Pupils: Internet:Written question - 71052

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Education
Pupils: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils eligible for pupil premium funding do not have internet connectivity in their home.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 17 July 2020

We have committed over £100 million to support remote education, including to support children who do not have access to the internet.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in year 10 do not have internet connections, we have provided 4G wireless routers and six months of free data so that they can learn and access social services at home. As of 30 June, over 47,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts. This information can be viewed here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The department has also launched a service to provide children and young people free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots. 10,000 families are initially able to access the scheme. This offer is currently being piloted and will be rolled out across England in the coming months. We are currently working with BT to expand this offer to allow more children to access the internet through their network of BT Wi-Fi hotspots.

Additionally, the department is working with the major telecommunications companies to improve internet connectivity for disadvantaged and vulnerable families. For families who rely on a mobile internet connection, mobile network operators are working to provide access to free additional data while the COVID-19 outbreak requires children to learn from home and more social care services are online.

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