Parent’s fury as teachers get iPads

Developing teaching: Headteacher Alan Davies
Developing teaching: Headteacher Alan Davies
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An angry parent is furious after her child’s school supplied teachers with expensive iPads so they can access the internet.

Senior members of staff at Bishop Rawstorne CE Language College, in Croston, between Chorley and Leyland, have been given the top-of-the-range tablet computers, which retail at several hundred pounds each.

The woman, who does not wished to be named, says it smacks of double standards.

She told the Guardian: “As a parent struggling to cope with the current financially challenging times, I reluctantly signed a cheque of £4 to allow a travelling theatre group to perform Of Mice and Men at the school.

“The book is part of my child’s GCSE English curriculum, and the head of the English department wrote a ‘begging’ letter explaining that the live performance would be beneficial to students.

“We were told without parents’ contributions, the college could not afford to pay the group.

“So I was shocked and disgusted when my daughter told me that around 10 senior members of the school’s staff have been supplied with Apple iPads 32gb with leather cases at the start of the month.

She added: “As a taxpayer, I would prefer to see any school funds spent on equipment and activities that directly benefit students, and not on expensive tablet computers for staff, especially when there are computers in most classrooms.”

The touch-screen Apple iPads are used by members of staff to access the internet at home and at work, and headteacher Alan Davies defended the decision to provide teachers with them.

He said: “We have to make sure staff can access the internet and registrations, and they need to do that electronically to do their jobs.

“We have to develop quality teaching.”

He added: “ICT is important to us, and we’ve tripled the amount of equipment for students over the past three years.”

He said this included computers and laptops for pupils at the school, but not iPads.

He also declined to reveal how many members of staff have been given the slim-line technology, and wouldn’t confirm how much they cost, but said they retail at around £270 each.

On websites such as Amazon and the Apple Store, the Guardian found them to be in the region of £400 to £500.

In response to the parent’s outrage at having to pay for the theatre performance, Mr Davies said: “The £4 is voluntary, and I would love for any parent who can’t afford that to speak to me. We don’t disadvantage any child.”