I know it's frustrating for parents and children that schools have had to return to online learning.
I recently organised a series of roundtable meetings with local teachers, where I heard just how hard staff have worked to make schools safe. But it’s clear we need to do everything possible to help stop the spread of this new strain of the virus, which is pushing our NHS to its limits.
Our focus now is on making sure every student receives quality remote education while schools are closed. The Government has committed to provide 1.3 million laptops and tablets to children from disadvantaged backgrounds to make remote learning easier.
By the end of the last year, over 560,000 devices had been sent to schools and councils in England – including 2,963 devices delivered to Kent County Council. I know hundreds more have already been delivered across Kent this month.
There is also support for better broadband. Over 54,000 4G routers have been delivered to schools and colleges in England – including over 400 routers to young people in Kent struggling with their WiFi connections at home.
We’re determined to help disadvantaged children and young people learn at home while we all play our part, staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.