Help with internet access for Northumberland children learning from home

Support available to ensure all children can get online for remote learning during lockdown has been highlighted by Northumberland’s lead councillor for schools.

By Ben O'Connell
Friday, 8th January 2021, 6:00 am
All young people in England are now learning remotely under the third national lockdown
All young people in England are now learning remotely under the third national lockdown

Mobile phone companies are taking part in a Government scheme to help disadvantaged children access the internet while learning at home, with schools now closed to many pupils until at least the February half-term.

The initiative temporarily increases data allowances for phone users on certain networks, ensuring children and young people are able to access remote education.

Northumberland children, other than the vulnerable and those with parents who are key workers are now having to learn from home, but not all have access to fixed broadband or internet data.

Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is a difficult time for families across the county and even harder for those without adequate internet.

“All children want to learn and this excellent scheme gives families the certainty that they’ll be able to access lessons and teaching materials from their school.

“We want to make sure no child is left behind by lockdown and education is available for all.”

Parents, carers and pupils cannot apply for laptops, tablets or internet access; it is schools, trusts or local authorities who must request mobile data increases for young people who do not have fixed broadband at home or cannot afford additional data for their device.

If increasing mobile data isn’t a suitable option, schools can also request 4G wireless routers.

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