MORE than 1,000 laptops will be given to vulnerable children in Southampton to help support their education at home.

It comes while schools continue to make plans to welcome back more pupils across the city.

Southampton City Council has sourced 1,146 laptops and cases through a government scheme which was announced on April 19.

This involved plans to help make remote education more accessible for pupils staying at home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said: "As our schools look to the future and make plans to safely reopen when the conditions are right, it's vital that we continue to do all we can to support children who are continuing to learn from home."

The council has also sourced 237 4G routers to support pupils who do not already have mobile or broadband internet in their household.

In line with government guidance, the council is providing the laptops for disadvantaged families, children and young people who do not currently have access to them from another source, such as their school.

This includes care leavers and children and young people aged up to 19 who are supported by a social worker.

Council staff received the delivery of laptops and routers this week and these are now being collected by schools across the city, who will loan them to eligible pupils.

When a pupil moves on or no longer needs the laptop, it can be given by the school to another pupil - ensuring that they will continue helping children into the future.

Cllr Paffey said: "No one should be at a disadvantage because they are unable to access computer equipment, which is why I'm delighted that the council's education team has worked closely with schools to source these laptops.

"I know that schools will now be doing everything they can to get this equipment into the hands of young people who need it as quickly as possible."

From 15 June, secondary schools, sixth form and colleges can offer some face-to-face support for pupils in year 10 and year 12, and those aged between 16 to 19 in the first year of a two-year study programme.