UK Government will provide free 4G routers, laptops and tablets for home schooling

Home schooling
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The Government will provide laptops, tablets and 4G mobile Wi-Fi routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children across the UK in order to minimise potential disruption to their education during the coronavirus outbreak.

Schools and colleges have been closed for a month in order to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the UK.

Many children are being home schooled, while educational institutions have provided online resources to pupils. However there is concern that not all students have access to these services, exacerbating the effect of school closures.

Online education

The Department for Education says devices will be given to those at the most vital stages of their education, while routers will be given to households where families do not already have mobile or broadband in the house.

Mobile operators have pledged to zero-rate access to these services, just as they have for NHS resources, and once crisis is over, schools will be able to keep the devices in order to provide further education opportunities.

To support these efforts, the BBC is also creating new educational programming while the government has enlisted the help of teachers to create online lessons and resources through a virtual school.

“Schools will remain closed until the scientific advice changes, which is why we need to support the incredible work teachers are already doing to ensure children continue to receive the education they deserve and need,” said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“By providing young people with these laptops and tablets and enabling schools to access high quality support, we will enable all children to continue learning now and in the years to come. We hope this support will take some of the pressure off both parents and schools by providing more materials for them to use.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.