The Department for Education has delivered over 200,000 laptops and tablets to children and young people who would not otherwise have access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care.
The devices were an injection of support to help local authorities and academy trusts to provide access to education and social care during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Local authorities and trusts were responsible for distributing the devices and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.
Devices are owned by the local authority, trust or school who can loan unused devices to children and young people who need them most, and who may face disruption to face-to-face education in the event of future local COVID-19 restrictions.
As of 27 August, over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered to local authorities and academy trusts. This information split by local authorities and trusts can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.
This includes 4,000 devices delivered to Kent County Council for children with a social worker, care leavers and disadvantaged year 10 pupils and four devices to Mayfield Grammar in Gravesend.
The Department is now supplementing this support by making available additional devices in the event of face-to-face schooling being disrupted as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions or local lockdowns, and children become reliant on remote education.
This scheme is intended to enable schools to support disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who cannot afford their own devices. Schools will also be able to order devices for disadvantaged children across all year groups who are shielding as a result of official advice, all year groups who attend hospital schools and those completing their Key Stage 4 at a further education college.