The educational achievements of 700,000 children with no internet access at home will be improved by a new campaign from the e-learning Foundation.
Schools regularly expect pupils to use the internet at home for homework and revision, disadvantaging some of the UK’s poorest children. Now the campaign group Mind the Gap wants to extend access to 100,000 more children in the next 12 months, the Telegraph reports.
The campaign, which is aimed at schools, wants to get every school-age child online at home and is asking for corporate and individual donations to achieve this. Schools in England will be encouraged to use the pupil premium to buy equipment and pay for broadband; any school whose pupils are all online at home will be recognised as ‘digitally inclusive’ by Mind the Gap.
Valerie Thompson, chief executive of the e-learning Foundation, said: “A lack of online access isn’t just holding the children back, it’s holding the school back; until you can guarantee that every child can complete a piece of work on a computer at home, you can’t encourage and embrace technology to its full in school.”
Janet Adamson, headteacher at Griffin Primary School in Hull, leads one of more than forty schools that have already signed up to the scheme; around 50% of her pupils do not have access to the internet at home. “There is a whole raft of things we can do with the internet that can inspire children’s imaginations,” she said. “Inequalities in internet access are not just about revision for national tests, often it’s about preparing for future life.”
Do any of your pupils lack internet access at home and if so how much damage is it doing to their education? Share your views with the Eteach community!