Children and students in Wallasey who may struggle to get online during lockdown could benefit from a deal between the Department for Education and network providers across the country.
The scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on the most popular networks so that children and young people can access remote education while their face-to-face education is disrupted.
Councillors Ian Lewis, Lesley Rennie and Paul Hayes are now promoting the scheme to parents, children and schools as the latest lockdown gets underway.
Requests for mobile data increases for children and young people who do not have fixed broadband at home or who cannot afford additional data for their devices to cover the increased hours on their phones, tablets or computers can be made by schools direct to the Department for Education.
Once a network provider has processed a data increase, they’ll send a text message to the account holder. It’s also possible to check the status of requests through the online service.
Children with access to a mobile phone on one of the following networks might be able to benefit:
- Virgin Mobile
- Tesco Mobile
- Sky Mobile
It is hoped other providers will sign up to.
The deal follows the distribution in the summer of 1,187 free laptops to students in Wirral, as well as 200 4g routers for those without home broadband. Schools can still request 4G wireless routers, again via the Department for Education. During the latest lock down, a further 3,642 laptops have so far been provided to students in Wirral
Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Media, said: "We know how important it is for children to take part in online lessons and remote learning, and we’re pleased to be working with the Department for Education by offering free mobile data to Virgin Mobile customers who need it. This is the latest in a series of measures we have taken this year to support our customers during this challenging time."
How schools can get 4g wireless routers: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/how-to-request-4g-wireless-routers and staff with any questions about the data deal with providers should email COVID.TECHNOLOGY@education.gov.uk using the subject line ‘Increasing data allowances’.