Torfaen and Monmouthshire schools to get 2,400 laptops in storage

South Wales Argus: Pupils to get 2,400 laptops in storage Pupils to get 2,400 laptops in storage

THE surplus 2,400 laptops, which have been in storage for over a year, and network equipment totalling almost £1.8 million, will now be distributed to Torfaen and Monmouthshire schools.

The Welsh Government’s department for education and skills has given Torfaen and Monmouthshire councils formal notification that the laptops purchased for the iLearnWales digital learning project can be rolled out for use in Torfaen and Monmouthshire schools.

Following negotiation, the Welsh Government has approved the extension of the programme to include learners at Key Stages 2 and 3 and has stipulated that all equipment has to be distributed as soon as possible and no later than March 31.

Torfaen council said the surplus laptops were purchased for Newport pupils, but Newport council later withdrew from the project.

Torfaen’s executive member for children and young people, Councillor Mary Barnett, said: "The news that the Welsh Government has taken this ‘in principle’ decision is fantastic for pupils in Torfaen and Monmouthshire.

"This is a pragmatic solution for all concerned and a real bonus for our schools and pupils."

The iLearnWales programme is now operating in every secondary school in Torfaen and Monmouthshire, allowing pupils and teachers to access coursework and classroom materials online.

Cllr Barnett added: "This equipment was purchased to improve the education of young people so we are very grateful that the Welsh Government has approved that nearly £2 million of extra equipment will be put to good use in our schools."

Torfaen council purchased 8,642 laptops in March 2011 and 6,218 of those have already been deployed to schools in Torfaen and Monmouthshire for pupils aged 14 to 16 and their teachers, as part of a Welsh Government-backed scheme worth more than £11 million.

The remaining 2,424 HP laptops have been sitting in storage and their warranty has now expired but the council say they are still fit for purpose.

Comments (7)

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7:45pm Fri 11 Jan 13

kojaks_lovechild says...

Can you imagine the amount of software updates the kids are going to have to accept when they first turn them on!
Can you imagine the amount of software updates the kids are going to have to accept when they first turn them on! kojaks_lovechild

7:49pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Bobevans says...

How an earth can they waste £2M ans no one is held to account? Money is tight and this in my view is criminal waste. Is seems like so many things to have been just swept under the carpet
How an earth can they waste £2M ans no one is held to account? Money is tight and this in my view is criminal waste. Is seems like so many things to have been just swept under the carpet Bobevans

8:54pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Alessi says...

Did our schools really need another 2424 laptops or is this a nice polite way of covering up the waste of another £2 million pounds or so.
When I was working if I had spend £2 million on equipment that we didnt really need and then dished it out just to get rid of it I would have been sacked on the spot. On 2nd thoughts I could not have spent this money on equipment that was not needed, there would have been too many checks in place to stop this from happening. Thats the difference between private business and public authorities - there is no accountability.
Did our schools really need another 2424 laptops or is this a nice polite way of covering up the waste of another £2 million pounds or so. When I was working if I had spend £2 million on equipment that we didnt really need and then dished it out just to get rid of it I would have been sacked on the spot. On 2nd thoughts I could not have spent this money on equipment that was not needed, there would have been too many checks in place to stop this from happening. Thats the difference between private business and public authorities - there is no accountability. Alessi

8:58pm Fri 11 Jan 13

kojaks_lovechild says...

i have a cheaper alternative its called pen and paper!
i have a cheaper alternative its called pen and paper! kojaks_lovechild

10:08am Sat 12 Jan 13

scraptheWAG says...

You should know that nobody in the public sector is ever sacked or made redundant
You should know that nobody in the public sector is ever sacked or made redundant scraptheWAG

2:13pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Mr Bump. says...

I do believe that there is some weight to the Newport council agreeing to buy these computers story. I was told by my kids teachers that there were plans for all pupils to be given a laptop, this hasn't happened, but the teachers obviously thought it was going to happen so must have been given this information from somewhere. Still what can you expect from that awful Tory lead coalition we had to endure.
I do believe that there is some weight to the Newport council agreeing to buy these computers story. I was told by my kids teachers that there were plans for all pupils to be given a laptop, this hasn't happened, but the teachers obviously thought it was going to happen so must have been given this information from somewhere. Still what can you expect from that awful Tory lead coalition we had to endure. Mr Bump.

12:13am Sun 13 Jan 13

displayed says...

"2,400 laptops, which have been in storage for over a year"

So y were they sittin on em for so long!
Must b an election coming up soon!
"2,400 laptops, which have been in storage for over a year" So y were they sittin on em for so long! Must b an election coming up soon! displayed

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