Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East, has welcomed news that pupils across Wolverhampton have benefitted from nearly 4,000 laptops and tablets to date, as the Government hit 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. So far, schools in Wolverhampton have received 3,709 devices.
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. This includes partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families, alongside a further £300 million being invested in tutoring programmes building on the existing £1 billion Covid Catch Up Fund.
To further strengthen remote education provision, the Government has also provided more than 54,000 4G routers to schools and colleges across England, ensuring no child is prohibited from receiving a quality education due to a lack of internet access.
The Government has strengthened the minimum standards for remote learning provision, so every child, no matter where they learn, receives the great education they deserve.
Jane said: “I very much welcome the news that young people across Wolverhampton have received nearly 4,000 new devices to help schools deliver high-quality learning. The impact of school closures on our most disadvantaged pupils is something I have repeatedly raised in Parliament and with ministers. The attainment gap has widened considerably, and we must do everything we can to reverse this.
“No child should miss out as a result of the disruption caused by this pandemic. I want to see children back in class as soon as possible, and I look forward to the Prime Minister setting out his plan to achieve this next week.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP said: “I know what a challenging period this has been 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 want parents to know that we’ll continue to do everything we 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.”