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Children: Computers

Department for Education written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the Government's laptop loan scheme for vulnerable or disadvantaged secondary age children to all school age children without access to a home device.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Government has committed over £100 million to support remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

We have considered the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and will ensure they get the support they need. The Department is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, those receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, or are a care leaver.

We are supporting schools and children of all ages in a number of ways, including those without access to devices. For example, schools can draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television. Some of the BBC educational content is offline, via the red button, which disadvantaged pupils without digital devices or connectivity will still be able to access.

Schools may also choose to draw on the many resources offers which have been made by publishers across the country. To complement resources that schools have made available to their pupils – both online and in hard copy - the Department has published an initial list of high quality online educational resources, which have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts to help pupils to learn at home. This list can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

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