All full-time students between the age of 16 and 18 will be loaned a free laptop as part of Northampton College’s commitment to developing digital skills.

The initiative will ensure students will be able to access the internet, use digital platforms for both classroom-based and remote learning and complete assignments using the latest approved software.

Each laptop or Chromebook will have Microsoft Office and antivirus software installed, and students will have access to support from the college’s dedicated IT helpdesk. A deposit of £50 will be required at enrolment and will be refunded when the equipment is returned in full working order complete with charger and lead.

Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “Our aim is to make sure every student receives a high-quality education experience and there are no barriers to learning. We have made a significant investment in our digital infrastructure and we are very pleased to announce that all students aged 18-18 on a full-time study programme will be provided with a laptop or Chromebook when they start their studies with us.

“Digital Skills form part of our curriculum and students will be supported to realise the powerful effect that using technology can have within their learning. They’ll also be given the tools to understand how they can use their laptop to enhance their college experience and improve their ability to study.

“We understand that some families on lower income may not be able to afford the deposit. If students are eligible for financial support through our bursary scheme, they will not need to pay a penny. This is truly a scheme for everyone.”

Due to the strict IT protocols and security measures in place at the College, students will not be able to bring in their own laptops to use and will be expected to bring their college laptop or Chromebook with them to every lesson. 

The investment in new technology, coupled with the imminent opening of a state-of-the-art Digital Academy at Booth Lane, has reinforced Northampton College’s commitment to the digital skills agenda.

Mrs Brennan-Barrett added: “We are seeing a new generation of digital natives who have grown up with the internet and live their lives on screens. By ensuring everyone has access to this technology we are removing any potential barriers to career progression, giving opportunities to everyone and making sure education is a level playing field.”

For more information, or to apply for a course at Northampton College starting this September, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk

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