Hull City Council’s ambition that every child in the city is connected has moved a big step forward as local food company Cranswick donates 1156 laptops to children in the city.
The council has been working with Academy Trusts to understand how many pupils don’t have access to a laptop or the internet. The data has shown around a third of pupils over the age of seven, don’t have access to a laptop and the internet.
Councillor Peter Clark, Portfolio Holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children said: “The ambition is for every child over the age of seven, to be connected and to stay connected. This is a key project within our Covid recovery plans, which will help pupils catch up with their education.
“I am very thankful to Cranswick for this generous donation. It will mean that a quarter of children who currently don’t have a device, will now have one.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage any other businesses that are able to help us further bridge the digital divide.”
The laptops will be owned by the schools, and loaned to pupils until the point that they leave the school.
The Hull Learning Partnership, represented by all Academy Trusts, has considered the best way to distribute the laptops across the city, and working with Cranswick have agreed to provide the laptops to primary schools in the east of the city. The donation will mean there will be no primary aged children in the east of the city without access to a laptop.
Adam Couch, Chief Executive Officer at Cranswick plc said: “It was brought to our attention that there was a significant shortfall in the number of laptops available for local children. Education is vital to ensuring the growth and development of the next generation and it is proven that learning in the early years can dramatically shape the progress of a child.
“We have worked with Hull City Council to understand where provision could make the most impact and make a real difference to combat the digital divide. This will help to have a positive immediate impact for the children and families of those who will benefit from the laptops, and this need continues as children return to school.”
Schools will be distributing devices to pupils from early March.