How can I get a free government-issued laptop/tablet?
Families who are eligible for the Free School Meals benefit are potentially considered to be high on the priority list by the government to receive electronic devices and extra support where possible. Families who have successfully applied for the Free School Meals benefit are now under consideration for these electronic devices, which the school has applied for and now has received its first set of laptops. There is obviously no guarantee that every child on FSMs will receive a laptop/tablet but it is important to give the authorities all the information they need to make their decisions.
My child gets their dinner free at school meal so why am I not part of this scheme?
Now the government has made all Reception and Key Stage 1 children able to have a meal for free at school, parents/carers have not always been applying for the Free Schools Meals benefit and so although their child gets their meal for free at lunchtime, they are now not considered to be in need of extra government support when it arises. To rectify this, parents/carers who can apply for Free School Meals should do.
How does Free Schools Meals benefit my child and the school?
Families who have been successful in their registration for Free School Meals essentially allow the government and local authority know that when support is available, they wish to be considered for it. Also, the more children that are signed up for this, the more funding the school receives, which is always spent on the children’s school experience.
Why have some children received iPads?
A select group of children have indeed received iPads as part of the government’s efforts to allow as many children as possible to access online learning. The initial set of iPads that were distributed, were children who had been in a previous isolation (Years 1, 3 & 5) and therefore year-groups outside of this never qualified for the scheme. Under instruction from the DfE, the local authority used their eligibility checks to assign these iPads to children under their criteria. Therefore, please be advised that there are no more iPads available from this batch.
Can I request a laptop from the school?
As all the information above lays out, it is imperative that if you are eligible for Free School Meals that you register. If you are not sure whether you qualify, click here to go to the information page and check to see if you are. It is always a good idea to inform the school of your situation as we pride ourselves in knowing our families and their needs but be aware that the school does not have laptops to give out freely to anyone who requests one.
I don’t have the internet, what can I do?
As with the laptops/tablets, the school applies for government-issued internet dongles. We are still waiting to hear back from the relevant parties involved in this process and parents will be updated as soon as we know.
Am I required to take an assigned device?
No. Some families feel that they already have the required devices to access Remote Learning and therefore have offered their devices for recycling in order to help others who are in need. We thank these families for considering their community.
Will the school be applying for more devices/internet dongles?
Yes. Every time the government offers us the chance to apply for anything that would benefit our families we always do it promptly.