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Schools crowdfunding to help pupils with no internet to learn from home

PUBLISHED: 08:46 10 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 May 2020

Two Norwich schools are crowdfunding to provide internet access and tablets to pupils who cannot learn online from home during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Getty Images

Two Norwich schools are crowdfunding to provide internet access and tablets to pupils who cannot learn online from home during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Getty Images

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Two Norwich schools have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help 30 young pupils who have no internet at home and no device to do schoolwork on.

Nelson Infant School in Nelson Street, Norwich. Picture: Evelyn Simak/GeographNelson Infant School in Nelson Street, Norwich. Picture: Evelyn Simak/Geograph

Nelson Infant and Wensum Junior School serve one of the most disadvantaged catchments of any school in Norwich with high numbers of disadvantaged families.

With schools closed to all but a small number of vulnerable and key worker children, the Department for Education is also supporting free online lessons to help parents now running their own classrooms.

It is promoting a series of 180 online lessons per week, for pupils from reception through to Year 10.

Nelson Infant and Wensum Junior School headteacher Victoria McConnell. Picture: Sonya DuncanNelson Infant and Wensum Junior School headteacher Victoria McConnell. Picture: Sonya Duncan

MORE: Norfolk experts hand-pick home teaching top tips to help parents

But Anna Catlin, assistant headteacher at Nelson Infant School, said the school community was unable to support some of the most vulnerable and deprived pupils.

She said: “With our schools closed, many children are continuing to access education via online learning platforms. Yet some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged families are unable to access these resources simply because they do not have access to an internet connection or device.

“The shocking truth is that we have identified 30 children in our schools alone who have never accessed our learning platform because they do not have the means.”

The school team have started a crowdfunding page to raise the £22,000 necessary to equip these students with the equipment and importantly the data capacity to allow them to continue learning.

Each child will receive a fully configured tablet delivered to their door with learning apps and search facilities pre-installed to get online immediately.

MORE: Nearly quarter of parents ‘have not done any home education’ amid lockdown

Ms Catlin added: “70% of our children have already been using the SeeSaw learning platform to learn at home since quarantine began. These 30 children have missed out on so much already.

“Each tablet will have a SIM preloaded with data, provided by a company called Jigsaw24, who ensure educational restrictions and filtering are in place.”

Headteacher Victoria McConnell said: “Without access to the internet many of these pupils are unable to learn in line with their peers and risk falling behind others and it seems unfair that once again these pupils will be held back because of situations outside of their control.”

The crowdfunding campaign can be found HERE


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