End the digital divide - provide children with internet access and a device to learn

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With the announcement of the second national lockdown in the UK, and second school closure, it is important more than ever that we don't sit back and let our future generations suffer.

Ofcom estimate that between 1.14m and 1.78m children in total in the UK have no home access to a laptop, desktop or tablet. Children need internet access and a device to learn. Education is a basic human right, and children can't be educated from home if they don't have a device or internet access. The government are failing to allow our children to learn. We mustn't leave these children behind. 

The Children’s Commissioner has stated that the Government’s scheme to make laptops and 4G routers available to children unable to access on-line learning during the pandemic was simply not enough. The £100 million package was introduced in April 2020 and was used to fund laptops and 4G wireless routers to be sent to vulnerable pupils with social workers, care leavers and disadvantaged year 10 pupils. Out of these groups only 200,000 devices and 50,000 routers were distributed between 540,000 children who were in need. That means the scheme only helped 37% of these children. 

The scheme mentioned above also ignored millions of children in need. There are disadvantaged and vulnerable children in every year group (Reception to Year 13). These children haven't even been thought about by the Government. These children need a voice. Enough is enough, and we need to take action

We ask that Mr Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education takes immediate action in ensuring that schools and other organisations (as necessary) have the funds and support needed to ensure that each child in the UK has the tools they need to learn from home. The Government has enough money to provide internet access and a learning device to every vulnerable child in the UK. It is the government's responsibility to make sure this happens. 

We need to end the digital divide in the UK, now more than ever. Sign this petition to push for the empowerment of our children by providing them with the tools they need for a basic education during the national lockdown, and thereafter.