London, 17th August – The Department for Education (DfE), the UK government department responsible for the English education sector, has provided nearly two million electronic devices to children and young people to support their education.
The research, retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and analysed by the Parliament Street think tank, observed the number of laptops, tablets and phones purchased by the DfE over the past three years, for staff, teachers, and students during the era of remote learning over the pandemic.
It was revealed that the Department for Education has supplied a total of 1,939,320 electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and mobile phones, to DfE staff, as well as students, delivered via the Get Help with Technology Programme (GHwT).
The GHwT Programme has sought to provide devices to children and young people to support their education and keep them connected to teachers and peers, with laptops and tablets being lent to digitally deprived students, by schools, trusts and local authorities.
The greatest investment in devices came between July 2020 and June 2021, with 1,122,308 devices purchased, 1,114,789 of which were for the GHwT Programme.
Cybersecurity expert Achi Lewis, Area Vice President EMEA of Absolute Software, commented: “It is fantastic to see the Department for Education supplying not only their staff with new devices, but helping to deliver new technological equipment to classrooms across the UK in order to help with education and staying online, especially throughout the difficulties of the pandemic.”
“For staff connecting to the DfE’s network, and students connecting to their school network, it is important that individuals are not only educated on potential cyber threats, but also the right cybersecurity measures are in place in order to avoid sensitive data breaches.”
“Remote secure access solutions which promote strong network resiliency are the backbone of remote working environments, providing IT teams with valuable insight into device and application activity in order to identify suspicious behaviour and freeze, or shut off, compromised devices, or apply pre-defined policies to protect company resources and data.”
The news comes prior to A level results day on August 18th and GCSE results day on August 25th.
Screenshot of the DfE’s response: