Children without tech at home missing out

New research has revealed the extent to which teachers believe a lack of access to technology at home is disadvantaging pupils

The research, commissioned by Frog and carried out by C3 Education, extensively surveyed the views of heads of department and ICT leaders. The responses revealed that three quarters of all teachers believe insufficient access is more likely to impact students from lower income homes. This is a particular concern among local authority controlled schools, with 89% of teachers expressing concern that students from lower income homes are most likely to be disadvantaged 

The 2013 ONS Family Spending Survey revealed that almost half a million children are still without access to a PC and the internet at home, with most of this group living in poorer households.

“We know that technology can have a transformative impact on both teachers and pupils – making lessons fun and engaging while helping pupils achieve better grades,” said Gareth Davies, managing director at Frog.

“Computer-based homework is increasingly common, while advanced IT skills are becoming critical to getting a job. Young people without access to the internet or equipment outside school are in real danger of falling behind.

“Access to the internet and advanced learning technology can no longer be seen as a luxury, but an integral part of the teaching and learning process.”

The research also suggests that lack of access to computers, tablets and the internet at home, is preventing some teachers from setting computer-based homework. Just under half (49%) of teachers set computer-based homework, but significantly less do so in authority-controlled schools: just 37% of teachers compared to 62% in academies.

Teachers believe students without access are disadvantaged due to the lack of opportunity to develop IT skills, and limited access to revision material. The latter is the most widely held view among subject heads of departments, in particular English Heads of Department.