Lockdown Laptops Bring Long Term Boost to Learning

Posted by: Press team on 14 March 2022 16:08

Thousands of South Tyneside children and young people who were given a digital device to help with home schooling will now be allowed to keep them on a long term basis.

South Tyneside Council is one of the few in the country which has committed to supporting the scheme long term in recognition of the huge benefits the devices have made to children's learning.

The Council launched a strategy at the start of the pandemic to help disadvantaged families while the Department of Education also gave a number of laptops, tablets and routers to help with home learning. Almost 4,000 devices have been given out, and every family who requested IT support has been given a device.

Working closely with schools, the Council has been able to extend the scheme to other deserving groups, such as care leavers and young carers.

Now these young people have been told they can keep the devices as a long term loan from the Council in a move which further demonstrates that the Council is delivering on its priority to support families and young people in need.

Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "We know these devices have had a very positive impact on young people's learning so we felt it was only right to allow them to keep them long term.

"We are committed to giving all our children the best start in life and making sure they have access to the right equipment for their education is key to that."

Two boys who care for their mam, Chantel Myers, who is paralysed from the waist down and has seizures, are among those to receive laptops.

Chantel said: "The boys have to do too much for me. I have carers who come in three time a day but the boys still do so much for me and they worry about me all the time.

"The laptops from the Council have been great as they didn't have one previously. My oldest son, Jason, in particular, has his GCSEs coming up so being able to have the laptop on a long term basis is fantastic. He has been able to revise online every morning before his mock exams and he seems pleased with how they have gone."

Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "We know that our young carers have many additional responsibilities but that shouldn't prevent them from achieving their goals in life. That is why we extended the scheme to include deserving young people like these to make sure they have the equipment they need to help them succeed."

The devices have all had the appropriate filters and anti-virus programmes installed. However the settings need to be updated.  Anyone who needs the settings updated is asked to call (0191) 424 6300, email support@beststartict.life or visit the website at beststartict.life Residents are advised that without these changes the devices will cease to operate as before.

Last modified: 18 March 2022 16:10