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Remote Education: ICT

Question for Department for Education

UIN 168911, tabled on 15 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which Department or organisation will be responsible for (a) assessing the number of children and young people who remain without access to an appropriate digital device, an internet connection and/or data after the roll-out of the Get Help with Technology scheme is complete and (b) tackling that gap.

Answered on

19 March 2021

Ofcom runs an annual survey which publishes data on children’s access to technology. This data informed the Department for Education’s COVID-19 response through the Get Help with Technology programme.

The Department has invested over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care. We have secured 1.3 million laptops and tablets and have already delivered over 1.2 million of these to schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities, supporting disadvantaged children and young people who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts, local authorities, or further education colleges who can lend these to the children and young people who need them most.

The Department has partnered with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, which will support access to education resources. Families will benefit from this additional data until July 2021.

We are working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to improve broadband connections in schools. DCMS has powers to address some affordability issues for some telecoms services.

We are building on the foundations of the Department’s significant investment in technology and exploring future options, which we will set out in due course.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.