MORE than 4,000 laptops and tablets have been given to disadvantaged children in Somerset.

And 2,926 of those were given out in the Somerset County Council area (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton and South Somerset).

In North Somerset, 567 were given out and 551 in Bath and North East Somerset.

Around one million devices have now been delivered to schools and local authorities in England as part of a £400million investment from the government.

“I know what a challenging period this has been for pupils, teachers and parents, but it has been nothing short of inspiring to see schools and staff going above and beyond, as they always have done, to give our pupils the very best education possible," said Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

“Online access has been an important part of this work and will continue to be as we help young people catch up after the disruption caused by the pandemic, which is why the delivery of these one million laptops is so vital.

“They represent one million children who will not let their education be overcome by this virus.

“I want parents to know that we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect our children’s education at this unprecedented time and ensure they have the tools they need to get on with and make the most of their lives.”

Volunteers across the county have also been helping to supply laptops to those children in need.

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The news comes after the Department for Education last month announced a further 300,000 laptops and tablets to help more disadvantaged children and young people learn at home.

Schools are already receiving top-ups to their original allocations, with those with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils being prioritised first.

The 1.3 million devices the government is providing sits alongside a package of extensive support for the most disadvantaged children.

This includes partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300million being invested in tutoring programmes building on the existing £1billion Covid Catch Up Fund.

To further strengthen remote education provision, the government has provided more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring no child is prohibited from receiving a quality education due to a lack of internet access.