DJ Dev Griffiths pops into Queen’s Park primary school to launch Vodafone’s schools.connected programme

A well known radio presenter popped into a Queen’s Park primary school to chat to pupils and staff about the pitfalls of lockdown learning.

Former Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffiths spent some time at Salusbury Primary School, in Salusbury Road, for the launch of the Vodafone schools.connected programme.

Vodafone UK is giving free connectivity data SIMs to 250,000 children across the UK to help them access school work from home, catch up on lost learning during school holidays and continue with their education if they are required to isolate.

Michelle Ginty, Salusbury head teacher, said it was a “fantastic” initiative saying children won’t fall behind this time. “We know the last time a lot of children really fell behind through a lack of connectivity,” she said.

“It’s a huge challenge not least with families at home because sometimes they are sharing a device or there are issues with connectivity and learning how to learn in that different way, not being in a class with a teacher.”

Deputy head teacher Stephanie Armstrong added: “It will change their lives.”

One pupil told Dev: “You can’t really ask your family members because they have work to do too.”

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Another gave the initiative a thumbs up. “I’ll be able to connect with my teacher when I need to and get to my online work straight away without any fuss,” she said.

The launch of the emergency package follows consultation with head teachers and education trusts, who said that many children are struggling to access education from home due to a lack of connectivity.

The National Foundation for Educational Research estimates that pupils in the most deprived schools were at least four months behind because of Covid, compared with those in wealthier schools.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK chief exec, said: “Our focus throughout this crisis has been keeping the UK connected. We know many hundreds of thousands of children in the UK can’t access education from home because they don’t have the right connectivity – this means children already at a disadvantage could fall further behind.”

Schools can apply by visiting and complete an online form.