Students: Broadband and Computers

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Manzoor Baroness Manzoor Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide all secondary school students with laptops and broadband routers; and what criteria they use to determine which students should receive any such provision.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government will provide devices for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for exams (in Year 10), receive support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools will be given guidance on how to place online orders for government-funded and allocated devices. We recognise that local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school or children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we will also provide the capability for them to access the internet. 16 to 19-year-olds without a suitable device will be eligible for support via the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

Additionally, the country’s major telecommunication providers will make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

For those in rural areas or without a connection, schools will be able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television; and may choose to draw on the many resources offers which have been made by publishers across the country.

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