Recycled computers to boost Norwich schools

A city council initiative will see Raspberry Pi computers distributed to Norwich schools.

A city council initiative will see Raspberry Pi computers distributed to Norwich schools. - Credit: PA

A pioneering project will see hundreds of old council computers refurbished and sold so that tiny machines can be bought to teach computer studies in Norwich's schools.

Norwich City Council is in the process of replacing some 800 computers at City Hall – a whopping 9.7 tonnes of electronic kit – with a new system.

But the technology will not be wasted, because the council has sent more than 500 of them to a company in Battersea, London, to wipe all the data and refurbish them.

They will then be sold and the money used to buy credit-card sized single-board computers, known as Rapsberry Pi, which the city's schools will use to get youngsters interested in technology and programming.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: 'The idea is that we will start distributing them to city schools in the new academic year.'

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Other equipment, such as keyboards and mice will also be distributed to Norwich's schools.

And, even before a single Raspberry Pi has been received by a school, the project has been picked as a finalist in a national awards scheme.

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The iESE Improvement and Efficiency Awards have been set up to honour public service teams who work behind the scenes to keep much relied on services going in the face of severe financial pressures.

The city council has been shortlisted in the transformation in waste and environment category for the Raspberry Pi project and in the council of the year category.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'With more than 150 applicants overall for this year's awards, the city council has already done incredibly well to get shortlisted in two different categories.

'These awards provide further recognition of how far we've come as an organisation and are a reflection of all the hard work of members and officers to deliver so effectively for the city and its residents.

'We very much look forward to the awards ceremony on March 4.'

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