Thanks to the generosity of parents we were delighted to be able to collect more than 70 donated laptops and tablets as part of our appeal with North West Academies Trust (NWAT).
The switch to online learning for many pupils across the UK has been significantly hampered by a lack of access to suitable IT devices. This is an extra barrier to home learning that no young person should be facing alongside all the other challenges of the current situation.
Whilst the Department for Education has been very supportive of schools nationally, and whilst many vulnerable pupils have received a free laptop, there is still a notable shortfall both nationally and locally.
We worked in partnership NWAT, a local multi-academy trust that includes both primary and secondary schools, to source spare, second-hand laptops and iPad/tablets and were thrilled to drop off these devices at our Chester Schools Together partners at Blacon High School and The Bishops’ Blue Coat High School.
Ian Wilson, Headteacher of Bishops’ said: “This project shows everyone in education being the best of themselves. Our communities approach the many challenges of these times with kindness and compassion. I would like to extend our thanks to The King’s School for co-coordinating with partners to enable electronic devices to support our at home learners during this period of lockdown.
“The Chester Schools Together partnership is all about collaboration and working together. Schools supporting each other during these uncertain times can only benefit the students and enable them to flourish.”
Headteacher at Blacon High School Rachel Hudson said: “On behalf of everyone here, we would like to extend our thanks to North West Academies for this scheme and to all of the families who have donated.
“It makes such a difference to our students, to have their own device in order to continue with their learning at home at this time.”
Special thanks must go to telecoms and IT company Vivio and Aldi Stores Ltd, Neston Branch for the donation of a number of new and second-hand devices, all of which are now being used by students across Chester.
Headmaster George Hartley added: “Once again we have been blown away by the generosity of our parents and pupils and I am so pleased that the scheme has directly benefited our partner schools.
“Huge thanks to North West Academies Trust for first launching the scheme and for facilitating the wiping of all of the donated devices. It was a fantastic opportunity for our parents to make a real and immediate impact on the lives of young people across the city.”