For a lot of schools, Coronavirus has completely changed the way students learn and engage. And for Llanwern High School, a number of students not having the technology needed during lockdown was a real challenge. The school had a limited number of laptops and resources to loan,  so some children struggled to participate electronically from home.

Thanks to a Careers Wales facilitated Business in the Community (BITC) Business Class partnership with Llanwern High School, Newport City Homes were able to help. The local housing association used community benefit funding to buy 10 new laptops, which the school loaned out to those students most in need, so they could connect to their online lessons and engage with their teachers and friends.  

Careers Wales and BITC help organisations like Newport City Homes to support young people in schools by forming long-term, strategic partnerships using the Business Class framework. The framework has four pillars: leadership and governance; curriculum; enterprise and employability; and wider issues.

This partnership means Newport City Homes can support their local schools in a holistic way, helping children to understand the variety of career options available to them, learn the skills needed to find a job, and eventually succeed in the workplace.

Sian Smith, Deputy Headteacher at Llanwern High School, said:

"Both the staff and pupils are delighted that Newport City Homes have been able to continue their support to Llanwern High School in these difficult times. The laptops they have funded will be used in our specialised learning centre, and will also be made available for those who do not have devices at home.

We had been really disappointed that current Covid-19 restrictions has meant our NCH 'Reading Buddy' scheme paused, where colleagues from the local housing association come in and read with our pupils, so their generous donation has given the school a real boost! 

Kate Adams, Employability Business Partner at Newport City Homes, said:

“We know our construction work can sometimes cause disruption to the communities we work in, so we work with local groups and organisations to give something back to our neighbours and local communities with our community benefit funding.

“We’re delighted to be able to use our BITC Business Class partnership to support Llanwern High School staff and pupils and invest in their online and distance learning plans during this very challenging time.”