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South Lakes MP urges Education Secretary to provide extra laptops to prevent disadvantaged school children falling further behind

October 23, 2020 9:00 AM

On the floor of the House of the Commons yesterday, local MP Tim Farron made the case for the Government to provide more laptops to help the most disadvantaged school children catch up with their education.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament on whether to extend Free School Meals over the school holidays, Tim said: "It is clear that young people who have no access to learning technology at home fall further behind than those who do have access to wi-fi, laptops and larger screens.

"There are 2,300 children living in poverty - below the poverty line - in my constituency, yet only 116 PCs were delivered to support them.

"Should not the Secretary of State look at that provision again, so that people from poorer backgrounds do not fall further behind at school?"

In response, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "The honourable Gentleman raises an important point about learning for children. He has the privilege of representing a beautiful and rural part of the world, and he know some of the challenges that come with that.

"Beauty can often disguise some of the poverty that sits behind it, and he is right to mention some of the challenges around how we support schools.

"We have extended the laptop scheme, making more available. In total, close to 500,000 laptops will be made available for schools, and we continue to work with the sector to do everything we can to support schools in the delivery of remote education."