Disadvantaged children to be given laptops to help learn during lockdown

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Disadvantaged children in England are to be given laptops to help remote learning during the coronavirus lockdown.

Devices will be ordered for pupils in vital stages of their education, those who receive support from a social worker and care leavers.

The Government will also provide 4G routers to make sure they can access the internet.

Telecommunications providers will exempt educational sites from data charges.

Schools and colleges will be able to keep their laptops and tablets once they have reopened.

Also, the Oak National Academy is due to launch on Monday 20 April.

This enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from some of the leading schools across England, backed by government grant funding.

It will provide 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“I want to thank all the teachers and staff who are working so hard to ensure vulnerable children and those of critical workers are supported at this time.

“Schools will remain closed until the scientific advice changes, which is why we need to support the incredible work teachers are already doing to ensure children continue to receive the education they deserve and need.

“By providing young people with these laptops and tablets and enabling schools to access high quality support, we will enable all children to continue learning now and in the years to come.

“We hope this support will take some of the pressure off both parents and schools by providing more materials for them to use.”

Oak Academy joins a broad range of support and resources available for schools and parents.

This includes a list of high-quality resources as well as the existing tools and resources schools use to provide remote education.

Many suppliers are making resources, both online and hard-copy, available for free.

Tomorrow (Monday April 20th) the BBC is launching its own education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and some of the best teachers – helping to keep children learning and supporting parents.

This is alongside new guidance for parents on how best to support their child’s education and development.

While families stay at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, some children and young people may face increased risk of abuse or neglect at home – or from strangers online.

The Government will make funding worth £1.6 million available at once for the NSPCC to expand and promote its national helpline for adults.

While schools and social workers remain at the forefront of work to protect vulnerable children, including by supporting them to attend school, expanding the NSPCC Helpline will mean many more adults know how and where to raise concerns and seek advice or support about the safety and wellbeing of any children they are worried about.

 


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.



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