Asda Bucknall has joined local business SecureCloud+ to donate 44 laptops and tech bundles to Stoke-on-Trent primary schools. Carmountside Primary in Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, is the latest primary school to receive tech equipment. This is following donations from SecureCloud+ in February to Grove Academy, Hanley St Luke’s and Maple Court Academy organised by local MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central Jo Gideon.
Asda, working with Dell Technologies, have donated 7000 laptops to schools across the UK. Working with their partner primary school, Carmountside Primary, Asda Bucknall has donated 10 laptop bundles as part of the effort. Each bundle contains a laptop, headset, and dongle pre-loaded with data to allow internet access. The shipment is due to be delivered later this month.
According to Ofcom, around 9% of children in the UK do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. Jo Gideon MP has previously spoken out about this issue and how digital infrastructure must fit into the levelling-up agenda.
Asda Headquarters contacted local MP Jo Gideon to inform them of the project who said: “This is wonderful news for the pupils and staff of the schools who have received this tech equipment. With schools switching to remote learning for much of the past year, this has increased the risk of children from poorer backgrounds falling behind their peers’ learning if they cannot use a laptop or computer at home. Well done to Asda for providing 10 laptops and data bundles to Carmountside Primary in Stoke-on-Trent.”
Lisa Challinor, Headteacher of Carmountside Primary Academy said: “We are hugely grateful to the Asda Foundation for their generous donation of a number of laptop packages which allow our pupils to learn remotely if unable to come into school. Lockdowns have made teaching more challenging than ever, and it is a sad reality that a number of families do not have access to the IT at home which would facilitate remote learning.
These laptops and dongles will allow our children to continue studying from home, even if they do not have family computers or strong enough internet access. I congratulate Asda for their recognition of how digital exclusion can hamper children’s progress in education, and am very grateful for the proactive steps they are taking to counter this.”
Joanne Marshall, Senior Director for the Midlands at Asda, said: “Digital exclusion will remain a long-term problem for many children and schools across the UK. We are pleased to play a small part in helping to break down these digital barriers to support learning activities both inside and outside the classroom for Carmountside Primary.”