To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department used in making its policy to include (a) Microsoft and (b) Google but not other commonly used platforms in its list of suggested providers in the Constituency framework: education and childcare setting (excluding universities) guidance.
The Government is investing over £400 million to support remote education, including by providing laptops and tablets and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer training and support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of technology.
There is budget remaining to continue to provide technical support to help schools set up accounts for Google and Microsoft to access remote education during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Microsoft and Google platforms were chosen as they are free to use to the education sector and had the unified technology and support to set up and deliver effective remote education provision.
Google and Microsoft are not only free to use but offer a number of features and functionalities that are suitable for school needs.
We want to ensure all schools are set up with a remote learning platform and are keeping this under constant review.