Philip Dunne MP has welcomed measures the Government has put in place to help students receive remote education while schools are closed, including laptops and tablets for schools to allocate locally to students who need them, 4G routers for internet access, and video lessons made available via the Oak National Academy.
Throughout the pandemic, education has been a national priority, and thanks to the efforts of teachers and school staff across Shropshire, schools remain the best, and safest place for our children to learn. However, with the whole country in alert level 5, the highest it has ever been, the closure of schools is now necessary to keep the new variant of the virus under control.
Philip Dunne said:
“The difficult decision to close schools and colleges was not taken lightly but is necessary if we are to keep the new variant of the virus at bay across the country. While nothing can ever replace the benefits of learning in a classroom for our children and young people, I am pleased the Government is again helping to make sure young people and children have access to high-quality remote learning so they can receive continuing education that they deserve and need.”
As part of the Government’s commitment that no child is left behind, it is providing a million laptops and tablets for schools to allocate locally to students who need them most. To date, it has delivered over 560,000 devices to councils in England, with students benefitting from the 560,000 devices provided to schools and colleges and a further 100,000 arriving this week nationally.
In tackling the barriers to remote learning for our most vulnerable students, over 54,000 4G routers to have been delivered to schools and colleges in England, helping children access the internet. The Government is building on this work through its partnership with the UK’s leading mobile phone providers, including EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone, to deliver free internet access for these students until July 2021.
The Government has also supported provision of video lessons made available via the Oak National Academy, and strengthened remote education requirements for schools, monitored by Ofsted, so parents can be reassured that their children will benefit from a set number of hours of high-quality remote learning a day.