MP seeks assurances on laptop provision

Date published: 07 January 2021

Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner has urged the Government to provide the necessary resources to ensure ALL children and young people can participate in remote learning during lockdown.

Ms Rayner has accused the government of failing an entire generation of young people by failing to ensure that children can access remote learning and is demanding that the government ensure every child has a laptop and internet access so their education can continue during lockdown.

She will be contacting every school in her constituency to ask headteachers what resources they have been provided by the government to keep all their students learning during lockdown and what resources their students need in order to access remote learning, including laptops, tables, internet provision and mobile device data.

She will also be supporting Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s campaign to ensure every school-age child has access to a mobile device and data to access remote learning, in Ashton and Failsworth and across Greater Manchester.

Ms Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: “The new restrictions are necessary to allow us to get control of the virus.

“National lockdown means schools must close and the Government must provide the resources to keep all our young people learning.

“Almost a year into this pandemic children are still unable to learn at home and access remote learning.

"The government has failed an entire generation of young people.

“There are areas of real deprivation and poverty across Oldham and Tameside with 18,000 children eligible for free school meals.

"Thousands of children across our borough will be struggling to access remote learning.

“Last April, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson promised laptops for children to enable them to access online learning.

"He failed to deliver and then in October, he cut the allocation of laptops for deprived children.

“No child should be stopped from learning simply because their family is struggling.

“That means laptops for all students who need them, and ensuring every child has internet access and the Government must demand tech companies waive data fees for disadvantaged children accessing remote learning.

“Residents in my constituency have been under enhanced restrictions since July and parents have got enough to contend with without having to worry about whether their child can learn from home.”

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