Come and get them! Schools can sign up for Mail Force laptops from TODAY in further boost for locked down pupils
- Schools can today sign up for free laptops and data cards courtesy of Mail Force
- Head teachers can also request brand new laptops purchased with donations
- An additional 10,000 refurbished laptops donated by firms will also be available
Schools can today sign up for free laptops and data cards courtesy of Mail Force.
Invitations are open for vital kit to help pupils right across the UK.
The charity set up by the Daily Mail announced its three-pronged action plan last week after raising more than £10.7million in cash and computers to help disadvantaged lockdown pupils.
Thanks to a new partnership with Vodafone, schools can apply to benefit from 150,000 free SIM cards which will provide approximately 18million hours of online learning in total.
Schoolboy Dan Aslam (pictured) has his own laptop thanks to a Mail Force donation to Saint George’s Catholic College, Southampton
Head teachers can also request brand new laptops purchased with generous donations from Mail readers which have flooded in since the charity launched its campaign last month.
Donation ends Dan’s battle to do GCSE work
Dan Aslam does not have his own laptop so has been struggling to complete his GCSE work with a pen and paper plus his mobile.
The 15-year-old said: ‘I do it on my phone or I print out stuff. Essays aren’t easy to write on the phone but I write them by hand and photograph them. I have to send in assignments once a week.’ His family does have a laptop but he kindly lets his older sister and younger brother use it.
However, now Dan has his own device thanks to a Mail Force donation to Saint George’s Catholic College, Southampton. The charity gave seven tablets on top of 75 laptops from the Department for Education. Dan said: ‘Thank you, it will be a big help.’
An additional 10,000 refurbished laptops donated by firms will also be available, with thousands more to follow.
Schools with pupils most likely to be impacted by the ‘digital divide’ – which has seen children who cannot easily get online fall behind during the pandemic – will be prioritised.
One in four parents fear their children are struggling to complete online lessons and schoolwork because of poor internet connection, according to a recent YouGov survey. Some have no online access at all while many in deprived areas rely on a mobile phone using a costly ‘pay as you go’ tariff.
The Vodafone SIM cards being given away from today can be inserted into a mobile phone which then serves as a wi-fi hotspot for other nearby devices such as laptops and tablets.
Each SIM provides 30GB of free data – about 120 hours of live video lessons – and is set to see a pupil through about nine weeks of remote learning.
Vodafone already handed out 350,000 free SIM cards last year in its generous Schools Connected programme.
Now Mail Force is using some of the money donated by readers and philanthropists to extend the programme even further.
The new partnership with Mail Force means 500,000 pupils will be given the help they need to get online.
The move was welcomed by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who thanked ‘the Mail and great British businesses such as Vodafone who have really stepped up to the challenge’.
Vodafone and Mail Force have also been working with the Department for Education to support disadvantaged children. These efforts have seen a million devices delivered.
In another major step, Mail Force’s growing cache of laptops will be available for schools to request from this afternoon.
The charity has authorised buying more than 10,000 brand new machines.
Another 10,000 devices have been donated by companies and refurbished to make them suitable for remote learning. Schools can apply for free SIM cards at www.vodafone.co.uk/mailforce.
For computers, schools in England can apply through the Department for Education at https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/start. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we welcome applications from education authorities, multi-academy trusts or charities. Register at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk.
HOW TO DONATE TO COMPUTERS FOR KIDS
TO YOU, THE READER: How to send us donations
The Daily Mail has launched a brand new campaign, Computers For Kids, to raise money for Mail Force – a charity which aims to provide much needed school equipment and resources for pupils across the UK learning from home.
With schools closed, we are left with the dilemma of hundreds of thousands of pupils in the UK having no access to a computer in their home.
As part of this campaign, companies are donating their old laptops which, for around £15, can be wiped, professionally refurbished and made safe and fit for home schooling. They can then be delivered to a child or young person who needs one.
In addition, the campaign is looking to support children’s needs in other ways such as funding brand new laptops and tablets, and assisting with data access and connectivity for online learning. Any surplus funds will be used to support of the work of UK schools via other means.
TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE
Visit mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate and follow the steps to complete your donation.
Please don’t send us your old device.
TO COMPANIES: Could you give your old laptops?
Upgrading office computers is something all companies do from time to time – and there has never been a better time to donate old laptops. If you are a company with 50 laptops or more that you could give, please visit www.computacenter.com/daily-mail to check they are suitable and register your donation. We will arrange for collection by our specialist partners Computacenter. Please note: we cannot accept donated laptops from individuals.
COMPANIES SHOULD GO TO: computacenter.com/daily-mail
TO SCHOOLS: Where to apply for the computers
Schools must apply to the Department for Education, which is managing the demand and prioritising the schools most in need. The Mail Force initiative means more laptops will become available more quickly.
SCHOOLS CAN APPLY HERE: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk