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Remote Education: ICT

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10645, tabled on 23 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide self-isolating students from disadvantaged backgrounds with digital devices.

Answered on

7 December 2020

As part of over £195 million invested to support access to remote education and online social care, over 340,000 laptops and tablets are being made available this term to support disadvantaged children in year 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted. Since September, over 100,000 of these have been delivered to schools.

This supplements over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, which have already been delivered during the summer term.

This represents an injection of over half-a-million laptops and tablets by the end of the year.

Laptops and tablets are owned by the local authority, trust or school who can lend unused laptops and tablets to children and young people who need them most, if they experience disruption to face-to-face education due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Once children who have been self-isolating return to school, and if others are required to self-isolate, schools can choose to reallocate devices to those pupils who are out of school.

We continue to provide 4G wireless routers, with free data, where schools face disruption and children need to access remote education.

In partnership with mobile network operators, we are providing access to free additional mobile data for the academic year, offering families flexibility to access the resources that they need the most.