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Digital Inclusion Work

Digital inclusion not only includes opportunities to develop digital skills but also access to equipment and data. 

The Cheshire and Warrington Digital Skills Partnership is linking local and national programmes of support with local need. The focus of this support is the provision of devices for young people and vulnerable adults living in Cheshire and Warrington along with skills development training.  

  • In the UK 1.9 million households do not have access to the internet
  • 13% of young people in Cheshire and Warrington do not have a device to work away from school

The programmes supporting this work are:

Getting Students Online:

13% of secondary school students in Cheshire and Warrington don’t have access to a computer or broadband connectivity. This means more than 1 in 10 are unable to participate in virtual schooling. Research indicates that our young people will be impacted more greatly than many other groups and by the time many return to school in September may have lost the equivalent of a full years academic progress.

In response the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership launched Getting Students Online, a campaign asking businesses in Cheshire and Warrington to help get as many of our students as possible online quickly, so they can work remotely when they are away from school. Along with local employers have kick-started the campaign that has provided three hundred and ninety devices including access to data to schools across Cheshire and Warrington.

For information on how to donate please click here.

BT Offer of 6 Months Free Internet Access to Disadvantaged Children

BT has been working on with Department of Education (DfE), bringing BT Wi-fi access to children and families with no internet access at home via our 5.4 million Wi-fi hotspots to help with online learning.

This will be an option of “first resort” for those who are most in need. The Wi-fi access vouchers will give users unlimited data, on up to three devices at a time for 6 months. The vouchers will allow access with comprehensive content filtering to ensure child safety, and will point to online resources from BT’s own Skills for Tomorrow and Barefoot learning programmes as well as BBC Bitesize and others.

Distribution is being handled directly by the DfE, which will issue families with the necessary voucher usernames and passwords. Local Education Authorities and Academy Trusts in England will be invited to request vouchers, working with their schools to identify those children who are most in need – LEAs and Academy Trust wanting to know more should contact COVID.TECHNOLOGY@education.gov.uk.

Everyone Connected (Formerly DevicesDotNow)

Good Things Foundation is coordinating action through a new initiative, Everyone Connected (formerly DevicesDotNow), targeting households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded as we face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19.

The Everyone Connected campaign is asking for contributions to help buy tablets and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots. Funds contributed will also be used to support community partners across the UK, enabling them to help society’s most vulnerable people to use digital technology during the pandemic. The Everyone Connected campaign is working through the Online Centres Network supported by the Good Things Foundation to identify need and distribute equipment.  Details of the Good Things Foundation Online Centres can be found at here

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Cheshire and Warrington