Councillors donate laptops to Wolverhampton primary school pupils

Children at a Wolverhampton primary school in need of laptops to study at home during lockdown have received a helping hand from the city council.

Councillor Anwen Muston, left, delivering the digital equipment to Holy Rosary principal Adam Jewkes
Councillor Anwen Muston, left, delivering the digital equipment to Holy Rosary principal Adam Jewkes

Holy Rosary Catholic Primary Academy in East Park this week took delivery of ten new laptops, dozens of dongles and BT WiFi vouchers paid for by local councillors Anwen Muston and Keith Inston out of ward funds.

A number of schools in the city had reported that many pupils did not have a digital device to enable them to access online learning from home.

Councillor Muston, who delivered the laptops to principal Adam Jewkes at the Hickman Avenue School, said: “The Government promised to provide pupils at our schools with digital devices, but many did not receive them – and certainly not in the quantity that they needed.

“So Councillor Inston and myself put money from our ward funds together and bought £3,000 of digital equipment that we could donate.

“A good education is vital in this day and age. If children don’t get a proper education it could mean that they could potentially fail for the rest of their lives and end up unemployed.

“We want them to achieve the best grades possible and be able to progress and get on better in later life.

“Some youngsters who don’t get a good education go off the rails. They need the best start possible, which is why we stepped in to provide them with the devices they need to continue learning."

The council has responded to the plight of many pupils by supporting schools to access various Department for Education (DfE) schemes, creating a device lending scheme and seeking donations from telecoms companies.

Councillors from Bushbury North, Ettingshall, Fallings Park, Graiseley and Oxley have also donated ward funds to buy MiFi (mobile broadband routers) and 4G sim cards for local schools.

The council's deputy leader Councillor Louise Miles said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity. However, those without digital access or skills are being left behind.

“Digital skills are crucial for education, economic resilience and growth, providing a gateway to jobs, progression, social inclusion and cohesion.

“It is crucial all pupils have access to devices and connectivity to get online and further their education to improve their life chances.”

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