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BAE Systems donates laptops to South Cumbria schools

BAE Systems has donated 170 laptop computers to secondary schools in South Cumbria for use by GCSE pupils.

The move - made possible because computers were being upgraded at the Barrow shipyard – supports a Department for Education scheme that was being rolled out across the county.

Some pupils were ineligible for the government-funded computers and faced being left out.

Janet Garner, Head of HR and Skills at BAE Systems Submarines, said: "This forms part of our larger community response to Covid-19. We were originally approached by Furness Academy in Barrow as although they had government funding available to provide some students with laptops they still had a shortfall of 41 laptops for Year 10 students without IT access.

"One of our key aims of our Education and Skills engagement locally is to raise aspirations. It came to our attention that during lockdown there were a number of students locally being educated at home with no access to IT equipment. That put them at a disadvantage and we wanted to help bridge the gap."

Helen Robinson, Deputy Head at Furness Academy, said: "We are incredibly grateful to BAE Systems for their laptop donation which supplemented the DfE Laptop scheme. We had a quite significant number of students, particularly those who are classed as disadvantaged, who were not eligible for laptops under the DfE scheme. This put these students at a large disadvantage, in an already difficult situation.

"Thankfully, BAE Systems were able to help us provide devices to all those students who required them, which meant home learning could continue for all students with minimal loss of learning time."

The company quickly identified a similar need for laptops at other schools in South Cumbria. A further 131 laptops have now been donated to GCSE students in Barrow and the surrounding area.

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