To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England were told on 24 October 2020 by his Department that their allocation of laptops for disadvantaged pupils had been reduced.
19 November 2020
The Department has invested £195 million to support remote education and access to online social care. In addition to over 220,000 laptops and tablets being delivered during the summer term for disadvantaged children who would not otherwise have access, we have supplemented this support by making an additional 340,000 laptops and tablets available in the event that face-to-face education is disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since September 2020, over 100,000 of these have already been delivered to schools. More information about the allocation of laptops to date can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/929064/Ad-hoc_stats_note_shipped_data_231020_FINAL.pdf.
The targeting of laptops and tablets through this scheme has continually been reviewed to ensure support is offered in the most effective way, to reflect the numbers of schools that have been disrupted and the number of laptops and tablets available at any time. In the context of significant demand, we have updated our allocation process to more accurately align orders with the number of students typically self-isolating, ensuring as many children as possible benefit from receiving a device this term. On 24 October 2020, the Department communicated this change in allocations to all schools. If schools are experiencing disruption to face-to-face education and believe they have a need for additional devices, they should contact the Department‘s service team via firstname.lastname@example.org to request additional laptops or tablets.