21 January, 2021
Comedian, John Bishop has gifted pupils at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy 100 new laptops, knowing that some pupils wouldn’t have access to laptops for their remote learning.
John attended the predecessor school Brookvale from 1978 to 1983 and the school, now Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, proudly bears his name on a Heritage Blue Commemorative plaque at the front of the school, in honour of his contribution to local charities as well as his services to Arts.
Principal, Kathryn Evans said: “John has been a good friend to our school and community since Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy was founded. He came in its first year, at the request of a young man in Year 11 who said it would be his dream to meet him. Having made that young man’s dream come true, he has not been a stranger to us since. John came to help open the school officially, opened our recording studio some years later and helped us so generously stock the music equipment.
“John knows and really cares for our community, he got in touch quite out of the blue and we are so grateful to him and his family.”
John Bishop said:
“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has also illustrated the gulf that exists in some parts of society – from the issue of free school meals, to the access of devices to facilitate home learning.
“As a child I qualified for free school meals, so I know I would have been in one of the families that needed help to gain access to a laptop. When children are sent home without the tools to facilitate their education they are basically being written off and that is unacceptable to me. My life was changed by the commitment of brilliant teachers and a supportive school and I know that ethos is still the same – teachers want to teach and the government have to help and not hinder them.
“What I can do for my old school fills a gap, but the reality is that in 2021 our children deserve to be educated properly and that requires the government to provide the tools necessary for home learning immediately. Because every day a child feels irrelevant is a day that we as a society could lose all the potential they offer. When this pandemic is over, we do not want a generation of children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves left behind. Allowing that to happen would be shameful.”