GovWire

Detailed guide: Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers provided during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Department For Education

November 20
10:15 2020

Find out about the additional laptops and tablets available in the 2020 to 2021 academic year for disadvantaged children in certain year groups who are affected by disruption to face-to-face education at their school, or have been advised to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Why laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers were provided

Devices were provided to local authorities and academy trusts during the 2020 summer term.

These are for families, children and young adults most in need who did not already have access to one.

Devices help children and young people to access remote education. They also help to provide access to social care and other services to support safety and wellbeing.

More laptops and tablets have been made available for disadvantaged children in certain year groups who are affected by disruption to face-to-face education at their school, or have been advised to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Device ownership and responsibilities

During the 2020 summer term, local authorities were responsible for ordering and distributing laptops and tablets to:

  • care leavers and children with a social worker
  • year 10 pupils who did not have a social worker and were in maintained schools, including voluntary aided schools

Academy trusts were responsible for ordering and distributing laptops and tablets to year 10 pupils who:

  • did not have a social worker
  • did not have access to a laptop or tablet through another source

Local authorities and academy trusts own and manage the laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers they received, and lend them to families, children and young people. Local authorities and academy trusts can choose to transfer ownership to individual schools, or where it is deemed appropriate, gift devices to care leavers, or children and families with social workers.

Safeguarding should be considered when deciding whether to gift a device, and relevant parties (such as social workers, schools and carers) should be involved in making the decision.

Reallocating unused 4G wireless routers

Local authorities, academy trusts and schools can identify any 4G wireless routers that are not being used. They can then collect and reallocate them to children and young people with the greatest need.

Local authorities and academy trusts can identify unused routers by signing in to the support portal to see how much data is being used by each router theyre responsible for.

Get support to manage laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers received from the DfE

Local authorities and academy trusts were asked to nominate staff as technical contacts to manage the devices they received.

The technical guidance hub is available for technical contacts at local authorities, academy trusts and schools. It includes guides to share with the children, families and young people that devices are distributed to. It also has technical information about:

  • pre-installed content filtering and mobile device management (MDM), and how to remove these to install other software and settings
  • warranties and how to report faults
  • how to contact a support desk

Read guidance on further support available to local authorities, academy trusts and schools through the Get help with technology programme.

Published 7 August 2020
Last updated 20 November 2020 +show all updates
  1. Removed section on device eligibility during the summer term. Added section encouraging reallocation of any 4G wireless routers sent during the summer term that are not being used.

  2. Updated 'Device ownership and responsibilities'.

  3. First published.

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