Government boosts laptop and tablet programme with a further 300,000 devices – taking the total to 1.3 million.
The government has today announced a further 300,000 laptops and tablets to help disadvantaged children and young people learn at home.
Part of the Get Help with Technology Programme, the 300,000 boost takes the total number of laptops and tablets for disadvantaged young people up to 1.3 million.
Data to be published today by the Department for Education will show that over 700,000 laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools to date. Over 100,000 were delivered last week alone and by the end of the week three quarters of a million will have been delivered to schools and local authorities. The vast majority of secondary schools have already received devices and we are delivering more this week. Schools that are yet to order devices can still do so.
The additional 300,000 devices lifts government investment by another £100 million, meaning over £400 million will have been invested in supporting disadvantaged children and young people who need the most help with access to technology through the pandemic. The additional devices will support schools and colleges across England, with top-ups to their original allocation, offering further support to disadvantaged children. Device allocations have been made with the aim of prioritising those most in need. Schools being able to order even more devices, should they require them, will allow for more devices for these children if needed.
This devices programme, which has been distributing laptops and tablets since May last year, goes hand in hand with the government’s work with the UK’s leading mobile network operators, enabling schools to request free uplifts in data for disadvantaged families. The government’s work to support young people with access to technology sits alongside strengthened minimum standards for remote learning, with schools now expected to offer pupils online lessons and a set number of hours of high-quality remote education for pupils – increased from the government’s previous minimum expectations.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
The government will also today publish a remote education framework to support schools and colleges with delivering education for pupils who are learning from home. The frameworks will help them to identify the strengths and areas for improvement in the lessons and teaching they provide remotely, and points towards resources that can help them improve where needed.
The frameworks should be adapted by schools and colleges to fit their individual context. They are voluntary, and were developed in partnership with sector leaders. They have been tested with schools and colleges, and welcomed, with feedback suggesting they are valuable in helping deliver quality remote education for their pupils.
The EdTech Demonstrator network is also in place to offer advice, guidance and training on ways technology can be used to enhance remote education arrangements. This includes weekly webinars and support alongside bespoke advice and training.
Today’s announcements follow confirmation from Oak National Academy last week that major mobile operators Vodafone, 02, Three and EE have committed to working together to make access to the site free – and from BT, on Monday 11th January, that BT and EE customers will be able to access BBC Bitesize resources for free from the end of January. The BBC has also committed to providing a vast array of educational content across its channels, providing even more support for home learning.