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A school which spent half a million pounds on iPads for pupils has admitted almost 500 of the devices have been broken after a year.

Honywood Community Science School, in Westfield Drive, Coggeshall, gave out the £400 gadget to each of its 1,200 pupils in October 2011.

But four in ten iPads have had to be replaced after they were damaged beyond repair.

The iPads were given out to pupils free of charge, but parents were asked to donate £50 to insure the device.

The school has blamed inadequate protection cases for the high breakage rate, and has claimed the amount of broken iPads has reduced significantly since the cases were replaced.

Headteacher Simon Mason said: “Honywood made significant investments to their infrastructure to ensure smooth implementation of the tablets across the school.

“Once in place however they have not had any problems with this. They have also not had any issues with security or theft, but do have problems with breakages."

Full story in today's Times.