3,650 new laptops and tablets for disadvantaged students across Lincolnshire

  • Lincolnshire has now received 3,650 laptops and tablets to help support disadvantaged children and young people while they learn at home.
  • More than 1 million laptops and tablets have now been delivered, with more on the way.

Matt Warman has welcomed the announcement that pupils across Lincolnshire have benefited from 3,650 laptops and tablets to date, as the Conservative Government hits an important milestone in its rollout of devices to support disadvantaged young people.

More than 1 million laptops and tablets have now been delivered to schools and local authorities across England, as part of a £400 million investment that will support schools and young people for years to come.

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 already receiving top ups to their original allocations – with those with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils being prioritised 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 £1 billion Covid Catch Up Fund.

To further strengthen remote education provision, the government has also provided more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring no child is prohibited from receiving a quality education due to a lack of internet access.

To further bolster the quality of remote education for all students, the Government has strengthened the minimum standards for remote learning provision, so every child, no matter where they learn, receives the great education they deserve.

Commenting, Matt Warman said:

“No child should miss out as a result of the disruption caused by this pandemic. That is why it has been our priority to equip those children most in need with the resources they need to succeed.

As Minister for Digital Infrastructure I am acutely aware of our need to address the digital divide; I’ve been working with industry to provide internet access for vulnerable households and improve access to devices for those who need them.

“I very much welcome that young people across Lincolnshire are continuing to benefit from the raft of measures the Government has put in place to help schools deliver high-quality learning, and the 3,650 devices we now have received will ensure no child’s education is hindered, regardless of their background or circumstance.

“While we hope that all our children will be back learning in the classroom as soon as possible, we will do everything in our power to give them the world-class education they deserve as they learn at home.”

Commenting, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“I know what a challenging period this has been for pupils, teachers and parents – but it has been nothing short of inspiring to see schools and staff going above and beyond, as they always have done, to give our pupils the very best education possible.”

“Online access has been an important part of this work and will continue to be as we help young people catch-up after the disruption caused by the pandemic, which is why the delivery of these one million laptops is so vital. They represent one million children who will not let their education be overcome by this virus.”

“I want parents to know that we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect our children’s education at this unprecedented time and ensure they have the tools they need to get on with and make the most of their lives”.

Notes to editors:

  • Providing 1.3 million laptops and tablets to our most disadvantaged children and young people, enabling them to access high quality remote education. Through our Get Help with Technology programme we have delivered over 1 million laptops and tablets to the children who need them most. Last month we announced the provision of a further 300,000 laptops and tablets, which are already being delivered – with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils being prioritised to receive devices first. In total, this brings the number of devices we are providing to 1.3 million (DfE, Press Release, 16 February 2021).
  • Investing more than £400 million to support remote education throughout the course of the pandemic. We have now invested over £400 million to help schools and colleges transition to remote education provision, including the purchasing of 1.3 million laptops and tablet devices to support disadvantaged pupils, and £4.84 million to fund the Oak National Academy, an online resource designed by teachers, which offers video lessons across a wide range of subjects for every year group from Reception to Year 10 pupils. Through our EdTech Development programme, we are delivering advice, guidance and training for teachers, and have supported over 6,000 schools and colleges through weekly webinars, tutorials and bespoke one to one support (DfE, Press Release, 16 February 2021; DfE, Press Release, 1 October 2020).
  • Eliminating any barriers to remote learning for our poorest students by working with the country’s leading mobile operators to deliver free internet access. In our continued effort to support pupils from disadvantaged families, we partnered with the UK’s leading mobile phone operators including EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone to provide free data to those students without internet access, through our Get Help with Technology Programme, which will run until July 2021. This sits alongside the more than 54,000 4G routers we have delivered to schools and colleges to support families without internet access (DfE, Press Release, 6 January 2021; DfE, Devices and 4G Wireless Routers Data as of 22 December, accessed 12 January 2021).
  • Ensuring every student receives the highest-quality remote education possible by introducing clear and legally binding requirements for schools. We have strengthened the minimum standards for remote learning, introducing clear and binding requirements for schools to deliver high-quality remote education, which are mandatory for all state-funded schools and will be overseen by Ofsted. Schools will also be expected to provide between three to five hours of teaching a day, depending on the child’s age, and Ofsted will inspects schools of any grade where it has serious concerns about the quality of its remote provision (DfE, Oral Statement to Parliament, 6 January 2021).
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