From phone to laptop – a loan goes a long way to help children with homeschooling

Hatfield pupil Olivia has been enjoying her laptop loan from Affinity Water 

Hatfield pupil Olivia has been enjoying her laptop loan from Affinity Water - Credit: Affinity Water 

Affinity Water in Hatfield donated loan laptops to help children learn while being homeschooled.

Michelle, a parent from Hatfield, explained how the water company's help has changed her daughter Olivia's life. 

She said: “Olivia was originally only able to do her Zoom classes on a phone and her work on paper.

"Having the laptop has now enabled her to join her Zoom calls on a bigger screen, she can receive her work via PowerPoint and complete her schoolwork using Word and lastly submit via the laptop. So overall it has been a huge help.”

The department for education has provided 8,860 laptops and tablets to Hertfordshire children to help support disadvantaged children and young people while they learn at home. 

Grant Shapps, the MP for Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Richard Townshend.

Grant Shapps, the MP for Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Richard Townshend. - Credit: Archant

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps welcomed the DfE's and Hatfield company Computacentre's efforts to roll out the remote learning tools. 

He said: “No child should miss out as a result of the disruption caused by this pandemic. It’s been our priority to equip the children in most need with the tools they need to get on with their learning.

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“It’s great to see that so many electronic devices have been delivered across the country. It’s also brilliant to see a company based here in Welwyn Hatfield take a leading role in supplying these devices.

“Of course, while we hope that our children will be back learning in school as soon as possible, we will do everything in our power to give them the world-class education they deserve as they learn at home."

The DfE added in a statement: “[We have] secured 1.3 million devices, which is the estimated number of devices needed to support the number of pupils eligible for Free School Meals. 

"This is alongside the estimated 2.9 million devices schools already owned at the start of the pandemic. We have now provided over a million devices, and expect to deliver the remainder by Easter.”

Free school meals have been one way of calculating those who need free laptops, which is just shy of 25,000 pupils in Herts. And if this represents the laptops needed by pupils, the DfE has delivered around 35 per cent. 

Free data has also been given to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300 million for tutoring programmes. 

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