Get laptops, tablets and connectivity support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
The government is providing an additional 500,000 devices in AY2021/22 to schools, colleges, academy trusts (trusts) and local authorities (LAs) via our Get Help With Technology programme. This is following the successful delivery of over 1.3 million laptops and tablets to help schools, colleges and LAs throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Department for Education (DfE) has provided laptops, tablets and connectivity support to schools, colleges, other FE institutions, trusts and LAs to help children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Devices and connectivity support have been offered to:
- disadvantaged children in years 3 to 11 and young people in 16 to 19 education 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
- disadvantaged 14 to 16-year-olds enrolled for Key Stage 4 at sixth-form colleges and whose face-to-face education is disrupted
- care leavers
- disadvantaged young people supported by a social worker
The number of devices available in AY2021/22 for schools, colleges and other FE institutions to order through the Get help with technology service is based on estimates of need made by DfE. These estimates are based on free school meals data/free meal data and the number of devices each setting may have received in AY2019/20 and AY2020/21. If a school, college, other FE institution, trust or LA requires additional devices, they can request them from DfE. These devices are in addition to those DfE provided during the 2020 summer term and the 2020/2021 academic year.
The DfE does not hold information on the onward distribution to families, children and young people. DfE has advised that devices and routers are to be used to support disadvantaged children and young people who are otherwise unable to access remote education or essential social care services.
Examples of this include disadvantaged children and young people:
- with no digital devices in their household
- whose only available device is a smartphone
- with a single device in their household that is being shared with more than one other family member
- who have no broadband, including where those families access the internet through mobile data.
For information about how many devices and 4G wireless routers were delivered to LAs and trusts in the 2020/21 academic year, summer 2020 term, and other publications up to 13th July 2021 please see our previous publications here.