Computer firm Genmar steps in to process more laptops for Stortford school
The headteacher of a Bishop's Stortford primary school spoke of her joy after receiving laptops for home-schooling students through a scheme backed by the Indie.
Helen Smith, head of Manor Fields on Thorley Park, said the news that eight devices were heading her way courtesy of Stortford IT firm Genmar was "just brilliant", and she praised the efforts of local firms which have launched initiatives to help families struggling with home schooling.
"This donation makes such a difference," said Mrs Smith. She added that 14 families had reached out to the school for help and the donation from Genmar, based at The Links Business Centre on the Raynham Road industrial estate, added to 15 laptops supplied by London Road tech company ITVET, meant they were all catered for.
The Government launched a Get Help With Technology scheme last year and it was announced that 750,000 had been sent out to schools so far. However, Mrs Smith revealed Manor Fields had received only one laptop through the scheme, but had applied for more when the portal reopened last month.
Despite the low number of devices supplied by the Government, Mrs Smith was keen to laud the efforts of the community. "It's just so incredibly welcome," she said. "It brings out the best in the community."
She told the Indie that compared to the first lockdown, there was a big increase in pupils attending schools as the criteria for keyworkers' children had been broadened. She now had 100 students out of the 400 school role in class.
"Everything is a balancing act," she said. "My teaching team are wonderful and thankfully we don't have anyone who is unwell."
Mrs Smith said they had to balance who was teaching the remote students and those in class. She added the school was being very strict with bubbles for pupils and teachers.