In a new study by YouGov and Huawei, one in four (24%) parents revealed that their child has struggled to take part in lessons throughout the periods of school closures due to a poor quality internet connection.
Surveying 4,000 parents across the UK, the research examines whether students’ progress is being hampered by the delivery of remote education, further highlighting the digital divide that has disproportionately affected disadvantaged pupils over the last 12 months and beyond.
More than half (54%) of survey participants admitted that they’ve had to spend money on technology to support their child’s home learning, with one in 10 (12%) claiming they’ve been forced to spend more than £500 on such resources since the first lockdown last March.
On top of this, the study revealed that families across the nation are having to resort to switching off video during calls, tethering to a mobile connection or restricting internet access in an effort to secure a reliable connection.
While 86% of respondents said that inadequate internet will be detrimental to their child’s academic attainment, with 88% also agreeing that internet stability is key to the general wellbeing of children and families during lockdown.
In light of this, telecoms company Huawei has donated 250 pupil packs, valued at over £60,000, to assist students who are most in need. Each pack comes complete with a tablet, a 4G wireless router and SIM card pre-loaded with data, providing the tools and devices required to participate in online education.
Karl Harrison, head of Burnage Academy for Boys in Manchester, which received 50 pupil packs to administer to students, commented: “We serve communities in the most deprived areas of the inner city and some of our parents do not have the means to be able to provide the devices needed at present for their children. The fantastic generosity of Huawei will make an enormous difference to so many of our families and give our boys the opportunity to access remote learning in the pandemic.”
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