Get help with technology during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for local authorities, academy trusts and schools on devices and support available to provide remote education and access to children’s social care.

The Department for Education (DfE) is providing a range of support through its Get help with technology programme.

Get laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Between May and July 2020, the DfE provided laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts for children, families and young adults most in need.

For the 2020 to 2021 academic year, 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.

This guidance provides information for schools, trusts and local authorities about how to apply.

Manage laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers received from the DfE

The DfE provided devices to local authorities and academy trusts between May and July 2020. These are being distributed to families, children and young adults most in need, who did not have access to them through another source, such as their school.

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

Technical guidance is available to provide staff at local authorities, academy trusts and schools with information about online safety, mobile device management, warranties, and how to contact a support desk.

Get internet access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children

Internet access supports remote education, as well as virtual contact between children, their social workers and other services.

In addition to the 4G wireless routers already provided, the DfE is running 2 pilot schemes for increasing vulnerable and disadvantaged children’s internet access: one giving free access to BT wifi hotspots, and another raising data allowances on mobile devices.

Apply for a grant and support to get set up with a digital education platform

Schools can apply for government-funded support through The Key for School Leaders and access one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education. The Key also provides feature comparison and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms, to help applicants make the most appropriate choice for their school.

Get peer-to-peer support on the effective use of technology in academy trusts and schools

Organisations can use the EdTech Demonstrator Programme to contact a network of schools and colleges who are already using remote education technology resources for help and support.

Read the other guidance on remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read other guidance on social care during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Published 19 April 2020
Last updated 7 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated.

  2. Updated to clarify that all local authorities and academy trusts have been invited to order, the majority of devices have been delivered and to set out the delivery timeline going forward.

  3. Updated with various clarifications, including emphasising that devices are for education and social care, adding information on protecting children and young people online, and linking to guidance on loaning or gifting devices.

  4. Updated to reflect policy and process development.

  5. New details of the offer have been added, including a section on getting help using online education platforms.

  6. Clarification on who digital devices and internet access will be provided to.

  7. We have clarified the role of responsible bodies in ordering digital devices for eligible children and young people.

  8. We added a sentence to clarify that the offer also helps local authorities supporting care leavers and children with social workers.

  9. First published.