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)

For the 2020 to 2021 academic year, DfE is providing laptops and tablets to schools to help children and families in need to access remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19). Devices have been made available for disadvantaged children in certain year groups who:

The guidance Get laptops and tablets for children who cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19) provides information for schools, trusts and local authorities on how to apply.

These devices are in addition to those DfE provided during the 2020 summer term to local authorities and academy trusts for children, families and young adults most in need.

Get internet access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children

DfE is giving schools 4G wireless routers that they can lend to disadvantaged and vulnerable children in the event of disruption to education. This is in addition to routers dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts in the summer 2020 term.

Local authorities and trusts that received 4G wireless routers in the summer should sign in to the support portal to identify unused routers and reallocate these to children and young people with the greatest need.

The Getting internet access guidance includes:

  • information for schools on how to order 4G wireless routers
  • details of the pilot schemes DfE ran using BT WiFi hotspots and increased mobile data allowances

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

Technical guidance for local authorities, academy trusts and schools that received devices from DfE during the 2020 summer term can be found in the Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers provided during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. This includes information about:

  • online safety
  • mobile device management
  • warranties
  • how to contact a support desk

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. To help applicants make the most appropriate choice for their school, The Key also provides feature comparison overviews and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms.

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

Published 19 April 2020
Last updated 20 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to emphasise the current offers and to encourage reallocation of any 4G wireless routers sent during the summer term that are not being used.

  2. Guidance updated.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Updated to reflect policy and process development.

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

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

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

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

  10. First published.