THERE could be hundreds of children across the county without sufficient technology to learn from home.

But Hampshire County Council claims it does not know exactly how many are missing out on crucial education.

The authority represents all schools across the county apart from those in Portsmouth and Southampton.

When the Chronicle asked how many children are without equipment, a spokesperson said: “The information you have asked for is not held by Hampshire County Council.

“The figures would be known at a local level, by the individual schools. However, we are aware that 11,200 laptops were supplied by the Department for Education (DfE), to Hampshire maintained primary and secondary phase schools for them to distribute to children and young people who needed them.”

This newspaper has asked all schools in the district for the figures but is yet to receive any response.

But old laptops could still make a difference. Winchester resident Andy McHardy has been repurposing computers and donating them to school pupils across the district.

So far he has sent batches to Kings’ and St Bede – but needs more machines to keep the scheme going.

He told the Chronicle: “I started this a couple of weeks ago and have had a great response but would like to widen the reach if possible to the Greater Winchester area.

“I basically take suitable laptops and Macs, remove Windows or the Mac OS and install the Chrome OS turning them into netbooks. I also clean them up as best as possible before delivering to local schools.

“Kings’ and St Bede’s have received deliveries. Both were very happy indeed and will be passing your donations to those most in need. Other schools have been approached, unfortunately not all of them replied.”

“I have seen quite a few products that have been unable to be used either because they have been too old or unsuitable.”

Mr McHardy also accepts old iPads, but is urging the former owners to remove their ID accounts.

He is unable to do this without the password.

“More donations are needed so please contact me if you have something suitable and pass the word on to friends and family,” he continued.

“Thank you all again for your continued generosity.”