COVID 19 Education

Published: 07 January 2021

Early indications are that more children are attending school at Primary and Secondary, in this lockdown. Figures will be available next week.
The DfE has made available additional devices (laptops or tablets) available for:
  • disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 who do not have access to a device and whose face-to-face education is disrupted disadvantaged.
  • children in any year group who have been advised to shield because they (or someone they live with) are clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • disadvantaged children in any year group attending a hospital school.
  • Disadvantaged children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Disadvantaged children in this context are those with:

  • with no digital devices in their household.
  • whose only available device is a smartphone.
  • with a single device in their household that’s being shared with more than one other family member.
This offer applies to maintained schools, pupil referral units, academy trusts and hospital schools, as well as sixth-form colleges who have enrolled 14 to 16-year-olds.

Secondary Schools can request the devices now and it is anticipated primary schools will have access over the coming weeks. Local Authorities can also make requests for specific children.

The number of devices schools can request is determined by the Department for Education and is based on the number of children in years 3 to 11, the number of children in on Free School Meals and the number of devices the school has already received. (These laptops are in addition to the approximately 4000 Department for Education funded laptops for vulnerable children without access and other disadvantaged children that where distributed by the LA and schools during the summer term. A further allocation was made directly to schools in the autumn term). Orders should arrive within 5 days of the request.

The Department for Education is also providing support for pupils who have no internet access or who cannot afford increased data charges. Information on this scheme is available by clicking the link Increasing data allowances on mobile devices to support disadvantaged children (opens an external website).

It should be noted that Parents, carers and pupils cannot apply for digital devices or internet access through this scheme themselves. They should contact their school to discuss requirements for accessing remote education.