The scheme began during the pandemic and is facilitated by us as part of our Council Plan commitment to ensure children and young people who need them have access to a device for their learning.
Officers from our children’s services department have worked closely with the DfE, local schools, academies, and colleges, as well as wider council departments to ensure thousands of local children have benefitted from access to a digital device.
We facilitated the roll out of more than 2500 devices to care leavers, children with a social worker and year 10 pupils.
The scheme had such a positive impact that our officers are continuing to redistribute under-utilised devices to ensure that those children most in need of a laptop have access to one. More recently, officers have transferred ownership of scheme devices to schools across Derbyshire who are often best placed to identify pupils who may need a device.
Through a national Department for Education programme, more than 500 children and young people in Derbyshire were also provided with free internet access during the pandemic.
Our Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Alex Dale, said:
“I’m really pleased to be able to note the success of our digital device’s schemes. Our officers have been working closely with local partners, as a great example of partnership working, to ensure that students continue to have access to the equipment they need to engage with their school and other services.
“Over the last few years, we’ve facilitated access to more than 11,000 laptops and supported the provision of free internet to more than 500 local children and young people. Delivering this scheme is integral to the Council Plan and I’d like to extend my thanks to officers and partners for working so hard throughout the pandemic and beyond to make it a success. The scheme, which began as a necessity during 2020, is continuing to bring huge benefits and access to Derbyshire students.
“We’re committed to ensuring children and young people in Derbyshire have the best start in life and we’ll continue to work closely with schools and partners to ensure local pupils have access to the devices they need.”