Rainham primary school to receive 46 laptops thanks to donation drive


A Rainham school is to be given 46 laptops thanks to a donation from Rainham Steel and Clarion Housing which was facilitated by MP Jon Cruddas. - Credit: PA

A primary school in Rainham will receive the laptops needed for its students, thanks to the efforts of MP Jon Cruddas, Rainham Steel and Clarion Housing. 

Newtons Primary School is to get 46 laptops over the coming weeks, which headteacher Una Connolly says will ensure devices are given to all 100 students entitled to the pupil premium grant. 

Ms Connolly told the Recorder that she decided to approach Mr Cruddas last month when it became clear that the 54 laptops offered by the Department of Education (DfE) wouldn't meet the need.

Crediting the Dagenham and Rainham MP with "getting the ball rolling" in terms of the donation drive, it was his intervention that saw Rainham Steel get involved.

The company made a £1,000 donation, funding the purchase of six laptops which are currently on order.

Thereafter Clarion - the housing association responsible for the nearby Orchard Village estate - signalled its intention to donate 40 laptops. 

Ms Connolly was at the school taking delivery of 20 of those when she spoke to the Recorder, with the headteacher singing the praises of the association's Denise Barnes who facilitated the donation.

Pupil premium

The donation of 56 laptops from the DfE has not met the provision need at the school, where 100 students are entitled to the Pupil Premium grant. - Credit: Google Maps

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With schools now on half-term, it's hoped that the other 26 laptops will arrive as close to students returning as possible. 

In the meantime Ms Connolly says the school has been "uplifted" by the donation drive, particularly as it will ease the burden on parents when it comes to providing devices at home: "Our parents have been fantastic. They've done everything to make this work, even offering their mobile phones. But these laptops will make things easier."

She appreciates the fact that all three parties believe in the importance of this issue, particularly praising Mr Cruddas for the speed at which he acted. 

A further six laptops have been promised by the DfE, which will afford the school additional provision (should they materialise).

Ms Connolly believes this effort exemplifies the value of schools beyond the classroom: "As a school we are so much more than educators. I have learned that over each of these lockdowns. Ultimately, we just want our children to be happy, safe, and successful."