Barnsley Council has become one of the first local authorities to distribute laptops and 4G modems to vulnerable children in their borough thanks to a Department for Education (DfE) scheme which looks to help pupils continue their education at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
The council recently received a delivery of 668 Microsoft laptops - with a further nine to come - and 122 4G modems after making an application to the scheme. The items have been distributed to children identified as being able to benefit from the program via their education setting and social workers. The remaining devices will be distributed during scheduled visits.
This follows on from the donation made by ASOS earlier this year, which saw 90 devices handed out.
The items will allow pupils to access online learning at home having previously had no internet connection and those who have returned to school can download work at school and take it home.
In total, 68 educational settings have received a delivery, ranging from primary and secondary schools to colleges as well as some individual families.
Children’s social workers have also been instrumental in supporting vulnerable children and young people to access the scheme to support their education.
Councillor Margaret Bruff, Cabinet spokesperson for Children's Services, said: "It's incredibly important that all of our young people are able to continue their education during the lockdown.
"This scheme will have a real positive impact for hundreds of pupils who wouldn't have otherwise been able to access online resources until they returned to school.
"We can be incredibly proud of being one of the first local authorities in the country to send the items out to the children and I would like to thank the teams involved for making it happen, as well as the DfE for their contribution."