Posted on: Wednesday 3 June 2020
In April, as part of the Welsh Government continuity of learning plan, Welsh Government wrote out to Directors of Education in Wales to explore the position of digitally excluded learners and identify possible solutions available to support these learners during the response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Working alongside the Shared Resource Service (Torfaen’s IT provider), schools across the borough identified 1400 pupils who were most at risk of becoming digitally excluded whilst staying home during the lockdown period.
A digitally excluded learner has been defined as ‘a learner who does not have access to an appropriate internet connected device to engage in online learning activities from home.’
In what has been a fairly quick turnaround, the Shared Resource Centre were tasked with upgrading around 1400 school laptops which will now be made available for parents to collect from their child’s school.
To assist with this, Welsh Government procured MiFi devices which enables a wifi connection at home for pupils who have no access to the internet.
Digitally excluded learners are now be able to continue with their online school work at home, ensuring they do not get left behind.
Executive Member for Education, Councillor Richard Clark said, ‘This is an outstanding achievement from all involved in such a short space of time.
It is hoped that this will have a really positive impact on the mindset and abilities of these young learners and it will ensure that pupils have greater online access to teachers, Hwb and other online learning materials at home.’