Technology is the critical education issue of our time. That’s one of the key points Vanessa Pittard from the DfE made at the launch of Shape the Future UK, which took place on Monday at Shireland Collegiate Academy. Dr Pittard also referred to the large body of research that shows how having computer access at home improves results, quoting findings from the Institute of Fiscal Studies that suggest it can result in a two-grade improvement at GCSE. However, Dr Pittard also explained, there is a distinct divide in the UK between the educational attainment of children from poorer families and those from more affluent backgrounds and we urgently need to address this issue.
RM is only too aware of the digital divide which is one of reasons we are delighted to be part of Shape the Future in the UK. Shape the Future is a global Microsoft initiative that aims to close the opportunity gap by putting technology in the hands of every child. In the UK, Microsoft, Intel and RM have joined forces to offer a range of high quality, affordable Windows 8 devices at more than 30% off RRP. All government-funded educational establishments are eligible for the scheme, which we hope will provide a much-needed boost to the number of students reaping the benefits of having their own device.