Care leavers to receive laptops/devices – Friday 22 October 2021

This week I report on funding to provide care leavers or children with a social worker laptops or devices from the DfE to support their learning as well as the government’s response to the Education Committee’s report on ‘left behind’ white working class pupils.

Care leavers to benefit from laptops and tablets
Ahead of Care Leavers Week (25-31 October), the government has announced an expansion of the Get Help with Technology programme, with up to 10,000 devices for children with a social worker and those leaving care. Devices will also be allocated to children who have recently arrived from Afghanistan, to help them to adjust to life in England and support their education.

Additional devices will be provided to schools and colleges to help give children and young people who are not in school or college due to Covid, access to lessons. Schools, colleges and councils will be invited during November and December to order their allocation of devices, which will be determined by the proportion of pupils on free school meals and numbers of care leavers in each local authority.

Government response to Education Committee report on ‘left behind’ white working class pupils
The government has responded to concerns raised by the Education Select Committee in their report ‘The forgotten: how White working class pupils have been let down, and how to change it’. The report published in June this year found that disadvantaged white pupils fell behind their peers at every stage of education and called on the government to take action in a series of recommendations, which included greater accountability around government funded careers advice and more targeted data so that interventions and funding could go straight to those that needed it most.

The government largely accepted the majority of the recommendations and where they didn’t they felt that existing or planned policies were “better formulated” to address disadvantage.