Appeal provides laptops for online learning

And appeal for used laptops to help more children access online lessons, including those at a Shropshire primary school has saved approximately £100,000.

The North West Academies Trust said it has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people and businesses across Cheshire and Shropshire.

The trust includes Ellesmere Primary School as well as primary and secondary schools across Chester, Northwich and Winsford.

Chief executive officer, Steve Docking, said that more than 300 devices were donated during the initiative, along with £1,000 worth of free WiFi dongles.

He said: “It's been unbelievable really. What started with me sending out a couple of emails turned into a big effort involving many people who all wanted to lend a hand.

“In times of crises it's important we all come together, and that has certainly been the case with this. Education is so important and we couldn't stand back and allow children to miss lessons just because they did not have a laptop or tablet.

“The response we have received has been superb, and I'm so grateful to everyone who dug deep to help make a huge difference.

“Even after we covered all the children in the Trust we felt it important to help other schools in the area, and I'm delighted we have been able to do that.

“I think if we had paid to meet the shortfall, it would have cost in excess of £100,000 so this represents a huge saving which I'm very pleased with.”

To get all children involved, the NWAT union pledged to collect all donated devices, had them professionally wiped, and then distributed them where there was a need.

Members of staff at the schools, parents and governors all chipped in to help, and businesses in the area answered the call as the campaign gathered pace.

A number of donated devices did not function, but all were recycled and nothing was wasted, Mr Docking said.

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