Yesterday, I was honoured to receive a mention in the House of Commons.
As the city’s Digital Innovation Councillor Champion, I’m proud of the work our Labour Council are doing to end the digital divide in the city.
I’m hugely proud of our WV Online lending scheme which was created to ensure that children, families and individuals without digital devices in our city have access to one.
And, more recently, a project that will ensure that children who are self-isolating and cannot attend school have not only access to a device, but (with the help from their ward Councillors contribution of ward funds) they will have access to ‘data sim cards’ to allow internet connectivity during the period of isolation too.
Tomorrow, it will become a legal requirement for hard-working teachers and schools to provide online, remote lessons to self-isolating pupils. In theory, a good idea, but the Government have (neglectfully) not considered the scale of the digital divide across the country ….
How will those pupils who need to self-isolate but do not have WiFi or an internet connection at home access these lessons?
The Government needs to provide both support for devices for these pupils AND internet connectivity to enable them to get online to receive online remote learning during a period of self-isolation.
I’m grateful that in Wolverhampton, hard-working Councillors in those wards most affected by the digital divide have agreed to support local schools with funds to ensure that any self-isolating pupils can get online to access their learning from home.
The Government needs to do more nationally, but in this city, our Labour Council will ensure that no child’s education will depend on their internet connection.