Vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in East Sussex have been given a boost to their learning with the arrival of a shipment of over 1,000 free laptops.
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) was the first authority in the country to place an order under a Department for Education (DfE) scheme aimed at ensuring pupils can continue learning at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
The county is now one of the first areas in the country to receive the new equipment, with the council taking delivery of 1,187 laptops and 170 4G dongles this week.
They are now in the process of being delivered to children and young people who receive social care from the council, while a further order has been made for laptops for disadvantaged year 10 pupils.
Councillor Bob Standley, the council’s lead member for education and inclusion, said: “It’s vital that all our young people are able to maintain their education during the lockdown.
“The scheme means vulnerable and disadvantaged children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so can get online and continue learning at home until they’re able to return to school.
“It’s going to make a real difference to their lives and will give a boost to their education in the extraordinary times we’re living in.
“I’ve been really impressed by how our children’s services and IT teams worked together to make this happen and to ensure we are one of the first areas of the country to benefit from this initiative.”
Under the DfE scheme, the council has also placed an order for 129 laptops for disadvantaged year ten pupils in its maintained schools.
Meanwhile, working with national body Uni Connect and Hastings Opportunity Area – which aims to boost social mobility through education – the council has secured funding for an additional 200 laptops for disadvantaged year ten pupils at maintained schools and academies across the county.