Home Children and Young People Support with accessing the internet for home school families
A young boy sits at a laptop on dining table doing school work

Support with accessing the internet for home school families

by Jonathan Kearney

Help is available to Knowsley families with no internet access, supporting children to continue their education at home during the current lockdown restrictions.

The council is working with schools to ensure families that need access to equipment for home learning are supported.

Schools, colleges, further education providers, trusts and local authorities in England can request 4G wireless routers from the Department for Education (DoE) for disadvantaged pupils and students who are experiencing disruption to face-to-face education and do not have fixed broadband or access to the internet at home.

Mobile data

Certain mobile providers are currently allowing temporary mobile data increases to enable disadvantaged children and young people to access remote education. This is available for children aged between 3 and 11.

To qualify, they must meet all three of these criteria:

  • do not have fixed broadband at home
  • cannot afford additional data for their devices
  • are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education

Parents and carers can make requests for routers and mobile data increases to their respective schools. Schools can then make the request directly to the DoE.

If you are waiting for a router to arrive, education websites Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize are currently accessible without using any data on people’s mobile phones, offering a wide range of learning materials for different age groups.

Council support

Knowsley Council is working to ensure all children who are currently being home-schooled have access to online learning opportunities.

In partnership with local housing group Livv Housing the Council has provided funding for over 200 families in Knowsley to access laptops and other devices during this time.

Councillor Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Children’s Services Cabinet Member, said:

“I understand the pressure and challenges home schooling presents for our families, particularly if you don’t have equipment at home to access some of the online support that is available.

“Schools and families across the Borough have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic.  Schools have ensured that educational and engaging work is being set for children across the Borough, whilst also providing support to families at home.  Local families are ensuring that children are only attending school if it is absolutely essential and ensuring that home learning is continuing at home.”