Pandemic home learning initiative hailed a success

Published Tuesday, 14th July 2020

A major initiative to support young people learning from home in Hartlepool during the coronavirus emergency is proving a big success.

Hartlepool Borough Council and schools have worked closely together to distribute 671 laptops and tablets and 105 4G internet routers provided by the Department for Education (DfE).

With schools currently closed to most pupils because of COVID-19, the devices aim to support young people who are learning at home and give them access to the internet.

A young person is eligible for assistance through the initiative if they don’t already have a device from which they can do their school/college work and they either have a social worker or they are a care leaver or a Year 10 pupil due to take their GCSEs next year.


Some of the equipment supplied by the DfE

Some of the equipment supplied by the DfE

Project Manager Kelly Prescott from Hartlepool Borough Council said: “From the day we received the devices, they were distributed to schools within a week

“This is testament to how responsive the schools have been and how committed they are to supporting their most vulnerable pupils.

“I would like to thank them for supporting this initiative and ensuring that the equipment reached those most in need so quickly.”

She added: “Coronavirus has highlighted a digital divide, with some children who are without access to computer devices and the internet missing out not only on educational opportunities but also on social contact with others.

“School life is going to be very different for quite some time due to the pandemic, so pupils will be able to keep their devices for as long as they are needed.”

Mark Tilling, Headteacher at High Tunstall College of Science, said: “The laptops and wifi provided by the DfE have proved invaluable by giving students access to online learning. Such access is essential if students, including our Year 10s who sit their GCSEs next summer, are to maintain their educational development during the pandemic.”