Online learning: Government sends internet devices for 1 in 20 students in Birmingham

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Birmingham has the highest number of internet devices sent out of all local authorities in England.

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Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Figures from the Department for Education revealed an estimated 9,294 devices were sent from the government to local authority and LA-run schools in Birmingham in the 2020/21 academic year.

Schools in Birmingham are being sent laptops and tablets for almost 1 in 20 students within its school student population.

Compared with other local authorities, Birmingham isn’t receiving the most laptops and tablets per pupil.

Camden in London is in first place with laptops and tablets being sent for more than 1 in 10 students in its school population while Birmingham is in 26th place.

Sandwell is above Birmingham for laptops and tablets received per pupil in 9th place, making it the highest ranked local authority in the West Midlands.

Laptops and tablets are being sent to schools in Sandwell for more than 1 in 20 students in its student population.

This comes after an unnamed school in Yardley was allocated 12 laptops in November 2020 to cover nearly 200 pupils over three year groups self-isolating over coronavirus.

Birmingham City Council conducted a survey where it received responses from 156 schools and found almost every school except one reporting that their students still required more devices.

Helen Slack, Headteacher of Twickenham Primary School in Kingstanding told Birmingham Live:

“I have had parents in tears on the phone to me, really worried and upset about whether their child is going to fall behind.

“I have teachers who spend every day ringing up families and trying to give support down the phone.”

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