London Jan 06 (BAN/GOV) Get laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The government is supporting families and children home-schooling again as the UK hits another lockdown with COVID cases and deaths rapidly rising.
The Department for Education (DfE) is providing laptops and tablets to schools to help children and families access remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19). We’re also helping disadvantaged children who need an internet connection to get internet access.
More laptops and tablets will be available in 2021
From January 2021, DfE will increase the help available through its get help with technology programme.
- providing hundreds of thousands more laptops and tablets – reaching a total of more than 1 million by the end of the academic year
- enabling all schools, colleges, trusts and local authorities to order devices before they experience disruption to face-to-face education
- supporting disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds in further education
DfE will provide more information to the schools, colleges, trusts and local authorities able to order these devices in the spring term 2021. We’ll continue to support schools experiencing disruption as a priority.
Who can get laptops and tablets
Schools will be able to order an allocation of devices 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
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.
Disadvantaged children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are included within this offer. However, if specialist support and equipment is required help may be available through the Family Fund.
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.
How device allocations have been decided
Schools and colleges will receive an allocation of devices to be used to support disadvantaged children who are otherwise unable to access remote education.
Examples of this include disadvantaged children:
- 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
The number of devices available to order through the get help with technology service reflects the number of laptops and tablets we estimate are needed by each school or college. This calculation is based on:
- the number of children in years 3 to 11 (16 to 19 education providers will be contacted during the 2021 spring term when the service is extended to years 12 and 13)
- free school meals data
- an estimate of the number of devices a school or college already has
This allocation can be used as part of preparing to deliver remote education. However, the exact number and type of devices available will be confirmed at the time of ordering based on stock availability and the extent of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. If there are widespread school closures, allocations could be temporarily reduced.