THOUSANDS more vulnerable children will get a free laptop from the government to help them study from home.
An additional 150,000 devices will be given to kids who are either shielding or are affected by local lockdowns – but only if they don’t already have a laptop or tablet.
This is on top of 200,000 laptops that have already been handed out by the government as part of an initial scheme.
Pupils from year 3 to year 11, so between the ages of seven and 16, may be eligible for the support.
Children who may be entitled to a free laptop include those with no digital device in their household, or if they’ve got one device but it’s being shared with another family member.
Your child may also be eligible if they have a smartphone but no other gadget to do their work.
As part of the original free laptop scheme, low-income families could also get 4G routers if they didn’t have an internet connection.
However, it’s unclear if the Department for Education (DfE) is still doing this.
We’ve asked if this part of the scheme has been extended too and we’ll update this article when we know more.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims to get schoolkids back in classrooms for September following the coronavirus crisis.
The PM yesterday declared it was the “right thing for everybody” for pupils to return to school next month.
But teachers’ trader unions are now demanding checklists before they commit to getting members back.
Parents and carers can’t apply themselves – instead, they are advised to contact their child’s school.
The DfE will be speaking to local authorities to see how many devices they need.
It’ll then be up to councils and schools to decide how many they order.
Some schools will also be able to apply directly to the DfE for the devices.
The devices will technically be “on loan” to families, which means they’ll likely need to be returned to your child’s school or your council.
A DfE spokesperson said: “We continue to do all we can to make sure no-one is left behind as a result of coronavirus through targeted support for children who need it most.
“Children will be returning to school full time in September but it is essential disadvantaged pupils can continue with their education remotely if they are not able to attend due to self-isolation or a local lockdown.
“These laptops and tablets are in addition to the 200,000 devices we have already provided for the most disadvantaged children.”
Parents may be able to claim up to £150 to help cover the cost of buying new school uniform this autumn.
Plus, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about school holiday meal vouchers including everywhere you can spend them.
It comes as Poundland enters the school uniform price war with clothing from £1.