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Children: ICT

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Downing Street Press Conference on 19 April 2020, how many eligible children had received (a) laptops and (b) 4G routers through the Government’s scheme as at 31 May 2020.

Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46667 on Education: Coronavirus, what recent estimate the Government has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who are unable to access their school online classroom as a result of not having (i) digital devices and (ii) internet access at home in each (A) region and (B) nation of the UK; and how many and what proportion of secondary school pupils unable to access their school online classroom are eligible for (1) laptops and (2) routers under the Government scheme announced on 19 April 2020.

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

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

The Government is providing over 200,000 laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. The Government is also providing over 50,000 4G wireless routers to care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in year 10 who do not have internet connections.

The Department has also partnered with BT to give 10,000 young people free access to BT WiFi hotspots, who do not have access to good internet by other means.

Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and distribute the laptops and tablets to children and young people who need devices. The Department invited local authorities to order devices for the most vulnerable children first, children with a social worker and care leavers.

Devices are being delivered to local authorities and academy trusts daily and will continue to be distributed throughout June.

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