ALMOST 1,000 laptops and tablets have been delivered to children across Bury who have been struggling to access remote education during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to concerns that many pupils lack a suitable device in order to study remotely, The Department of Education (DfE) has said it will deliver 100,000 laptops to students this week, with 50,000 sent to schools for distribution on Monday alone.

It is part of a scheme to distribute one million devices to students by the end of the academic year, which the DfE said had already seen 560,000 sent out by the end of 2020.

Laptops and tablets have been made available, if there is no existing access to a device, for: disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education is disrupted; disadvantaged children in any year group who have been advised to shield because they (or someone they live with) are clinically extremely vulnerable; disadvantaged children in any year group attending a hospital school; disadvantaged 14 to 16-year-olds enrolled for Key Stage 4 at sixth-form colleges and whose face-to-face education is disrupted.

DfE's Get Help with Tech scheme is being supported by EE, Vodafone, Three, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Three and O2 who are all offering unlimited data to students.

As of December 18, Bury had received 865 devices that will help pupils across the borough in learning from home.

James Daly, MP for Bury North, said: “I am pleased that the Government has provided a generous allocation of devices for home learning to Bury Council, but we must continue to do everything possible to ensure every child has access to electronic learning. There are more devices available from the Department for Education and I want to make sure that every child in Bury that needs a device, has one.

“I am concerned by some reports that schools have yet to receive their anticipated allocation and others need further provision. Therefore, I will continue to work with schools, the DFE and Bury Council to support the effective roll out of devices to pupils and am grateful for the huge effort being made by teachers to provide high quality learning for all.”

“I also want to thank the mobile network operators that are working with the Government to support access to educational sites. Schools can already request free mobile data uplifts for disadvantaged families, via the Department for Education’s website.”