Students are to get remote education until at least mid-Feburary under the current lockdown for England, except vulnerable children and those of key workers

The government has been criticized for an "incomplete" attempt Laptops for students who need them at home than school Executives have concerns about the quality of laptops and the waiting times for them.

A headmaster told The independent one Since England's new lockdown, he hasn't been allowed to order a single laptop for his school. The online system told him that he would be able to "as soon as possible".

Others have suggested that those who arrived weren't up to the task. One headmaster said they didn't seem permanent enough.

A Government scheme has shipped laptops to schools to support students studying from home, including those who self-isolate from lockdown and now those who have online classes under lockdown.

Headmasters said however The independent one They were still waiting to get government laptops more than a week after England's new lockdown.

Stuart Guest, a principal at Birmingham Elementary School, said the DfE had told him they would be in touch if he could order more equipment by Jan. 13.

"I checked every day as we all checked out our current devices – more than 100 – and they are very old devices that don't really work properly," he said The independent one.

On January 13th, the portal announced that he would find out "as soon as possible" when he could order new devices.

"I feel once again disappointed with promises that have not been kept," said the principal of Colebourne Primary School The independent one. "We are expected to provide school places for children without devices, and yet the extra devices we are promised do not arrive in time."

Instead, his school ordered 300 new devices from elsewhere, using government funds, its own budget, and donations.

Michael Tidd, a school principal in Sussex, said The independent one His school was allowed to place their order for government laptops on Monday afternoon – almost exactly a week after England was locked.

Meanwhile, his school obtained laptops from donations that reached most of the students without a device. The Department of Education (DfE) laptops would be useful to "fill in the other gaps," especially children whose older siblings tend to dominate devices at home, he said.

Another headmaster in the West Midlands related The independent one She was still waiting for the delivery of around 50 devices that had been ordered in mid-December.

Julie McCulloch of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said: “Schools were told some time ago that they would be assigned a set of laptops, but there have been some delays in getting those awards in place. As far as we understand, this should be resolved shortly. "

She added: "However, we are still unsure if this will actually meet existing needs as it appears that the government has never really got a grip on how many children do not have access to devices or do not have adequate internet connections . ”

Ofcom estimates that between 1.14 million and 1.78 million children in the UK do not have home access to a laptop, desktop or tablet.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education (DfE) announced that 700,000 laptops had already been shipped to schools – which would increase to 750,000 by the end of the week – and the "vast majority" of secondary schools had received devices.

Schools are assigned laptops based on the number of children eligible for free school meals, which they can then distribute as needed. The independent one understands that schools can request additional equipment if they need more than their original allocation.

On Tuesday, the DfE announced it would purchase 300,000 more laptops and tablets to replenish the allocations and bring the total number of laptops purchased to support remote learning to 1.3 million. "It was an incredible team effort to secure this number of devices despite global demand and logistical challenges during the pandemic," tweeted Gavin Williamson, the education secretary.

Paul Whiteman of the NAHT school principals union, however, said the government's attempts to get devices to all students who need them are "still incomplete."

"The government needs to go beyond its boast about the number of laptops shipped so far," he said. “Of greater concern for students and schools is the speed with which the government can meet the needs of the 1.8 million children in the UK who Ofcom estimates do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.

"From our point of view, they were miserably disappointed."

Anthony Rushworth, principal at Bicester School, said The independent one There were still "a number of students" without laptops and technology, and "many others" who shared with siblings and parents.

He said he received 38 government devices and has been waiting for 50 more. Student-premium students "desperately need them so they can attend live classes," rather than the work that is packaged and sent home, Rushworth said.

Meanwhile, Moomin Humayun, a school principal in Luton, has received more than 200 laptops, which is the full assignment of his school. "The problem is there are many families who may not officially fall into the disadvantaged category but still need access to equipment," he said The independent one.

The Stockwood Park Academy director said there was "growing" requests for at least an additional 30 machines and sixth graders who were not eligible for the program, which only covers disadvantaged students in grades 3-11.

A teacher told The independent one She teaches college students who receive lessons on their phones.

Jude Enright, a headmistress in London, said she received around 100 devices from the DfE for her school with more than 1,000 students – but was "certain there will be more children" who will eventually need a device.

She said financially troubled households could see their current devices breaking, and she is also concerned about the quality of government laptops – she said they were "lightweight" devices that lacked the durability required for teenagers.

"I'll say 108 is not enough to meet the needs of our school community," said the Queens Park Community School principal The independent one.

She added, "We sure think we could have had much better quality if we had the money to buy laptops."

Ian McNeilly, the manager of a multiacademy trust in Staffordshire and Derbyshire, said the laptops on offer were "very basic". "Once an operating system is installed, they have very little capacity," he said The independent one.

An academy trust leader has suggested that students turn to game consoles after claiming government-provided laptops are not good enough Yorkshire Post.

Another headmaster tweeted that the incoming laptops did not have a sound driver installed, which meant that the students "couldn't hear or see their distance learning."

Ms. McCulloch, ASCL's policy director, said the union was "concerned" over hearing reports of problems with government-provided laptops on social media.

"Anecdotally, the feedback seems to be that the laptops deployed during the crisis were generally of good quality, although they need to be set up prior to distribution," she said.

The independent one The DfE provides laptops and tablets for schools that meet defined minimum and technical specifications and standards.

The DfE was asked to comment.

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