Barkham company calls for support tech for school children


A BARKHAM company is calling for local businesses to help with their scheme for disadvantaged children.

LetsLocalise, has partnered with telecoms giant Three to supply a wifi connection and five laptops to children from the Oakbank School.

The collaboration began when Oakbank headmaster Robin Bertrand told LetsLocalise about the struggles the Reading school was facing with remote learning and some pupils’ limited access to the necessary equipment.

And it wasn’t long before Three stepped in to connect the children with their classmates.

Co-founder of LetsLocalise Divya Garg said: “What Three has done to help Oakbank is exemplary. 

“They responded so swiftly to the school’s appeal and now we’re hoping that the company will build a long-term relationship with Oakbank.”

The start-up is now urging local businesses to do their bit and offer support to local schools that need it.

Ms Garg added: “We are convinced that local businesses can be a real game-changer, offering schools not just funding but work experience and internship opportunities as well as expert talks about their sectors, giving pupils a much wider window on the world beyond school.

“By supporting our schools, we build stronger communities.

“In the case of business, firms can build meaningful social investment programmes via our platform – and even gain corporate social responsibility accreditation.”

LetsLocalise was founded in 2018 to bring extra support into state schools to ease the staff and budget constraints that have tightened over the past decade.

Through the platform, schools have been able to register for help and highlight the pressures they are facing.

Co-founder Gaurav Garg said: “Our surveys show a large percentage of people in a given area — in excess of 60% — would like to help their local schools but don’t know how to. 

“Our digital platform shows precisely how they can help.  And people can devote time, skills and funding, confident that they will go to programmes that schools’ teachers and headteachers have identified as priorities.”

Despite progressing into its pilot phase with seven local schools at the start of the year, the pandemic has highlighted new areas of need which the duo has begun to work on.

Mr Garg added: “Funding per pupil in our state schools has been squeezed in large part due to the austerity drive since 2010. 

“Then, just as the major political parties were promising increased funding, the virus broke and the likelihood of state schools receiving additional funding now looks remote.”

LetsLocalise is free for all state schools.

For more information, visit: www.letslocalise.co.uk

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