School provides iPads to support autistic children

Children learning on iPads Pic: Brad Flickinger

Children learning on iPads Pic: Brad Flickinger

Grasmere Primary School in Hackney will provide autistic pupils with iPads as part of a new scheme to aid their learning.

As the first in London, the school is asking parents and locals to recycle their old mobile phones to fund the scheme.

Mark Darrington, head teacher of Grasmere, said: “The scheme is basically about getting resources to support children and get them to feel more included in school settings.”

He added: “Cases are rising quite dramatically and we must adapt to meet the needs of children with special needs. This scheme is a brilliant way to [do that].”

The scheme is being carried out in conjunction with the charity Hearts and Minds Challenge.

iPads are used by many organisations as a way to accommodate the needs of people with autism. However, providing pupils with iPads is an expensive proposal, making funding through electrical recycling vital.

Darrington said: “Schools are facing a much harder time economically at the moment. This scheme is a way to help children with special needs specifically, in a way that they can take home and use with their families as well.”

Local MP Diane Abbott launched the scheme this week at the school’s winter fair, and showed support, saying: “If workmates contribute as well it could be very successful.”

Grasmere Primary School is confident the scheme will be a success. Darrington said: “We have a good inclusive environment within our school, therefore pupils and families want to help their peers with autism and learning difficulties. We are putting all our efforts into the scheme.”

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