The Department has delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts for children 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 outbreak. Local authorities and academy trusts are responsible for distributing the devices and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.
On 27 August, the Department published information on which local authorities and academy trusts had received devices through the programme, including each local authority in Greater Manchester. This information can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.
The Department is now supplementing this support by making an initial 150,000 additional devices available this academic year in the event face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of local COVID-19 restrictions and children become reliant on remote education.
This scheme will enable schools to support disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who do not have access to a device. Devices will also be able to be ordered 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.