Official statistics published today show the government has delivered over one million laptops and tablets to those children who need them the most — a significant milestone that is helping ensure children can continue to receive the best possible education while at home.
It will also leave a lasting legacy, meaning many more pupils will have access to high quality IT equipment for years to come.
The overwhelming majority of schools have already received their initial allocations, with schools starting to receive additional devices as of last week from the 300,000 laptops and tablets secured earlier this year.
The 1.3 million devices the government is providing comes 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 £1bn Covid Catch Up Fund.
Thousands of families have also received additional data from mobile operators, following the Department’s work to help children without internet access get online. This has supported access to educational resources to help children while most are being educated from home. In addition, the Oak National Academy has been ‘zero rated’ by eleven major telecoms providers, including Vodafone, O2, Three, and BT. This means no data charges will apply if lessons from the country’s online classroom are accessed through a mobile phone from participating providers.
Delivering over million laptops to pupils – with hundreds of thousands more on their way – has been a mammoth task.
To put it into perspective:
- 1 million laptops stacked on top of each other would be over 6 miles high – that’s 32 Shards on top of each other and significantly taller than Mount Everest.
- Placed side by side they would stretch for 186 miles – that is further than the distance between London and Manchester.
- The combined total of laptops would weigh more than 400 African elephants or 200 London buses.
- And the one million pupils using them would fill old Trafford football stadium 13 times over
- One million pupils is the same as the entire populations of Liverpool and Leicester combined
We acknowledge that despite the huge progress that has been made, there is still the challenge of ensuring every child that requires the equipment to access remote education has received a device, something we will continue to focus on and drive forward in the coming weeks.
Note: All calculations are indicative, assuming an average sized laptop measuring 30cm long, 20cm wide, 1cm thick and with a mass of 2.5kg. Mass of London bus assumed at 12,400kg and an African elephant as 6,000kg.