A QUARRY Bank school has done a U-turn on controversial plans to charge parents for damaged or lost laptops that their children can’t even take home.

Thorns Collegiate Academy had told parents and carers of its plan to issue all pupils with a laptop but with the good news came an order that should the devices be damaged or lost families would be charged up to £300 for a replacement - with lesser charges applying to other damage or malfunctions.

Parents were also asked to buy £15 laptop bags for the devices which could not be taken off school grounds.

Labour councillor Chris Barnett, however, said such eye-watering charges for repairs were totally unacceptable.

He said: "New laptops are a good idea but to ask parents to foot the bill for repairs is simply astonishing.

"What Thorns are doing is outsourcing their IT repair bill to hard-pressed parents at a time when household bills are going through the roof."

The school, however, has now done a U-turn and principal Manny Kelay said: “After careful consideration and after talking to parents we completely understand their concerns.”

He said any damage to a laptop would be assessed on an individual basis and added: “The cost of wilful damage to a laptop will have to be covered by families. Any accidental damage, in line with other Shireland academies, will be covered by the Trust.

“As a Trust that values technology-based learning, it is important that students have access to devices. We do experience a small amount of vandalism and therefore wilful damage of equipment will not be tolerated and not be covered by Academy funds.

“With regard to laptop bags, we have decided to make these optional. If a family would like to purchase this item but is struggling with the cost, we will always offer financial assistance.

“We will be writing to all parents to make our position clear and to apologise for any misunderstanding.”