Asda Middleton laptop delivery for Rodillian Academy to help tackle digital exclusion

A surprise delivery of laptops was made to a secondary school as part of a supermarket's drive to help tackle digital exclusion.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:52 am

Leeds-based retail giant Asda recently formed a partnership with technology provider Dell to invest more than £2m so that every one of its stores in the UK could donate at least 10 laptops to a school in need in their local community.

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Although children have now returned to the classrooms, there is still a need for technology to support education activities inside the classroom, homework tasks, periods of Covid isolation, learning during the school holidays and to help schools to future proof their home learning capabilities.

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Asda Middleton has delivered 10 laptops to Rodillian Academy as part of a nationwide initiative to tackle digital exclusion.

Rachel Cunningham, community champion at Asda Middleton nominated nearby school Rodillian Academy as it has families struggling to access technology.

She then arranged a surprise delivery of 10 laptops, each of which comes with a tech bundle to support ongoing home learning activities.

"I have a really close relationship with Rodillian Academy and I know what a massive difference this donation of laptops is going to make to the school," she said.

"I’m proud that Asda can help to play a small part in helping to break down the digital barriers so the children can continue their education remotely both now and in the future.”

According to Ofcom, around nine per cent of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. These children are primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and at risk of falling further behind with their education.

Asda is funding more than 7,000 laptops, complete with a tech bundle that includes a headset and a mobile internet dongle with a data allowance of 20gb from Asda’s network partner Vodafone.

The dongle and data allowance has been funded by a separate £500,000 contribution from the retailer’s charity arm, The Asda Foundation. Laptops will also include a one-year warranty and technical support.

Each school will manage the distribution to priority pupils, and Asda’s in-house IT support team will also provide support to any school that needs help to set up the equipment.

Mr Paul, Head of Year 10 at Rodillian, said: "It was such a surprise, and we can’t thank Asda enough for choosing our school to receive these laptops.

"This donation will go a long way in helping children gain access to the technology and data packages that will help to break down some of the digital barriers that exist.”

During the Autumn 2020 term, the Asda Foundation also awarded more £500,000 to hundreds of schools to ensure children could get back into the classroom. This included providing grants for everything from stationery to school uniform banks, breakfast clubs and more, to ensure no child felt excluded due to financial limitations.

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