To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the provision of digital devices by schools to students, whether those devices are to be returned to the school in the summer term 2021; and what steps he is taking to help ensure that students are able to maintain their (a) learning and (b) digital skills once those devices are returned.
9 June 2021
Laptops and tablets provided to schools and colleges through the Get Help with Technology programme are the property of the institution that received them. These laptops and tablets are additional support on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is for individual schools or colleges to make decisions on the management and distribution of devices they have received. The Department has not stipulated to any school or college that they must request the return of devices from students.
We recognise that technology in education has been essential for continuing to teach remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent school and college closures. The Department has provided significant investment in devices, platforms, training and digital services to develop a sustainable strategy for digital technology in education.