Helping pupils access online learning during the pandemic

18 February 2021

We are delighted to be working with Buckinghamshire Council to ensure that all pupils in Buckinghamshire can access online learning on a digital device.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education (DfE) agreed funding for schools to purchase digital devices to enable disadvantaged children in Years 3-11 to access online schoolwork. However, we realised that similar funding was not made available for younger pupils. Having highlighted this gap in provision to our Trustees, they approved a fund of £130,000 to ensure that all pupils in Buckinghamshire can access online learning.

We approached Buckinghamshire Council to help us ensure the funding reached pupils  in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who are in receipt of free school meals.  In addition, Buckinghamshire Council is investing a further £40,000 to boost funding for the DfE scheme to ensure all schoolchildren across all age groups within the county can get online and access education and learning.

Schools have been asked to choose the best device for their needs, in terms of the technology they use to provide remote learning for pupils. If required, the funding will also be used to purchase an initial two month internet connection for families. The devices will be owned by the schools.

Ellie Stout, our Head of Grants said: “Digital and social exclusion are inter-related and by working with Buckinghamshire Council and our county’s schools we want to achieve greater equity for young people in Bucks.  We have witnessed first-hand the positive impact of young people being able to access digital support, both in terms of their education and being able to virtually connect with their friends and teachers.”

Anita Cramner, Cabinet Member for Education & Skills at Buckinghamshire Council said: “We are extremely grateful to The Rothschild Foundation for their generous donation and we are pleased as a council to be able to provide additional funds so that none of our children miss out.”

For more details about how Buckinghamshire Council are supporting local families, please visit the Buckinghamshire Council website.

Mother helping daughter with online learning at a laptop