158 children unable to access laptops for remote learning during lockdown will now be able to, thanks to a near-£30,000 grant delivered by The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to Learn Academies Trust (Learn-AT).
Following an appeal to local organisations, this week Learn-AT has taken delivery of 158 new laptops.
After reading the Trust’s appeal in the local press, David Howard, Chair of Trustees at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, contacted Learn-AT to learn more about the importance of laptops in ensuring that every child has access to remote education during lockdown and self-isolation.
David Howard, Chair of Trustees at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, said: “We’re delighted to provide a grant to Learn-AT, which we’re confident will have a hugely positive impact on a number of children during these challenging times. Like many, all at the charity commend the way in which teachers and children have adapted to teaching or learning remotely. With funds available, we felt it’s only right to do something to ensure that as many children as possible have access to the technology that enables them to continue their education remotely during lockdown. In providing 158 new laptops, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is privileged to be able to increase that access and availability.”
The Trust has also placed on record its gratitude to the many members of the local community who have donated old devices. More than 90 devices have been donated to the Learn-AT by individuals and businesses, and these are being refurbished and distributed to families who need them. Members of the Market Harborough 41 Club, including Emkat Solutions, Duncan Murray Wines and individuals, have also donated laptops and made generous cash donations to support the campaign. As a result, Learn-AT now has enough devices to support every child who needs one. As soon as they are no longer needed for remote learning, the laptops will be shared between Learn-AT’s schools. They will be a valuable resource to support learning in school and to ensure that children have the digital skills they need for the future and in case this situation ever happens again.
Around 70% of children in Learn-AT schools have been learning at home since 5th January and will continue to do so until at least 8th March. Schools are using a combination of national resources such as those provided by the Oak National Academy and BBC and independent activities. Teachers are also providing daily live online interaction with pupils and teaching using the secure Microsoft Teams platform. Each child’s day is structured carefully to ensure that they are engaged and motivated to continue their learning while staying safe at home and helping to reduce transmission of COVID-19 within our local communities.
Stef Edwards, Learn-AT’s Trust Leader, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity and members of our community who have contributed to our laptops@learnat campaign. Being able to provide every child with access to a device is a huge step forward in our effort to make sure all children stay in touch with their teachers and their friends. It means teachers can keep children engaged with learning until we can finally welcome them all back into school where they belong.”