THE councillor in charge of education on the Isle of Wight Council has rebutted claims only 400 laptops have been given out to Island children.

Cllr Julie Jones Evans told a council scrutiny meeting she was concerned the number was not enough to meet the needs of 7,000 children deemed to be in poverty on the Island.

But the council's cabinet member for education, Cllr Paul Brading, said the number of laptops handed out and in the process of being given out is almost quadruple that.

Read more: Council questioned over what it is doing to help children who do not have access to online learning

He said: "We as a council have been working very closely with our schools to develop programmes to help learners respond to the challenges of school lockdown.

"Since the start of the summer term, the council has distributed more than 800 laptops to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people on the Island, as well as providing internet access to pupils who need it most.

"The Department for Education (DfE) has now allocated a further 780 laptops for Island pupils which will be distributed very shortly, helping to ensure students have access to high-quality remote education during the current pandemic.”

The DfE has been providing laptops and tablets to schools to help access remote education and providing an internet connection to disadvantaged children who need it.

Families should contact their schools if help is needed.

To aid parents who are providing online learning via their mobile phones, networks including Three, Tesco Mobile, EE, Virgin Mobile, O2 and Sky Mobile are offering schemes to temporarily increase data allowances for those who do not have home broadband.

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