A new scheme is under way across Harrogate and Leeds to find 400 laptops and tablets for pupils currently without the technology they need for home-learning during lockdown.
Red Kite Learning Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust with over 8,000 pupils spread across 13 schools in the region, has been able to kit out many of its children with laptops provided by the Government.
But there is still a significant shortfall – meaning up to 400 students without a device of their own are having to do their remote learning on a phone or share study time with a sibling.
Adam Daly, Principal at Red Kite’s Crawshaw Academy, said:
“The equipment already provided by individual schools and the Government has been great – but we need more.
“Many of our pupils come from households that don’t have multiple tablets and laptops, which puts them at a significant disadvantage with so much teaching being done remotely.
“The signs are that it is going to be some time before lessons fully return to normal and in the meantime, we have to do everything we can to give our children the best possible chance to keep up with their education.”
Red Kite schools are asking for donations of unwanted good quality laptops or tablets, which are then being refurbished and put back to use.
The Trust has entered into a partnership with local firm Pudsey Computers, which has agreed to ensure any donated laptops are fully wiped of any data and made secure before being passed on to pupils.
Red Kite have already raised over £4,000 through a Just Giving campaign to cover refurbishment costs.
The scheme is running alongside one launched by Pudsey councillor Simon Seary and the Outer West Community Committee earlier this month which also appealed for donations of old laptop or desktop computers.
Temple Learning Academy Principal, Richard Hadfield added: “Some of the first donated devices are already being used by children here in Halton Moor, who can now access lessons and resources from home – it’s making a massive difference already.”
Any individual or business with a working laptop or tablet that could help a pupil is asked to drop it off at one of the Red Kite Learning Trust schools, a full list of which can be found at https://www.rklt.co.uk.