Remote Education: ICT

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to implement the recommendations from the January 2021 briefing by the Child Poverty Action Group on Digital exclusion during the covid-19 pandemic.

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

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. The Government is providing this significant injection of laptops and tablets on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Monday 8 February 2021, over 986,000 laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities and further education providers.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts, local authorities or further education providers who can lend these to the children and young people who need them most, during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

We have partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

We are grateful to EE, Lycamobile, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile and Vodafone for supporting the mobile data offer. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

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