The Greater Manchester Technology Fund provides schools and colleges with the technology needed in ‘at-home’ settings to continue their learning. The fund will reach and support the most vulnerable young people and their families across the region.
The new Technology Fund aims to provide learners at risk of digital isolation with the technology and connectivity needed to continue their learning at home while schools and colleges remain closed. It is estimated that levels of digital exclusion are up to four times higher amongst those schools with the highest level of pupils eligible for a free school meal, with 19% of pupils in Greater Manchester claiming free school meals. Provision of this kit will initially focus on recipients of free school meals, allowing these young people to continue their education from home, stay in touch with friends and family and provides teachers and tutors with a mechanism for support.
The GMCA are working closely with identified education providers (secondary schools and colleges initially) to assess need. Following assessment and approval, ‘kit bundles’ will be assigned to schools, they will then be responsible for allocation of this kit to those most in need. A ‘digital kit bundle’ will include a laptop and the required tools to get online.
This fund supports Greater Manchester's existing commitment to provide essential digital skills to everyone, improve the digital capabilities of the region and strengthen the digital talent pipeline.
Businesses are being asked to support the fund through:
- Donations of new or refurbished devices particularly laptops
- Donations of sim cards, portable hotspots, dongles andother connectivity devices
- Financial donations to support the expansion of the fund
- Share! Promote the #GMTechFund through your social media channels*
These donations would then be distributed through schools/colleges, prioritising those students most in-need.
If your organisation is interested in supporting the fund they can contact the GMCA Digital Team at GMCADigital@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk
* download the Greater Manchester Technology Fund communication toolkit here. The toolkit also includes some cyber and online security information, available for use.