Understandably, we have had a lot of enquiries from parents about laptops and devices from the Department for Education (DfE) for families who need them. We are doing everything we can to support families who need a device or need to be connected to the internet. At this moment in time, we have been allocated just over 80 devices across our 5 schools (which currently serve just over 3000 pupils).
When we receive devices, the appropriate safeguarding controls need to be put on and the devices have to be configured for use at home (and remain the property of the school). Our IT team is working hard to ensure that devices are prepared and ready as quickly as possible and then given to families for children to use.
Although we have been informed that more devices are on the way, clearly the number we currently have is nowhere near meeting the demand from our families. The DfE does not issue criteria for distribution nor do they tell us the specific children the devices should go to. As a Trust, we have had to create our own set of criteria in order to prioritise children for devices. Currently, we have prioritised the neediest families in each school. Each school has its own allocation of devices and this varies from school to school. We are also currently working on applying for additional mobile data for families who do not have home broadband and a limited mobile data allowance.
As always, we appreciate your patience and support in this matter.
Sajid Gulzar, CEO