Only at the end of June did Sutton Council receive laptops for disadvantaged school pupils, it emerged last night at a meeting of the council’s Strategy & Resources Committee.
Lib Dem councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council, Manuel Abellan asked council officers to clarify:
“Schools went into lockdown on 20th March. It was on 19th April- a whole month later- that Conservative ministers announced disadvantaged school pupils would get laptops to help them study from home. Is my understanding correct that Sutton did not get its share of laptops until the end of June?”
Council officers confirmed that Cllr Abellan was correct, and that Sutton was only able to distribute its laptops from 30th June- over three months after schools went into lockdown.
At the end of June, Sutton received 537 laptops to distribute. Cllr Abellan called this three-month delay by Conservative ministers “utterly unacceptable”.
Commenting after, he said:
“Tory ministers’ handling of the Covid pandemic has been absolutely shambolic, and this is another example why. Disadvantaged pupils already face so many barriers in life and they’ve now had their education disrupted. For Tory ministers to take three whole months to ensure Sutton’s pupils get laptops is utterly unacceptable. Families and children across Sutton deserve better than this.”