Skip to main content

Children: Computers

Question for Department for Education

UIN 134395, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how will parents will be notified that they have a right for their children to attend school if they do not have access to remote learning equipment during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown period.

Answered on

18 January 2021

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

This includes over 750,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by the end of last week.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Some pupils who have difficulty engaging in remote education may be considered to be vulnerable children and therefore eligible to attend school. It is up to the child’s school or local authority to make this decision. The decision would be based on the needs of the child and their family, and a range of other factors, as set out in our published guidance.

The Department understands that schools may face staffing pressures that can create challenges in trying to deliver both high quality on site and remote education, especially where pupil attendance on site remains high due to high numbers of key worker and vulnerable children. Leaders in schools and colleges should ensure the balance of on site and remote teaching is manageable for staff and reflect this in the offer posted on their school or college website.

For schools that do not already have a full remote education curriculum or resources in place, or where they may face staffing pressures, the Department strongly recommends that they consider using Oak National Academy or other high quality resource providers.

9,294 laptops have been delivered directly to Birmingham local authority this academic year. Further devices have also been delivered to academy trusts that include schools located in Birmingham local authority which are not included in this figure.