More Liverpool children #GetConnected

Almost 600 children and young people in Liverpool are being supported to #GetConnected thanks to a partnership between Liverpool City Council and London Grid for Learning.

The council has partnered with LGfL since 2016 to provide broadband to 73 of the city’s schools and now the council has received 590 brand new Chromebooks from LGfL to distribute to schools.

The donation is being made under LGfL’s Let’s Bridge the Divide initiative and it further supports the council’s post-pandemic #GetConnected pledge  that gave 1,300 fully funded broadband connections to eligible families.

The Liverpool schools that receive internet services through LGfL were invited to apply for the Chromebooks to support online learning for pupils, especially those from families who had 4G access through the #GetConnected initiative.

To be eligible for #GetConnected, families needed to be in receipt of income-related free school meals.

Twenty-one schools applied for the devices and all received their allocation last week, with primaries, secondaries and special schools all represented.

#GetConnected was awarded “Best Digital Inclusion Initiative” at the annual Socitm Presidents Awards  in June with MiFi connections supplied through a partnership with O2.

Tom Logan, cabinet member for education and skills and #GetConnected lead, said, “We’re really grateful to London Grid for Learning for their donation of 590 Chromebooks.

“Like many local authorities, the importance of bridging the digital divide particularly for school children was underlined during the pandemic, not just making sure that they were able to get online but also had a laptop or tablet they could easily work on.

“Working in partnership with organisations like LGfL means that our ambition of getting all school pupils digitally connected starts to become a reality and these devices are a great example of the council working hard with our suppliers to obtain social value for our residents.”

John Jackson, chief executive of London Grid for Learning, said, “LGfL is proud to support Liverpool Council #BridgeTheDivide and deliver better outcomes for children and families.

“This is a long-term partnership and together we’ve also built one of the country’s fastest and most secure fibre networks for education in the UK. As a result, children will not only have great devices for those most in need, the children will also have a brilliant and safe online experience.  Well done and thank you for the opportunity to support this wonderful city.”

Gill Murphy, head teacher of St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Toxteth, said, “This will really make a difference to our school. The means we have a set of Chromebooks for another class and they can use them every day within the classroom to support their learning. This will also help staff as they’ll be able to enhance their classroom provision for children and they will be able to easily set digital tasks for the children.

“Children will also be able to have a Chromebook if they are ill or isolating at home so they can log on and access learning that has been set in the classroom.”

Image: Gill Murphy, head teacher of St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Toxteth, left, and Megan Hanford, business manager, Rice Lane Primary School, collect their schools’ Chromebooks.  © Liverpool City Council

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