Unlimited data available for disadvantaged schoolchildren

Table of Contents

The UK government has introduced a scheme to make unlimited data available for disadvantaged schoolchildren. This is to support children and young people to access remote education so that their face-to-face education is not disrupted during the pandemic. Here we lay out all the information as provided on the government website (gov.uk) on eligibility and how to access this help.

Who could be eligible?

A child with access to a mobile phone on only the following networks may be eligible to benefit (other networks may join the scheme at a later date):

  • Three
  • Smarty
  • Virgin Mobile
  • EE
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Sky Mobile

Schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increase for those children and young people who meet the following criteria:

  • Do not have fixed broadband at home
  • Cannot afford additional data for their devices
  • Are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education

When is this help available?

  • If the school has to close
  • When a student has to self-isolate

If a child cannot attend face-to-face teaching in school due to:

  • Being clinically extremely vulnerable
  • There are restrictions preventing them from going into school.

How to request a mobile data increase

For each child the government needs to know:

  • The name of the account holder
  • The number of the mobile device
  • The mobile network of that device (e.g. EE)

The government has created a guide to help gather the mobile information which is needed.

This information needs to be submitted by the school, trust or local authority through the government online service.

The time it takes for the information to be processed will vary between providers so an estimated time frame cannot be given.

Once the network provider (e.g. Smarty) has processed the data increase they shall send a text message to the account holder. If you are waiting for this text message the status of the request can be checked through the online service.

Increasing mobile data is not suitable for every child depending on circumstances so therefore schools are also able to request 4G wireless routers.

If you are unsure as to whether extra data for mobile devices or 4G wireless routers are the best option, the government website provides some information to compare both.

Accessibility to mobile data offers a world of opportunities and eliminates some barriers. Offering unlimited data to disadvantaged schoolchildren shows how the mobile world can help students access their education no matter their circumstances. Therefore, with the power of mobile anyone can eliminate some of the barriers they face in society.

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