BT is partnering with the UK government’s Department for Education (DfE) to help the most in-need children in England with online learning.
BT will provide in-need families with six months free access to the UK’s largest Wi-fi network, which extends to 5.5 million Wi-fi hotspots around the country. Access will be provided via a BT WiFi voucher-code system and will allow children to access the web on up to three devices at a time, for six months.
The voucher will allow access with comprehensive content filtering and will point to online resources from BT’s own Skills for Tomorrow and Barefoot learning programmes, as well as BBC Bitesize and others.
The scheme will be offered to those who are most in need and will be launched immediately. The ambitious plan follows the Department for Education’s initiative announced in April, which aims to help England’s most in-need children access vital online learning resources. Over the coming months, supporting hardest hit families is more important than ever.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said: “Supporting children’s education in these difficult times is a major priority for BT. Through our Skills for Tomorrow programme, we already have a whole raft of fun and engaging online resources to help children learn at home. Offering up our Wi-fi hotspots estate will ensure that thousands more children will ultimately be able to keep up with their important digital learning and online schoolwork for the rest of term and over the Summer holidays as well as into the Autumn.”
Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister, said: “The Government will do everything possible to make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of coronavirus. We have committed over £100 million to support pupils with remote education, including to provide laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to disadvantaged children and young people, and this initiative will build on that work. High quality internet access will continue to play an important role for children and families as we work towards pupils returning to schools in September, and I am hugely grateful to BT for their support in delivering this scheme.”