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UK secures 300,000 additional devices to promote e-learning
The UK government has announced earmarking £100 million to secure additional 300,000 laptops and tablets to support about 1.3 million disadvantaged children and young people learn at home.
Data from the Department for Education 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 to over £400 million which has been allocated to support 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 prioritizing 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 program, 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 “I know just how difficult the past year has been for parents and teachers, now more so than ever. I want nothing more than for every child to be in the classroom with their friends and teachers, but with that not possible we are doing everything in our power to support schools with high-quality remote education.”
“These additional devices, on top of the 100,000 delivered last week, add to the significant support we are making available to help schools deliver high-quality online learning, as we know they have been doing.”