The government says more than a million laptops and tablets have now been delivered to the most disadvantaged children across the country, as part of a £400 million investment.
Official statistics show the government has delivered 1,055,745 laptops and tablets to the children who need them most to help make sure their education can continue during the pandemic.
Thousands of families have also received additional data from mobile operators, following the Department’s work to help children without internet access get online. This has supported access to educational resources to help children while most are being educated from home.
The news comes after the Department for Education last month announced a further 300,000 laptops and tablets to help even more disadvantaged children and young people learn at home. Schools are now receiving these top-ups to their original device deliveries – with those schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils being prioritised to receive devices first.
The 1.3 million devices the government is providing sits alongside a package of extensive support for the most disadvantaged children. This includes partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300 million being invested in tutoring programmes building on the existing £1bn Covid Catch Up Fund.
In addition, the Oak National Academy has been ‘zero rated’ by eleven major telecoms providers, including Vodafone, O2, Three, and BT. This means no data charges will apply if lessons from the country’s online classroom are accessed through a mobile phone from participating providers.
Julian David, Chief Executive Officer of techUK, said: “Securing 1.3 million devices for disadvantaged children and young people in these challenging times, and delivering over one million, is a testament to how the UK tech industry and government have pulled together to support families that need help the most.
“The devices programme is a great example of industry and government collaboration, which will help children’s futures for generations to come. I’m keen to deepen this collaboration and see it go even further, and the tech industry stands ready and eager to provide further support for this critical mission.”