YEAR 10 students and vulnerable children in Oldham have begun to receive much needed laptops to help them with their schoolwork.
Oldham Council has managed to secure devices from a Department of Education scheme – seen as a vital lifeline during lockdown and the summer holidays.
Over 1200 devices have been distributed to schools to allocate to those most in need, with additional devices going directly to local academies.
The aim is to prevent those who don’t have access to devices at home from falling behind during the partial closures of schools. Year 10 pupils in particular have been earmarked as those in need due to impending GCSE examinations next year.
Oldham Council has worked closely with local schools to ensure a wide selection of digital platforms, including websites and social media, have been available for students to get access to schoolwork and other suitable learning tools.
And while some students are beginning to return to school on a part time basis, digital learning will remain a key factor during the summer months.
Councillor Shaid Mushtaq, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I have been blown away by the hard work and dedication of schools and council staff during the Covid crisis as well as the adaptability and patience of many children, young people, their families and carers.
“The need to use digital platforms has been key to this but we know many vulnerable young people do not have access to a computer and we have been working hard to support people through a range of means.
“This offer from the Department of Education was originally made in April and has taken them some time to ensure this actually reaches those most in need but we are now in a position to supply to schools to pass on to students.”
John Cregg, Headteacher of The Radclyffe School said, “The laptops for Year 10s scheme will provide vital support to our students, enabling them to push on with their studies even when they can’t be physically in the school building. It has been a steep learning curve for both staff and students but I am very proud of all the effort that has been put in. We are delighted to work with Oldham partners to drive this forward.”