Ruth Cadbury MP
House of Commons
I’m writing to you regarding the ongoing and new challenges facing both primary and secondary schools and colleges in Hounslow in regards to IT equipment as more schools move to virtual learning from home.
I know from talking to local parents, that schools are now able to run virtual lessons, but students can only benefit from these if they have sole use of a laptop or tablet capable of using the latest software, and an adequate internet connection.
As you know I have written to you twice regarding this issue, including recently after a local school approached me with their serious concerns over the lack of both IT and internet connections for pupils who were having to self-isolate. With many schools now closed to student access across the country it’s vital that both the DfE and other government departments are doing everything possible to ensure that all students have fully adequate IT and internet connections.
Additionally, as I have said previously in my letter to you of the 2nd November I am concerned that a failure to address this will only widen the inequalities facing those children from households who are struggling financially or those with children on pupil premium. It’s vital that the Government address the fact that while some families have access to either an internet connection or IT devices they do not have an adequate number to ensure that everyone in the household can either work or learn adequately from Home.
During the first national lockdown schools locally in Hounslow had to pay for students broadband connections to address this shortfall. I very much hope that the Government will be taking urgent action to address the digital divide and set out a clear plan to ensure that no student misses out or falls behind because of a lack of equipment. I look forward to hearing from you.