100,000 laptops to be delivered to Britain’s school children this week

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Photo: Dept of Education

This picture shows 35,000 of the 50,000 laptops and tablets being delivered to schools tomorrow (Monday 4 January) to help pupils who need them the most learn from home.

The Department of Education are delivering 100,000 in total during the first week of term.

Over 560,000 devices were delivered to schools and councils in 2020 and with more than 440,000 devices on order, it means over one million will now be provided to help schools and colleges throughout the pandemic – making the programme one of the largest of its kind in the world.

The Government is investing over £300 million to support remote education and social care, including providing devices and internet access to pupils who need it most. This is alongside work to help young people catch up through the National Tutoring Programme.

The vast majority of devices will be delivered to schools and colleges by Easter.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

We know how important it is for children to be in school, but it’s also vital that where public health advice means they can’t be, we have all-encompassing measures in place to prevent them falling behind.

That’s why scaling up our devices scheme, alongside our tutoring offer to reach as many children and young people as possible, is so important.

Providing one million devices is a hugely significant achievement, not only in the context of supporting children through the pandemic, but an investment in tech for our schools, colleges and children for years to come.

The Department for Education has partnered with some of the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, further supporting remote learning where it’s needed.

Where schools identify a child from a disadvantaged family without internet access at home, they can now request free, additional data through the DfE’s Get Help with Technology programme. Families will benefit from this additional data until July.

The level of additional data will vary by provider, but for example EE customers will receive an extra 20 gigabytes per month. Other providers include Three, Tesco Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Media, said:

We know how important it is for children to take part in online lessons and remote learning, and we’re pleased to be working with the Department for Education by offering free mobile data to Virgin Mobile customers who need it. This is the latest in a series of measures we have taken this year to support our customers during this challenging time.

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