Hundreds of IT devices donated to London schools by TfL

The scheme sees laptops and other hardware no longer needed by Transport for London given away to schools across the capital

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Transport for London (TfL) has now donated more than 800 IT devices to schools across the capital including laptops, iPads and computers as part of a scheme launched during the pandemic.

The ‘Devices for Schools’ programme started in 2020 to initially help schools that were lacking devices to connect to students and teach them remotely, including the sharing of online learning materials. Four years on, 38 London schools, including five special educational needs schools, have benefitted from greater access to digital learning and have been reusing like-new, reprogrammed laptops, iPads and desktop computers with keyboards and mice.

The equipment is providing a “major boost” to schools when budgets are tight, removing the pressure to buy costly new devices. By donating these devices to schools in need, it extends the life of devices that would otherwise be sent off to have their parts separated for recycling or disposal.

This initiative means TfL’s hardware and resources are being used more sustainably, minimising waste, raw material use, energy and carbon emissions.

Volunteers from TfL decommission older and out-of-use IT devices following standard security audits and checks to see that they are in good condition. The volunteers then prepare these devices for school learning before delivering them in person to schools.

Evren Altinok from Enfield, who came up with this idea and leads the group of volunteers at TfL, said: “Everything is done in house and people who volunteer for this have gone above and beyond their day-to-day roles to distribute more than 800 laptops, computers and iPads since 2020.

“We’re pleased to be providing young Londoners with access to the right tools for their digital and technology learning and adding new ways they can learn in classrooms. We are excited to see this initiative growing as we do our part to be more sustainable with our materials and resources while helping teachers, parents and the wider community overcome barriers to digital inclusion.”

Active engagement and support from staff members, local businesses and communities at grassroots level has helped to develop and widen the programme, with more schools to be added over the next few months.

Jade-Simone Bacon, headteacher at St Michael’s CE Primary School in Enfield, said: “We received a generous donation of laptops and iPads for Transport for London. These devices will significantly enhance our educational environment by upgrading our class teachers’ laptops, ensuring they have the necessary tools to deliver high-quality instruction.

“As a school that prioritises spending on children’s resources, this donation allows us to better support our teachers and, in turn, our students. Additionally, these devices will be invaluable for those leading early morning interventions for our disadvantaged children, helping to bridge the educational gap and provide equal opportunities for all.”

Theo Blackwell MBE, chief digital officer at the Greater London Authority (GLA), added: “The mayor is committed to improving digital access for Londoners. This includes training in basic digital skills, free SIMs and access to a refurbished laptop or mobile device if needed as part of the mayor’s ‘Get Online London’ programme with Good Things Foundation.

“More than 65,000 Londoners have already been helped and TfL’s contribution will provide a further boost by donating end-of-business-life laptops to support hundreds of schoolchildren.”

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