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Northern Ireland to distribute digital devices to deprived schoolchildren


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Michel McIlveen with schoolchildren
Image source: Michelle McIlveen with schoolchildren. Pic from Northern Ireland Executive, Open Government Licence v3.0

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a £1 million investment in digital devices to support children’s learning.

Around 4,000 devices – including Chromebooks, Microsoft Surface SEs and iPads – will be provided to children in need in primary, secondary and special schools along with EOTAS (education other than at school) centres during the autumn.

This will be the first phase of a scheme, managed by the Education Authority, to provide over 16,000 devices to nearly 450 schools by 2026.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “I am confident this £1 million investment in digital devices will provide enhanced learning and support for those pupils who need it most.

“The new devices are being offered to schools in phases, starting with schools with the highest percentage of free school meals. The devices will support learning in the classroom as well as home use where appropriate.”

Key action

She added: “The digital device scheme delivers on a key action within the A Fair Start report, which focuses on addressing the negative impact that socio-economic deprivation can have on children’s educational outcomes.

“Actions set out in the report are capable of making a real and significant impact on children’s learning, which will help close the achievement gap for our children and young people.”


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