A BRADFORD headteacher has launched an ambitious project to raise £100,000 and end digital poverty for children in the city.

Paul Urry, who took over St Stephen's C Of E Primary School a year ago, warned students in Bradford have very limited access to the internet and online study resources.

He started his teaching career back in 1997, working in one of the first schools to introduce the internet to the classroom.

"We saw the internet as being a great leveller. But it's become a great divider," Mr Urry said.

During lockdown, teachers have made weekly telephone calls and home visits and provided paper-based learning packs, online activities and educational videos.

But as fears grow about the country's poorest children and the educational impact of coronavirus, Mr Urry says it's more important than ever to find new ways to support future generations.

The Internet 4 All project aims to give every child a digital device as well as give every Bradford pupil access to safe, restricted internet connection through the 4G/5G network.

As well as this, the school will be using its teacher's range of degrees and skills to make home learning content and training through its new TV and radio station.

These staffing and hardware costs are estimated to cost approximately £50,000.

Mr Urry told the Telegraph & Argus: "A key feature of our plans to support children’s learning, during reintegration and into the future, is to ensure opportunities for effective learning beyond normal school hours.

"The period of lockdown has shown very clearly that all children need safe internet access at home if educational inequality is to be overcome.

"This is the right time to make such an ambitious bid – the discussions about digital poverty are current and we must seize this opportunity to give all of our children the access they need to help us redress the educational, social and emotional regression and use it as a spring board to excellence for all the community we serve.

"At St. Stephen’s we have developed a strong staff team for teaching and learning which includes specialist teachers in art, music, drama, Spanish and computing. We have excellent staff expertise in Maths, Science, English and for the support of children with additional needs.

"We will employ a technician to facilitate the setting up, monitoring and access to these devices and direct staff to create schemes of learning through scripts, videos and printable resources to support our children and families, community, Bradford and the wider internet community.

"The outcome of this new dimension to our educational provision will be a growing library of resources that can be accessed via the internet, nurturing the children and families of our central Bradford community. By growing an online library for learning we intend to contribute to children’s education in the wider world. The aim is to strengthen the opportunities for children to grow through their independent learning and become flourishing individuals with much to contribute.

"It's about people wanting to invest in Bradford. It's about what we can offer Bradford.

"Every donation takes us towards our target of £100,000."

Any donations received by August 31, 2020 will be used to purchase devices. More than £1,000 has been raised so far within days of launching the GoFundMe page, found here.