Decision details

DfE-funded Laptops for Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Children

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Education and Skills, including early years, schools, apprenticeships, FE colleges & UTC`s, and engagement with the skills agenda of the LEP

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To agree to the disposal of devices provided by the Department of Education for disadvantaged and vulnerable children during the Covid pandemic. It is proposed that the devices be gifted to schools and care leavers as appropriate.

Decision:

That the allocation of devices provided by the Department for Education and loaned to students are gifted to schools for ongoing management and use

That the allocation of devices provided by the Department for Education and loaned to care leavers are gifted to them, under the guidance of the Leaving Care team.

Reasons for the decision:

North Yorkshire County Council was allocated 989 digital devices and 238 wireless routers by the Department for Education in 2020 to distribute to eligible vulnerable or disadvantaged children and young people during the Covid pandemic. Subsequently schools could order any additional devices and routers directly via the DfE’s supplier with no ongoing involvement from the local authority. As of 11th May 2021, 4,419 devices (laptops and tablets) in total have been delivered or dispatched to North Yorkshire since the start of the scheme including the 989 delivered directly to NYCC, with the rest to maintained schools. This does not include devices delivered to academy trusts.

The DfE guidance originally stated that local authorities and academy trusts own the laptops and tablets, and can loan them to children and young people. However, this was later changed and the DfE allowed devices to be gifted to schools or students if the responsible local authority so wished. DfE have advised that the provision of data for 4G routers will expire on 31 July 2021 and that laptops and tablets that came with security software licenses that will expire on 30 September 2021. It is estimated that the individual value of a device is c. £100. The DfE incurred all original costs to buy these devices.

Under The Constitution, Executive Members’ delegation scheme (9.10) If the estimated disposal value is greater than £20,000 but less than £100,000 then a Portfolio Holder may authorise the disposal following consultation with the Director and with the approval of the CD-SR. It is therefore proposed that the devices loaned to students are gifted to schools for ongoing management and use and that those devices loaned to care leavers are gifted to them, under the guidance of the Leaving Care team. This will have a small cost implication for individual schools but can form part of the school’s IT structure which they will already manage. This approach will mean that there is no ongoing involvement of NYCC and will reduce any cost incurred trying to recover devices whilst ensuring that devices can be recycled and reused by schools to meet need.

The devices have minimal residual value if returned to NYCC but any devices returned to NYCC will be refurbished and recycled.

Alternative options considered:

None

Publication date: 09/07/2021

Date of decision: 06/07/2021

Effective from: 17/07/2021

Accompanying Documents: