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Remote Education: Buckinghamshire

Question for Department for Education

UIN 134586, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of school closures on children with limited or no broadband connectivity in Buckinghamshire.

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.

All schools in Buckinghamshire have been invited to order their allocation of laptops and tablets and to request connectivity support. As of the 12 January, 834 devices have been delivered directly to Buckinghamshire local authority. Devices have also been allocated to academy trusts that have schools in Buckinghamshire.

The Department has partnered with the UK’s leading mobile network operators, such as EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone, to provide free data to disadvantaged families, which will support access to education resources, including Oak National Academy, and other websites.

Families will benefit from this additional data until July 2021. Schools can request free mobile data uplifts via the Get Help with Technology service.