PUPILS at two Newport primary schools have been celebrating the launch of an innovative new campaign designed to help youngsters who do not have access to IT equipment.

The new pilot scheme will initially help students at the city’s Maindee Primary School and Lliswerry Primary School.

The aim is to raise enough money to obtain IT equipment for children’s home learning, or to recycle people’s old laptops so that they can be redistributed to those pupils in need.

Access to IT, or a lack of it, has been an issue for many schoolchildren since the pandemic arrived in the UK, both during the first lockdown in the spring, and since classes resumed in September, only to be regularly interrupted for many by a need to self isolate due to new cases among children and/or teachers.

During lockdown both Maindee and Lliswerry schools have had to introduce more home learning and they have discovered that a worrying number of pupils do not have sufficient access to the internet.

It was found that almost half of the pupils at Maindee Primary School do not have sufficient IT provision, while the same was true for more than a quarter of those attending Lliswerry.


Maggie Bain, a trustee at Maindee Unlimited, the community group involved in the scheme, said: “It is so important that they have access to this equipment.

“It is a pilot scheme at the moment with a focus on these two schools.

“But if it is successful then we would like to spread it wider because this is a national problem, and it is certainly a problem right across Newport as well.”

Pupils at both schools celebrated the launch by reciting a poem.

Lisa Peterson, deputy head at Lliswerry Primary School, added: “This is going to be a massive help to the schools and to the children.

“When lockdown started most of our learning was put online but we found that a number of the children were not able to access it.

“This sort of project is really important because we are still going to be looking at that sort of learning moving forward.

“Parents want to be involved in their children’s learning, which this sort of approach allows.

“It also means children can reinforce what they have been learning and can get a head start on what they are about to learn.

“That will still be true after the coronavirus.”