Free laptops: DfE rhetoric at odds with reality in schools over lockdown devices for poorest students

As a DfE press notice trumpets the number of laptops it has now acquired to support remote learning, research reveals that almost a year into the pandemic only one in five schools have been able to supply devices to all pupils who need one. Pete Henshaw reports

A Department for Education (DfE) press release trumpeting the acquisition of 300,000 more laptops and tablets to support remote education has landed badly with teaching professionals.

While the government has now delivered 702,000 laptops and tablets to schools since the pandemic began, the general view is that implementation of the programme has been slow and the number of devices available remains inadequate.

This was supported by a research briefing from charity the Sutton Trust this week, which revealed that in the first week of the January lockdown only 10 per cent of teachers said that all their students had adequate access to a device for remote learning.

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