The government is ordering laptops to help disadvantaged children learn from home ahead of key exams next year, the Education Secretary has said.
Speaking during today’s daily press conference, Gavin Williamson confirmed that those most in need, including vulnerable children and those in care, would receive equipment for their studies.
He said they would also provide 4G routers to ensure secondary school pupils are able to connect to the internet at home. Williamson continued: ‘To any young people watching, I wanted to say how sorry I am you’ve had your education disrupted in this way. I know how hard it must be.
I’d like to thank you for making the adjustments you’ve had to make. ‘I know you will be missing your friends, your teachers and your lessons. You are such an important part of this fight too and I cannot thank you enough.
The Education Secretary also announced that national learning resources would be available online from tomorrow for parents currently homeschooling their children.
The Oak National Academy will provide 180 lessons each week for year groups from reception through to year 10. It has been created by more than 40 teachers across the UK, with classes in language, art and maths.
Williamson said he was ‘determined to support parents in helping teach their children from home’. He added: ‘I will do anything I can to make sure no child falls behind as a result of this crisis.’
Schools and colleges given laptops for pupils will be able to keep them once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted. However, Williamson confirmed today that he doesn’t know when this will be.
He said: ‘Tomorrow many children should be going to school for the first time after a two week break. But these are not normal times and we’re asking you to stay at home.
Thank you for all the sacrifices that you’ve had to make. ‘I want nothing more than to see schools back, getting them back to normal, making sure children are sat around learning, and experiencing the joy of being at school, but I can’t give you a date.’ Williamson later confirmed that there are ‘currently no plans’ to have schools open over the summer period.
Instead, he said the government is looking at ‘different ways’ to provide resources for children over the summer so they ‘have the ability to catch up on their own’.