Covid impact: Harrogate schools appeal for unwanted laptops and tablets to give children 'best possible chance'

A new scheme is underway across Harrogate and Leeds to find 400 laptops and tablets for pupils currently without the technology they need for home-learning during lockdown.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 10:03 am
Schools laptop campaign - Harrogate pupil Lottie, ten, at Coppice Valley Primary School using her donated laptop.

Red Kite Learning Trust, a successful Multi-Academy Trust with over 8,000 pupils spread across 13 schools in the region - including Coppice Valley Primary School, Harrogate Grammar School, Oatlands Junior School, Rosset Acre Primary School and Western Primary School in Harrogate - 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.

Emma Meadus, Headteacher at Coppice Valley Primary School in Harrogate, 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.”

In an innovative recycling scheme, 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 more than £4,000 through a Just Giving campaign at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/redkite-learningtrust-1 to cover refurbishment costs.

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

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