Wakefield and Castleford schoolchildren are set to benefit from Sigma’s new charitable technology initiative, which will see 22 laptops donated to local schools to support pupils and schools with online learning.
Sigma has formed a partnership with IT solutions partner OPUS-UK, to help coordinate and ready the machines for delivery across West Yorkshire.
The true end-to-end service provider will donate the laptops to children at risk of falling behind in their education because they do not have the technology to access learning resources and take part in digitally-led teaching.
Around 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – primarily from low-income households, do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home, according to Ofcom. While ‘inadequate’ access to technology in English schools remains a significant problem.
According to new survey data from polling organisation Teacher Tapp, just 1% of primary state schools are able to provide devices that their pupils can take home. Whereas 72% of students in schools rated inadequate by Ofsted do not have access to individual devices in their classrooms, compared with 59% in outstanding schools.
As pupils across the UK return to schools and colleges, it is hoped the donation will be a timely relief for students and staff alike.
As part of the project Sigma will also donate 17 PC tower units to school pupils through the Business2Schools Initiative – a charity dedicated to distributing refurbished office furniture and technology to schools across the UK.
Sigma CEO, Craig Bennett, said: “It has been a challenging time for families and pupils facing home schooling in recent months, especially those who don’t have the equipment they need, so we are absolutely delighted that we are able to donate laptops to schools in the Castleford and Wakefield area.
“As pupils plan for a return to normal school learning, the laptops will be invaluable for in-school learning. We want to ensure that children are not at risk of falling behind in their studies and can access online learning resources when they return to the classroom. Schools, teachers and families have done a fantastic job with remote learning and we hope this donation will make it a bit easier for those we’re helping as they transition back to normal learning.”
Miss Goldsmith, Deputy Head Teacher at Smawthorne Henry Moore Primary School, added: “Once again, we have been blown away by the generosity of Sigma and OPUS-UK, whose efforts have been invaluable in supporting our home schooling efforts.
“The laptops that have been donated have been a fantastic supplement to our in-house IT suite to enable the children to continue their online learning remotely, so it’s great that we are now able to expand these services across the school so more children can benefit from it. On behalf of the staff and pupils at Smawthorne Henry Moore Primary School, I would like to have Sigma for their ongoing support.”