Parents’ outcry at having to fund pupils’ tablets

Ribblesdale High School.
Ribblesdale High School.

Parents have taken to social media to voice their concerns regarding a new scheme being implemented by a Clitheroe school.

Ribblesdale High School recently proposed the introduction of 1-1 surface (tablet) computers for incumbent Year 6 and Year 7 pupils, with parents being asked to pay for each individual device.

I don’t think it has been very well planned by the school

Parent

A Facebook debate was sparked when Rev. Andy Froud, who is vicar of Clitheroe Parish Church and a parent of two pupils at the school, commented that he was not happy at being asked to spend more than £400.

He said: “Not only am I sceptical about the educational benefit of these devices, I don’t think that the school can really have confidence in them, as it is shifting the cost of £479 per pupil from the school budget on to parents in Year 6 and 7. Anyone wanting to find out more should try Googling ‘PCs in classroom evidence educational improvement’.

“I came across one piece extolling the benefits of the Microsoft Surface in the Guardian online, but on closer inspection, the article was paid for by Microsoft.”

Another parent voiced safety concerns: “We aren’t getting one for our daughter, one reason being her having to walk to and from school with it in her bag, and people knowing what she is carrying. I don’t think it has been very well planned by the school.”

A Ribblesdale spokesman said: “The school works closely with parents. There has been substantial consultation and continued dialogue regarding the scheme and it would be wrong to be drawn into discussions taking place on social media sites, particularly where the majority of contributors are not parents of our pupils.”