Back to School Shopping: Is An iPad On Your List?!

Back to School: Bought Your Kid's iPad?!
24 August 2016

How would you feel if your child's school asked you to add an iPad to your Back to School shopping list?

It's not as unlikely as it sounds. According to the Guardian, schools are increasingly asking parents to pay for school equipment due to a lack of funding.

The paper reports:

"An investigation by Education Guardian found at least 15 state schools were asking some parents to purchase an iPad for their child, while offering help to disadvantaged families. Charities estimate hundreds of schools are doing the same."

With one child about to start high school, I've got to admit that this story worries me. I definitely don't fancy getting saddled with a bill for several hundred pounds on account of my child needing an iPad at school.

But I've also got to question the idea that an iPad or indeed any tablet computer is an essential piece of school equipment.

Call me a Luddite, but I'm just not all that convinced that anything my child does during the day at secondary school warrants him carting an iPad around. Factor in the chances of it getting lost, stolen or damaged as he lugs it back and forth between school and home – no doubt in the bottom of his rucksack – and I'd definitely be asking to have a word with the Principal about whether it's a truly vital part of my child's learning experience.

I understand that technology can aid learning in the classroom in a myriad of ways, of course, but traditional teaching methods can't be completely redundant, surely? And what about when the iPads need to be updated, or a new model comes out and the one you've purchased becomes obsolete? After all, we're not talking about investing heavily in one piece of electronic kit that will last throughout your child's secondary school years but rather starting out on a slippery slope towards over-reliance on tech which could prove seriously costly - especially if you have more than one child.

And who's going to make sure my kid is learning Algebra or whatever he's supposed to be doing on an iPad at school, and not just surreptitiously hunting Pokemon while his teacher's back is turned?!

So I definitely don't plan on adding an iPad to my Back to School shopping list any time soon. How about you? Share your views on this topic by leaving a comment below, or come and join the debate over on our Facebook page.

87 comments

  • Rebecca K.

    Nope. Plain and simply can't afford one. My daughter can still have the education she needs with the family computer.

  • Lillys P.

    Not a chance we don't even have a computer :grimacing:

  • Louise M.

    I bloody well hope not!

  • Angela C.

    Nope. End of conversation :grin:

  • Becca R.

    My daughter has one but wouldn't be aloud to take it to school!

  • Alisha G.

    I think its good for a child to have a laptop / ipad for homework etc but would be worried about one being stolen or broken at school

  • Heleena M.

    If the school wants them to have a laptop/iPad then the school can pay for one!

  • Lauren H.

    My kids already have them, I think it's acceptable for it to be a requirement for school, you've got to move with the times and these days everything is done electronically

    • Lynsey M.

      And if you struggle to feed your kids properly?

    • Lynsey S.

      We work hard and give our children a good life but couldnt afford to buy them ipads for school. I don't even have one because they are expensive. X

    • Lauren H.

      By the way, bright house & other pay weekly stores do them too

    • Laura B.

      Wow! And there it is! My husband and I both work damn hard thanks. And we provide plenty for our 3 kids. And we do so by not splashing unnecessary cash on luxuries. Sad that you think that makes you a better parent :smirk:

    • Charlie W.

      Sorry Lauren but there is a difference between straight and rude, you love are the latter. It's all just going to encourage bullying. Child benefits are to got towards keeping your children clothed, etc. People who really can't afford it can only make it stretch so far, and I'm not talking about drug abusing, smoking, alcoholics here either. Don't get me wrong I spoil my kids and if they needed it I'd personally find money for it but if you just haven't got the money then they just can't have it. And before it is suggested, to get it from a catalogue etc is just plain irresponsible if you are struggling for money as it will only make the situation worse. To be frank you seem like the type of person who can only see from your own point of view which will always inevitably be right. I got news for you, life isn't that easy and not everything is black and white.

    • Lauren H.

      At what point has it been said we're better parents?!

    • guest

      Lauren H there are people that work that don't get benefits that struggle to put food on their table. I don't get benefits I work as does my husband I can put food on my table I budget but a school saying by an ipad. It's not happening.

    • guest

      :joy::joy::joy: night all. I'm going to go to bed with all my extra cash, and wake up the most perfect parent ever. Peace :thumbsup_tone1:

    • Lynsey M.

      Aye ok

    • guest

      Lynsey M that's fair enough that's your opinion but if they become compulsory no one is going to have a choice. Personally I wouldn't send my kids to school with the one I've bought, if expect school to provide them. But I think the iPads have progressed my children loads.

    • guest

      Jodi it'll be the 'ipad parents' that have bmw's that 'they own' and cant drive :joy::joy::joy:

    • Lauren H.

      damn we shouldn't of sold our bmw for that 4x4 that we can't drive :joy::joy::joy:

    • Lynsey M.

      I didn't mention anything about people providing their kids them through choice. If a school wants a kid to have them then they better provide them. If you have the money and wish your child to have one that's your choice but when there are people out there working not getting benefits struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table then an ipad is not going to happen .

    • guest

      I know what a shame eh. We live in the real world just as much as the rest of you

    • guest

      Lynsey M and at what point did I dispute that. I said I agree that they would be good in schools and my kids have them and I've literally been hounded. And what because I chose to buy them for my kids.

    • Sheila E.

      If these people are receiving no type of Benefits at all then they are earning alot of money - what is the tax credit threshold?

    • Lauren H.

      sorry can't afford to I have a bmw & iPads to shell out for :joy:

    • guest

      Sheila E we get no benefits. (Sorry im corrected we get standard child benefit)I work part time. We fall just above the threshold I can promise you that we don't have a lot of money to throw about. Live in a modest house so you can't say if someone isn't getting benefits they are earning mega bucks. Not true at all

    • Sheila E.

      Well if you are above the threshold your household income must be in excess of 50k so I would have to question what you do with your money.

    • guest

      Lauren H I was the first to comment and you said you it wouldn't be long before someone jumped on the money and benefits thing and it was basically about money management. Ipad is a luxury many can't afford. I certainly didn't jump on you about your kids having Ipads.

    • guest

      Sheila E if that's the threshold then someone is fiddling me and my husband out of benefits. A part time support worker and a car mechanic??? 50k?? don't make me laugh. So never mind questioning what we do with our wages

    • Lauren H.

      Child benefit is entitled to anyone who earns 49K or less

    • Laura B.

      Since when is the threshold for tax credits £50k? We don't make anywhere near that and we get the bare minimum in working tax credits.

    • Lynsey S.

      We all provide what we can. If you can afford an iPad and other luxury items then great. If you can't you can't though and I think schools expecting parents to provide them as essentially part of school uniform is just beyond many people. It's sad that some children will therefore be bullied and picked on because their parents best is seen as not good enough.

    • guest

      Believe me if my kids bullied anyone for any reason their a***s would be seriously kicked.

    • guest

      Lauren H sorry yeah we get child benefit. I forgot that one. I thought everyone got that. In my house that goes towards my child's food and clothing needs. We get no tax credits.

    • Lauren H.

      Yes and if an iPad becomes a need for school if the government decide it's compulsory they will expect you to buy it out of that money

    • Laura B.

      I just can't understand the need for each child to have one?!? Most, if not all, schools have computers in class rooms as well as IT suites. Kids can use computers at school or at home. Or even if the school has a handful of tablets per class (my kids old school did this) then they can use those. What other use do they have for the kids education that can't be done in multiple other ways?

    • Lauren H.

      It's just the way the world is changing I personally prefer to do my work on an actual pc, but most things are done on iPads and tablets now,

    • Lynsey M.

      Still ridiculous. If people get that just over 80 quid and are not able to feed their kids then it's wrong! Food and health first.ipad is a luxury.

    • guest

      Since when has the government ever given a sh*t about our health first? The nhs is in ruins. They care about what suits them

    • Lynsey S.

      But how can child benefit money suddeny be enough to provide an expensive item when many families already rely on that income to feed and clothe their children?

    • Sam H.

      If you put affordability a side and all your kids had them there would be no argument here I guarantee that you would all agree with iPads as they are brilliant for kids education

    • Lauren H.

      I'm not saying it can. All I'm saying is this is what will be expected of us should it be decided an iPad is compulsory.

    • Lynsey M.

      They are no more brilliant for education than a generic tablet or a pc pr dare i say a book and pen and paper. What is the government going to do? Jail parents for not providing Ipads. I'm law abiding but they could kiss my ass on that rule

    • Sheila E.

      I have just looked at the CTC & WTC plus childcare allowances. I dont seem able to upload them to this page but I think theres a lot of long noses here.

    • Laura B.

      Again though, why am iPad? You could buy 2 decent tablets for the price of one iPad and they will do pretty much the same. In fact, in the grand scale of things, seeing as most school computers aren't Macs, then android devices would be preferable.

    • Lauren H.

      I personally find apple products a lot easier to use. But if they brought them In to schools they would have to be one brand for all or that is where bullying would come into play.

    • Lynsey S.

      I think if money were no issue then I would be for them definately. My children use them at school and have access to lots of the same stuff on their tablets at home. They are great learning tools. But...cost is an issue for many and that's a major hurdle to get over if you don't have the money. Then what if you buy one that you really couldn't afford and it gets lost of broken?? They are not cheap to replace. It's a difficult one. We all want our children to have the best education they can get...would make me feel really bad if I wasn't in a position to supply the tools to do that it.

    • Laura B.

      If that was the case why not choose a cheaper brand over the "supposed" best/most expensive on the market?

    • Lauren H.

      If schools are going to do it then I think a tablet should be made specific to the needs of a school child. This post started over iPads that's why the topic is about them

    • Sheila E.

      Forget the bullying, these people put playground bickering to shame - & thats where the kids get it from - bravo :clap_tone3::clap_tone3::clap_tone3:

    • Annie S.

      Tax credit threshold these days I think is about 26k a year not like it was a few years ago at 40k.

  • Emma F.

    My son had to provide one since year 7 . He's left this year wasn't stolen. All homework was set via it in school. So not having one would of been detrimental. They did a monthly direct debit option.

  • Sam M.

    There is a local secondary school in my area that has just asked parents to purchase ipads for their children. The kicker is even if you have one at home you have to buy another one especially for school because of safety settings!

    • Lisa K.

      I would tell them to bog off

  • Emmanuell A.

    Remind me why I pay tax again??

  • Kerry T.

    Errm not a chance they loose a named jumper so easily my sons swim kit got stollen before his school swim lesson last term

  • Kirsty J.

    If my childrens school asked me to buy an ipad they can pay for it simple. Times are hard enough

  • Iona M.

    If schools want kids using iPads they should be supplied it should not be the parents responsibility. What about the family's who struggle for spare money how are they supposed to buy an ipad for school use only?? All that will encourage is bullying. If this is the future of education then the government best start saving peoples tax money so that they can afford this.

    • Karla C.

      It's been on the news that families are struggling to give their kids a hot meal during the school holidays!! Let alone an iPad as a single mum I could not afford one xx

    • Iona M.

      Exactly it's ridiculous. The public pay enough tax money per year to the government if they really want this to be the future of education then it's their responsibility to provide it.

      What exactly is wrong with paper and pencils ? It's always been the way and it works!

    • Charlie W.

      Disgusting. Just encouraging bullying.

    • Lisa K.

      I understand they need to learn to use these things what I dont understand is why some schools are encouaging kids to use them to do so much of their flaming work on. Soon kids wont have the ability to write or spell.

    • Emily W.

      It's good to get used to new technology as everything we use nowadays consists of it. But it's mad how much they're using it. My son is starting pre school in a couple weeks and on the open day they told us most of the kids have ipads (some sort of tablet) at home and I kinda feel ibliged to get my son one now as I don't want him being left out or bullied, especially so early on in school. Luckily that school encourages pen and paper skills but I know some love letting their students use laptops etc. (Some high schools I know provide the laptop but parents can pay monthly to own it afterwards!). When technology fails most kids aren't gonna know what to do if they are completely brought up on using technology.

  • Lynsey M.

    No chance. How did we learn at school with no ipad?

  • Vicky L.

    Nope especially when there are tablets out there better than ipads for fraction price. If school requires it they should provide it

  • Gina F.

    Lol, as if!! Would tell them where to go

  • Penny F.

    Er no.

  • Bessie B.

    Can barley afford the uniform never mind an iPad.

  • Kat L.

    The school can provide them, i have those things called bills to pay....

  • Hayley L.

    If my kid needed it I'd find a way even buying for all 5 I'd find a way. Even family has a bit of spare cash somewhere if you juggle your money right. And ones on benefits can get Apr free loans to buy stuff it's working parents that would suffer most.

    • Francesca H.

      We are a working family and we can't afford to buy them for 2 children

    • Francesca H.

      We don't have that kinda spare cash ... No matter how much juggling

    • Laura K.

      A loan still has to be paid back. Have you any idea how much benefit people receive?

    • Hayley L.

      Been on both working and non working side. So yeah it still has to be paid back at 5 quid a week usually but I'd have to make it work

    • Cassandra G.

      Why would you take out a loan just to buy an iPad? That makes about as much sense as having them in school in the first place! If a school wants to use that technology then they should subsidise it...or teach children to use pen and paper...

  • Annie S.

    My child's school has ipads that the kids use. It does make me wonder though how we ever got an education or survived growing up without the technology we have today. I know I did just fine without tablets or Google.

  • Claire H.

    They want it they pay for it.

  • Lisa W.

    I wouldn't be impressed to be honest this is why younger people and children can't do simple tasks they rely on technology to do everything for them. My little boys nursery has iPads and I actually don't agree with it he uses ours at home I just think there could be other things they could help teach like writing you know with a pencil or pen not a computer. I hope schools keep writing pen to paper and spellings and sums with out a calculator in their teaching they need to learn not to rely on technology all the time!

  • Jemma W.

    I don't think so it's hard enough buying school clothes especially secondary clothes and named trainers,bag etc

  • Kathryn R.

    If my kid's school asked for that, I'd be looking for a new school...one with half an ounce of sense!

  • Beki P.

    I wouldn't and My kids are not even at school yet. My friend who works full time and is a single parent iust spent 450 alone just on uniforms for her 3 kids for september, let alone all the other stuff you need to get. How could you afford to get an ipad for each child?? It's madness!!!

  • Michele A.

    My older who are at primary use ipad at school but the schools PTA done things to raise the money so think each class has enough for each each child...but think it's unfair that some schools are puuting that sort pressure on kids to have them at home or have bring their own to school..

  • Nicole B.

    And how many are going to be stolen and need replaceing!! i wouldnt buy my child one for school whats wrong with a pen and paper theses days basic skills!

  • Hazel T.

    I'd tell them to f-off! Lol

  • Elizabeth A.

    My response would be nope not gonna happen.

  • Katie W.

    I'd refuse. I don't think children should have their own iPad. Access to one, yes. Owning one, absolutely not. its an expensive bit of kit. If the school want the children to use one, they can fund it, whether that's through fundraising or government funding it doesn't matter. Parents shouldn't be forced to pay for something that is a luxury, not a necessity.

  • Elizabeth H.

    I'd be telling them that won't happen. Firstly, I'm not made of money, secondly, children do not need iPads

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