Hundreds of children to receive laptops to access online learning

Published: Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Havering Council has taken delivery of laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers from the Department for Education (DfE) to help children who are most in need access online education.

This is as part of a national initiative to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people with much needed kit so they can learn from home during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The DfE are working with their tech partner, Computatech, via local authorities and academy trusts to help children stay in contact with their social workers and to access online learning that they did not have before.

The kit that Havering Council has secured will go to every child they are currently working with in the borough, with the remainder being distributed to schools in the area with a high percentage of disadvantaged pupils.

This means that the initiative will also be able to support children whose parents have been financially impacted by Covid 19, such as individuals with a high percentage of consumer debt.

Statistics show that 43 per cent of Havering residents owe money on a loan or credit agreement, which is above average compared to the rest of London, making it harder for them to afford laptops and tablets for online learning in the borough.

To help make collection easy and convenient, the Council has set up a borough-wide drive-through operation. There is also a delivery option in place for children who do not have access to transport to collect their tech.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: 

“This resource will create an opportunity for many of Havering’s children and young people to access a range of learning platforms and communication.

“Access to these new pieces of kit will make a huge difference as it means that hundreds of children who have struggled to get online during the pandemic will have the equipment they need to improve their learning at home and also to keep in with their teachers, schools and friends.”