Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many electronic devices have been (a) issued to (i) children and (ii) schools and (b) requested by schools to support children during the covid-19 outbreak.
The Government has provided laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in year 10 do not have internet connections, the Government has provided 4G wireless routers.
The Department has delivered laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts based on the Department’s estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify children and young people who need devices and prioritise their needs.
The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers have been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts in total, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.
As of the end of June, over 202,000 laptops and tablets and over 47,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts. Where local authorities and academy trusts provided evidence of a need for eligible children that is greater than their initial allocation, the Department has been working with them to provide additional devices.