Skip to main content

Children in Asylum Accommodation: Remote Learning

Volume 690: debated on Monday 1 March 2021

What support the Government have provided to ensure that children living in asylum accommodation with limited or no wi-fi during covid-19 lockdowns are able to access remote learning. (912665)

The Get Help with Technology programme is helping disadvantaged children in England without a connection at home, including those living in asylum accommodation, to access the internet. We have delivered more than 60,000 4G wireless routers and are partnering with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data uplifts.

Wi-fi is not a standard feature in asylum accommodation. As more and more learning is done online, even outside of the pandemic, is the Minister prepared to work with counterparts in the Home Office to ensure that all children in the asylum system are able to access digital learning opportunities, so that they do not fall behind and are able to integrate as quickly as possible?

Yes, of course. The Home Office is in charge of the asylum seeker estate, and it does ensure that wi-fi is available. In terms of schools generally, as of 15 February, more than 1 million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools and local authorities. It is one of the biggest procurement exercises of its kind, with 1 million computers built to order and shipped to Britain, with software added before being delivered. The process started last April, and throughout the summer and autumn we continued to order more and more computers, as we prepared for future contingencies.