Hornchurch school going above and beyond to make sure no student misses out

Hornchurch High School

Hornchurch High School has allocated part of its school budget to fund the provision of desktop computers, so that no student misses out on online learning. - Credit: Hornchurch High School

A digital divide has emerged during the coronavirus pandemic, as home learning has shone a spotlight on the fact that many students do not have access to a computer at home.

Though the government has made up some of the shortfall in provision, schools have been called into action to ensure the gap is bridged.

This has led Hornchurch High School to fund a number of desktop computers from its own budget which, added to the 70 government-provided laptops, means every student can access remote learning.

Under this model, it's not uncommon that one student in a family borrows a laptop, while another uses a desktop computer. Each student having their own device offers the best opportunity to learn in the current circumstances. 

The fact that the school has made this possible (through its desktop computer provision) is not lost on parents, who have reached out to express their gratitude.

Alison Bryan wrote to the school last week, saying: "As my son waits to hear what the rest of Year 11 will look like, I take great comfort in knowing that you and your staff care so much about the school - it really is a great community.

"I have seen such positive and supportive messages from your staff to his classes.  

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"I am so proud to tell friends who have children in other schools how well Hornchurch High School has dealt with the challenges they faced, you have adapted so quickly. Thank you so much." 

Kirstie Hall expressed similar sentiments in reference to her own son, who is at a pivotal stage in his education: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers at Hornchurch High School for their continued support and for putting in place an effective way of learning.

"This is of much relief especially as my son is in his GCSE years. I can’t fault Hornchurch High School in any way throughout his school life and I believe the school is assisting in making my son a high achiever. I am extremely glad that I chose this school."

Assistant headteacher Gary Wimbush said he and his colleagues are delighted with the feedback, and will "continue to do everything we can" to support students.