Schools should pay for their poorest pupils to have internet access at home because they risk falling behind without it, campaigners said today.
Education charity the e-Learning Foundation urged schools to pay for pupils’ home internet connections using the pupil premium funding — government cash given to schools to boost the results of the poorest children.
The campaign, which is jointly run with education website Quib.ly, called on every school in London to find out which of their children cannot get online at home.Right, so it's basically just rent-seeking?
Valerie Thompson, chief executive of the e-Learning Foundation, said teachers often get a surprise when they find out how many children in their class do not have the internet at home. More than 150,000 London pupils are believed to be without access. She called on teachers to use some of the pupil premium funding, around £900 per child on free school meals, to rectify the situation.
She said: “A lot of schools think they are not allowed to spend it on this. But the money has a purpose which is to …Provide you with a reason to exist?
… close the attainment gap.”Ah.
She said the money could be used in a variety of ways, from installing broadband in a child’s home to giving them a tablet with 3G that does not require wifi. She added:
“Every child deserves the same opportunity to succeed in their education. This campaign takes an important step forward to help achieve that.”Hmm, I wonder if you've got any connections to any firms that offer netnanny type software?
Matt Tavender, acting head at Cunningham Junior School in St Albans, surveyed his pupils and found that 17 of the 239 children could not use the internet at home. He plans to use the pupil premium to provide internet access for all disadvantaged pupils in the future.
He said: “We need to make sure all children are able to improve their skills and engage in their learning fully, and make sure every child has a level and fair playing field to work from.”Paid for by someone else, of course!
Holly Seddon, editor of Quib.ly, said: “As a mum of three, I am very passionate about giving every child the best possible skills and experiences so that they can grab every opportunity both now and in the future.
“No child should be at a disadvantage through something as fixable as access to the internet.”Fixable, that is, with other people's money...