A Basildon company and soon to be registered charity, Every Child Online aims to ensure all children have the correct equipment to be able to learn from home.
The council’s donation of over 100 laptops and other electrical devices will be distributed through local schools, exclusively to children in the Basildon borough without a device to use at home.
The Leader of Basildon Council, Councillor Gavin Callaghan, said: “The pandemic has highlighted that many children don’t have access to equipment to be able to learn from home. And just 47% of state schools are able to supply half of their pupils with laptops.
“Even with kids going back to school, this is still a significant issue. As laptops allow a student to research for homework, revise for any exams, and complete assignments. There’s also the social aspect of staying in touch with friends, and just not having to feel disadvantaged compared to their peers. This is a great scheme ran by Every Child Online and it’s something we will continue to support going forwards too.
“This is on top of our own digital initiatives, such as our Digital Inclusion Policy that was passed in January 2021, and we’ve also secured digital connectivity funding through the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) for the rollout of 4 and 5G in the borough. Both of these will give some of the borough’s most disadvantaged residents access to digital technology, to allow them to connect to the world and help them achieve their potential.”
Chairman of the Economic Development and Recovery Committee, Councillor Aidan McGurran, added: “Giving these laptops to children in our borough not only improves their educational attainment, but it also improves their mental wellbeing too. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to support Every Child Online in the pursuit to alleviate digital poverty.”
Co-Founder of Every Child Online, Mike Tabard, added: “With the backing of Basildon Council, their ongoing donations of preloved computer equipment and commitment to supporting our charity’s growth, Every Child Online will be able to support every school in the borough in future.
“It is vital to address the issue of digital isolation, not just for our children’s education, well-being, and mental health, but for everyone in our community that feels alone and disconnected from the world. Providing computer equipment and training can only benefit an individual who wants more from life.”