School pleads for laptops for third of its pupils without proper home-learning equipment

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laptops pennington junior
Pennington Junior School pupil George Wake accepts equipment from Nigel Woodland

A SCHOOL has appealed for laptop donations to help about a third of its pupils without the right computer kit to learn from home during the lockdown.

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The request by Pennington Junior School inspired an “overwhelming” response from the local community, resulting in at least 24 families receiving the equipment they need for children to get studying.

The school put out a call on social media for anyone with unwanted laptops, iPads, or other devices.

In December the government claimed it had delivered 560,000 laptops and tablets in 2020 for schools and councils to distribute to disadvantaged children.

Amid calls for more action, it has since announced plans to add another 300,000 to the 440,000 extra it intended to buy this year.

Some of the computers refurbished by Lymington Computer Repairs for Pennington Junior

Becky Clark, school business manager, said: “We have 174 pupils of whom about 30% have no access to suitable IT to enable them to take part in online learning.

“Last September we had set up a JustGiving page to raise funds to provide such children with what they needed.

“But since the lockdown it has just grown legs. So many people have turned up with laptops and other things they have had languishing in a drawer. They have been so generous, it is just marvellous.”

The school’s appeal was boosted by the services of Mathew Ockham, who runs Lymington Computer Repairs. He offered to service any equipment donated and get it ready for the school to use, free of charge.

Ms Clark said: “He has been brilliant. Over the weekend he got 24 laptops up and running ready for us to give out to pupils who need them. The devices have to be wiped of any personal data, then have security software installed.

“The school then gives them to families with a list of the apps and other things they need to install on them.”

So far, the school has received 40 devices but are expecting more. Ms Clark said: “I have had to prepare 40 paper packs for pupils that do not have the right equipment, so we still need more devices for them.”

Anyone who wants to donate equipment to Pennington Junior can take it to the school office which is open 8.30am-4pm.

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