The Digital Poverty Alliance has begun the second phase of its Tech4Teachers project, providing laptops to those that lack adequate hardware.
Stage two of the project to alleviate technology shortages will provide 550 new devices to teachers, which will help support the education of over 20,000 school children in the most disadvantaged parts of the UK, the Alliance said.
Adequately equipping them with suitable digital services is vital in supporting pupils and ultimately building the necessary digital skills to tackle digital poverty
– Paul Finnis, Learning Foundation
The non-profit member organisation convenes figures from business, politics, charity and education, aiming to “eradicate digital poverty in the UK” through uniting multiple initiatives and research “to create one national strategy”. The Learning Foundation administers the Alliance, providing an online space for teachers to ask and answer questions.
Research by the Alliance suggests as many as 47% of teachers, representing between 250,000 and 295,000 staff, lack sufficient internet access. Of the teachers that reported lacking adequate tech, 24% had no suitable device, and 16% had reliable internet but shared their device.
“Teachers must not be forgotten by the government or industry in efforts to ‘level-up’,” said Paul Finnis, chief executive of the Alliance and Learning Foundation.
“Adequately equipping them with suitable digital services is vital in supporting pupils and ultimately building the necessary digital skills to tackle digital poverty. How can we support children to learn how to use devices and develop digital skills if their teachers don’t have suitable technology to teach them?”
Stage one of Tech4Teachers provided 1,000 laptops to teachers across the UK from Currys. Stage two of the Tech4Teachers campaign is in partnership with Intel and sponsors Barclays.
According to Ofcom research from April 2021, digital poverty affects millions nationwide, with 1.5m UK homes still having no internet access, and is a significant contributing factor towards other forms of poverty.
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