We need a national plan for online remote education… And the Government has failed us

Last week, I spoke to BBC about the fact that no child’s education should be dependent on their internet connection.

And, in many ways, our Council are on the front foot of bridging the gap with the digital divide as we quickly acted last year to ensure that no child’s education was dependent on their access to an internet connection.

However, with the Government having announced the closure of every Primary and Secondary School in England, Boris Johnson himself said in his speech that they will distribute more devices to support education, but schools and children are still waiting.

But, in his speech last week, Gavin Williamson confirmed that children without a laptop have been added to the ‘vulnerable list’ of children who are now entitled to go into school.

This massively expands the number of pupils now able to be in a class. This is an admission of the Government’s own failure to provide a suitable, adequate online offer to children in this country to enable remote learning.

And, it begs the question, where do they draw the line with this? The Government are absolving responsibility and passing this on to families.

If a family has three children but only one child doesn’t have a laptop, how should a parent decide which child stays at home to learn and which goes to school?

We need a national plan for online remote education and even after Gavin Williamson’s statement last week, children across the country are still waiting for that national plan.

This isn’t a new issue, the Government knew this was coming and I’m really disappointed that families, children and schools have still not received the guidance and support they need from the Government.

Nevertheless, in Wolverhampton, we will continue with our efforts locally to ensure that no child gets left behind.

And, each day I’m hearing about various wards in Wolverhampton where Councillors are pledging their ward funds to ensure can get connected and not miss out on their education.Read more on this here: https://www.bbc.com/news/education-55565537

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