowledge.”
For more information on the scheme, visit the .GOV webpage.
Posted on Friday 17th July 2020