KIRKLEES has emerged as one of the top councils in the country for the way it helps disadvantaged children to access learning.

The council has secured almost 4,000 pieces of vital IT equipment so that children and young people all over the district can learn at home.

The need to support education has been especially stark when schools have closed to most pupils during Covid-19 lockdowns.

So far, 3,857 laptops and tablets have been secured through a government scheme. The council has already distributed many of them to eligible children, including children with a social worker, young carers, children whose families receive certain benefits, care leavers and other disadvantaged school pupils.

It means children who didn’t have the right equipment can now take part in online learning and keep up with their work, especially if they are not in school due to lockdown.

Only three councils nationally have secured more devices, with Kirklees leading the way for the whole of Yorkshire and Humber.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “In Kirklees we are fully committed to tackling inequality and helping our children and young people to have the best start in life.”

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said: “It’s critical that disadvantaged children can enjoy the same opportunities as their peers and aren’t forced to miss out because of their family circumstances.”