To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his letter to the hon Member for Hull West and Hessle of 21 September 2020, how much of the £100 million allocated to support remote education has been (a) allocated to and (b) claimed by university students.
8 October 2020
The department invested over £100 million to help provide laptops and devices for disadvantaged children and young people so they can access education and social care services remotely.
The department distributed laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers for disadvantaged children in year 10, children receiving support from a social worker and care leavers to ensure these children and young people could continue to access education and vital social care services online during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As part of this, we have provided devices for care leavers, including those who might be studying at university.
Information on the equipment distributed to care leavers, including those studying in higher education, is held by local authorities.
Data on the number of care leavers in higher education are included in the report ‘Children Looked After in England (including adoption), year ending 31 March 2019’. This data shows that 6% of 19 to 21-year-old care leavers were known to be in higher education. This report is available at:
The government has also worked closely with the Office for Students to help clarify that higher education providers can draw upon existing funding to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers are able to use the funding, worth around £256 million for the academic year 2020/21 towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment.