I welcome the announcement that pupils across the country have benefited from the rollout of laptops and tablets, as the 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.
I am pleased to report that, to date, the London Borough of Hillingdon has received 2,556 of these devices, and the London Borough of Harrow has received 1,625. Young people across both boroughs are continuing to benefit from the raft of measures put in place by the Government to help schools deliver high-quality learning. The devices will ensure no child’s education is hindered, regardless of their background or circumstance.
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 including:
- Partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families
- £300 million investment in tutoring programmes, building on the existing £1 billion Covid Catch Up Fund
- Providing 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England
- Increasing the minimum standard for remote provision
Of course, we all hope that children will be back learning in the classroom in the near future. While we wait for this to be possible, these provisions will ensure every child, no matter where they learn, receives the great education they deserve.
It has been an incredibly challenging time 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 assure parents across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner that the Government will continue to do everything it 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.