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#LaptopsForSchools Campaign Launch

Can you help every child in Cheltenham access digital learning by donating your old laptops, tablets, ipads or by giving some money to #LaptopsForLearning?

On Wednesday 3 February we launched the ‘#LaptopsForLearning’ campaign, supported by the Council's 'No Child Left Behind' initiative, Cheltenham Education Partnership, IT Schools Africa, and other local organisations.

The scheme aims to support all schools in the town by providing children with additional laptops, tablets or ipads for their home learning. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) team have worked with Cheltenham Education Partnership (CEP) representing local secondary schools and Cheltenham Learning Partnership (CLP) representing local primary schools, to fully understand the need for laptops to support home learning. Current estimates show that local schools need in the region of 500 laptops.

Cllr Flo Clucas member for healthy lifestyles said: “As a former teacher, my biggest concern throughout the crisis has been the impact Covid is having on our children. We have liaised with head teachers of secondary and primary schools and we all agree no child should be left behind at school because they can’t get online at home. As a borough our ambition is to be the cyber capital of the UK, our ask is to help us end digital poverty in our town and support the tremendous efforts our schools are making."

“Our thanks go to the IT Schools Africa team who will be wiping the hard drives, refurbishing and loading Windows 10 on to the laptops ready for distribution to local schools. As an alternative to donating laptops, please consider donating to our fund-raising page, we have an ambition of reaching £50,000 to enable us to purchase additional laptops needed for learning.’’

To donate your unwanted laptops, tablets or ipads in a Covid safe way, use the drop-off locations listed at: nclbcheltenham.org.uk/laptops-for-learning

Dr Graham Parton, chair of Cheltenham Education Partnership said: “CEP have worked across secondary schools to identify need and support the delivery of the project. I’m really pleased that six schools within the Cheltenham Education Partnership have offered their premises as donation points. “If you have a laptop, tablet or ipad that you no longer use, please donate them to the drop off points listed on the NCLB website.’’

Jon Millin, chair of Cheltenham Learning Partnership added: ‘‘The logistics of home learning are huge and we know first-hand how much hard work is going into this. Though some children have benefitted from other schemes, not all children have easy access to remote learning. Even when schools reopen, they will increasingly use online platforms for homework, so ensuring all our children have access to the right IT equipment gives them the foundations to get the most out of their education.

“I’m hopeful that through #LaptopsForLearning we’ll receive the additional equipment to ensure a level playing field for future learning.’’

UK operations manager, Simon Richardson, at IT Schools Africa added: ‘’We’re really excited to be supporting #LaptopsForLearning campaign and to play our part in ensuring that every child gets safe access to their online learning so they can fulfil their potential. Please donate working laptops no more than 7 years old with their power supplies. With tablets please make sure that the user accounts have been deleted and the device is unlocked, also ipads need to removed from their associated apple icloud account.’’

For full information about the #LaptopsForLearning scheme or to donate money visit: nclbcheltenham.org.uk/laptops-for-learning