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DfE agrees free mobile data package for home learning

06/01/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Education (DfE) has said it has agreed with mobile network operators that they should provide free data to disadvantaged families to support their children in remote learning.

Boy on laptop

It has issued a statement saying it has partnered with companies including EE, Three, Tesco Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile and Virgin Mobile on the move, which will be effective until July.

This comes after a round of calls for the lifting of mobile data caps to ensure that children from families dependent on mobile internet connections can use education websites such as Purple Mash and Classcharts during the pandemic lockdown.

The DfE said that schools will be able to request free mobile data uplifts through the Get Help with Technology service.

Three UK made an announcement in which its chief commercial officer Elaine Carey said: “Education is crucial for everyone in society and it is vital no child misses out. Three UK wants to support those families that need access to connectivity to support their child’s learning needs during the pandemic.”

The move will be significant for families dependent on mobile connections, which have caps on data usage or operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, as schools are once again closed for an extended lockdown.

SIM card offer

According to a BBC report, Vodafone has offered 350,000 SIM cards that provide 30GB of data to schools and colleges for disadvantaged students, while BT confirmed it was already working with the DfE to help disadvantaged children with extra mobile data each month.

The free data can be accessed through schools to enable pupils to access whichever educational sites that their school uses.

Image from iStock,Sakkmesterke

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