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Pupils: Digital Technology

Question for Department for Education

UIN 168913, tabled on 15 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to develop a long-term post-covid-19 digital inclusion strategy for children and young people; and what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on tackling digital exclusion as part of the Government's Levelling Up agenda.

Answered on

19 March 2021

Technology in education has been essential for continuing to teach remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent school and college closures. In the long term, it has the potential to support teacher workload reductions, flexible working, cost savings, inclusive teaching practice and improved pupil outcomes.

The Government is investing over £400 million in support for remote education including making available over 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help over 30,000 disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering over 70,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

We are building on the Department’s significant investment in devices, platforms, training and digital services to create a lasting digital legacy.

Alongside this, ensuring that our children, regardless of their background, have world-class digital skills needed for the future, is a key priority of this Government. The computing curriculum, introduced in September 2014, aims to ensure that all pupils from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4 can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems, and are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. This sits alongside ensuring all pupils acquire knowledge of the fundamental principles of computer science and programming. All state-maintained schools must teach the computing curriculum and academies and free schools may use it as an exemplar.

We continue to work with other Government departments, technology providers, charities, and foundations, to ensure vulnerable people access the support they need to benefit from digital connectivity. We want every adult to have a base level of digital and cyber skills so that no-one is left behind by the digital revolution.

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.