Otley Town Council calls on school to reconsider iPad scheme

Otley Town Council is calling on the local secondary school to abandon its ‘buy an iPad’ scheme.

The move comes after parents contacted the council to raise concerns about the way Prince Henry’s Grammar School was pursuing the proposal.

The initiative, if it proceeds, would involve the school buying iPad2s for Key Stage 3 students to use in class and at home, with most parents then making a £360 ‘donation’ over three years.

Prince Henry’s insists the change would boost educational achievement and says safeguards are in place to ensure all pupils benefit, regardless of financial circumstances.

The council, however, fears parents are being unfairly pressured and that a two-tier system could result.

The issue was debated on Monday when the cross-party community development committee unanimously agreed to ask the school to reconsider.

Councillor Carl Morris (Lab, Manor) said: “We felt strongly that the scheme will introduce a two-tier system, whereby some children will be excluded because of their financial situation at home.

"We are calling on the school to withdraw it and consider whether it could be introduced on a universal, free of charge basis.”

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