Remote Education: Disadvantaged

(asked on 22nd February 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help disadvantaged children and young people learn at home during the covid-19 outbreak.


Answered by
Nick Gibb Portrait
Nick Gibb
This question was answered on 2nd March 2021

Given the critical importance of ensuring that all children and young people continue to learn during the national lockdown, the Department updated our remote education expectations for schools and FE colleges to clarify and strengthen what is expected, drawing on our evolving understanding of best practice in remote education.

To support disadvantaged children and young people with access to remote education and online social care, the Government is investing over £400 million. We have secured 1.3 million laptops and tablets and have already delivered over 1.2 million of these to schools, colleges, academy trusts, local authorities, and further education colleges to support disadvantaged children and young people who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The Department has also partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online, as well as delivering over 70,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

The Department has also made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Specialist content for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities is also available. Four major mobile network operators - Vodafone, O2, Three and EE - have also committed to working together to make access to Oak National Academy free for school children.

The BBC has adapted their education support for the spring term 2021 and is making educational content available on the television. This helps to ensure all children and young people can access curriculum based learning from home, even if they do not have access to the internet. To support this, BT and EE have made access to BBC Bitesize resources for free from the end of January 2021.

In addition, the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides additional, targeted support for disadvantaged pupils to catch-up on missed learning. The NTP provides access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged pupils, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
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