Luton Learning Link
Digital exclusion negatively impacts on a child’s access to education and can lead to social isolation, loneliness and anxiety.
The Digital Divide
Luton Learning Link has been set up to give young people access to the technology they need for learning.
In Luton, 46% of young people live in poverty. Poverty means young people do not have all the equipment they need to learn from home, including a digital device and WiFi. The government scheme to provide digital access will only supply devices to Year 10 students (14 – 15 year olds) who are entitled to a free school meal and children with social workers. There is no provision for students in other year groups, or young people who live in poverty but do not get a free school meal. Looking at the latest government strategy, it is unlikely that High Schools will return before September. Although schools are doing their best to provide paper based learning, if a young person does not have digital access, it is much harder for them to participate fully and their experience of learning is greatly impoverished.
Even if schools do reconvene in the next few months, the COVID crisis has highlighted the injustice of the digital divide – a divide between those who have access and those who don’t. Opportunities to develop skills and access education for children and young people are increasingly digital by default. Without a device to work on at home, young people fall behind in their studies and miss out on developing key skills when compared to their peers. This causes young people to worry because they know that they do not have what they need to fully participate in their studies, leaving them to feel more uncertain than ever about their future.
What do we want to do?
We want to provide 250 devices to school students who are not eligible to receive one from the government scheme, but are in real need
How can you help us?
We need your unused devices! Do you have a cupboard where old technology is gathering dust? We want to get in there!
Who will get the devices?
Devices will be re-purposed by schools to ensure they are safe and uploaded with the software young people need to get learning.
Bridging the Digital Divide
We want to provide 250 devices to school students who are not eligible to receive one from the government scheme, but are in real need – giving them a chance to fully participate in learning too. We plan to do this by collecting donations of second hand devices from local businesses and the community. Devices will be re-purposed by schools to ensure they are safe and uploaded with the software young people need to get learning.
Who do we give computers too?
Any school student who does not have a computer to learn on at home because they cannot afford one. Students may not be able to afford one for a variety of reasons. It is up to the referring school to assess if the pupil is in need. Pupils you refer maybe those in receipt of pupil premium funding, or those whose family circumstances you are aware of.
We will not be able to provide support to every student who needs it. We therefore need to ask a series of questions to ensure the devices get to those most in need.
Who can complete this form?
You are eligible to complete this application if you are one of the following:
- a member of school staff,
- an Educational Welfare Officer,
- those asked to directly by BLL.
If you need a device but are not eligible to apply yourself, please contact your school or email@example.com.
Completing the form
The form requires you to
- gather information from the parent/carer of the student the device is being requested for,
- tell us about how your school has already providing technology for children to learn with at home.
We also require you to gain authorisation from a senior member of school staff for each application you submit.
The form is not long, but it cannot be saved while it is being filled in. We suggest you have a look through the form prior to completion to make sure you have gathered all the information required.
If you have any problems while completing it or have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Applications submitted by the 19th of January will receive a decision by the 22nd of January
- Application submitted by the 26th of January will receive a decision by the 29th of January
- Applications submitted by the 2nd of February will receive a decision by the 6th of February.
There is a national supply shortage of devices. We are doing our very best to procure as many as possible and will get these out as soon after the decision date as we can.
How can you help?
We need your unused devices! Do you have a cupboard where unused technology is gathering dust? We want to get in there!
We are specifically looking for:
• Desktop computers
Devices should be:
• Complete with charger/power cables (as applicable)
• Less than 5 years old
• Have no physical damage
• Reset to factory settings and free from any donor data
Think you’ve got what we need?
Please contact us using the form and let us know how you can help!
This is an emergency so we need your help soon. Please act fast and get devices to us by the end of May.
Who are we?
Luton Learning Link has been put together by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and a group of organisations from Luton including Luton Borough Council Education Service, Luton Sunni Council of Mosques, Luton Council of Mosques and Level Trust.