A social enterprise has been awarded a £50,000 grant to provide iPads to vulnerable children for remote learning in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Equal Education provides specialist tutoring programmes to help looked after children and children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reach their potential.
In response to concerns over access to technology devices and the widening of the attainment gap during school closures, Equal Education set up a Technology Supply Service to enable schools and Local Authorities to order iPads to be delivered to those who need them.
The grant is one of 800, provided by Innovate UK’s ‘Business-led innovation in response to global disruption fund.
Equal Education is working with Apple UK to secure the devices, pre-installing them with specialist protection software which limits distracting and dangerous websites or apps.
It will allow the social enterprise to build on its services as a provider of tuition and explore innovative ways of closing the digital divide and the educational attainment gap for vulnerable students.
Paul Singh, Equal Education co-founder and CEO, said:
We believe every young person should have access to the educational support they need to reach their potential. Access to technology plays a vital role in enabling young people to continue to learn. This grant will enable us to support schools and Local Authorities to provide vital access to the technology to vulnerable students.
Executive Chair, Innovate UK, Dr Ian Campbell, said:
Businesses from all over the UK have answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation. The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.