Trust is set to provide 11,000 iPads to staff and pupils across Staffordshire and the West Midlands

A multi-academy trust is to provide 11,000 iPads to pupils and staff as part of its digital transformation.

Pupils at William MacGregor School in Staffordshire
Pupils at William MacGregor School in Staffordshire

The project, at The Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), which runs 19 schools across the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, will see 1,000 staff and more than 10,000 pupils receive iPads to support their learning both at school and at home.

The scheme – Learning Futures – will open up the classroom to parents and carers who will be able to see what their child is learning at school and the strategies and techniques used.

Richard Anderton, the ATLP’s Digital Transformation Lead, said: “When the pandemic struck with such an impact on schools, teachers had to adjust instantly and find ways of ensuring education was able to continue remotely with as minimal disruption as possible to young people’s lives.

“Technology played a huge part in continuing to allow teachers to teach and pupils to learn even when schools were closed or operating at reduced capacity.

“Had Learning Futures been in place at that time and with digital and remote learning already a key part of youngsters’ lives, then the readjustment process would have been significantly easier.”

Children will be able to apply knowledge learnt by creating podcasts, movies or coding an app – exposing them to the skills required to engage with life in the future.

Mr Anderton added: “Research has shown that digital exclusion is an issue. It’s crucial that, regardless of any of our schools’ postcodes and budgets, that equality in provision is provided.

“The aim for us is to ensure there is no digital poverty and that we future-proof our methods moving forward.

“Regular access to and learning from digital provides vital skills for children’s futures in the world we now live in and we are extremely proud to be rolling out this project to safeguard the learning futures of all of our pupils – enhancing opportunities for all.”

The project is being delivered from reception through to sixth form. There will be one device shared between two in reception and pupils in years one to 13 will all receive one each. Safeguarding is in place to ensure pupils are kept safe whilst using the devices at school and at home.

New cabling has been laid, wireless systems have been upgraded and internet speeds increased as part of a significant investment in information technology infrastructure across all schools to ensure equity for pupils and staff and enable continual access to 21st century learning.

Richard Gill CBE, the CEO of ATLP, said: “A huge amount of effort and planning has gone into this impressive transformation of learning methods which will bring the classroom into the homes of our pupils. It will bring parents closer to their child’s education and truly bring to life visually the work they are enjoying in the classroom."

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