BT is increasing its effort to enable school kids to better connect with teachers and online learning, while schools remain closed, with the launch of its ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme.
Unlimited free mobile data will be made available to those EE and BT Mobile customers eligible for the Department for Education’s Get Help with Technology programme, rather than the 20GB previously announced. BT is also offering free BT WiFi vouchers to schools and charity partners to pass on to parents and carers of children lacking the connectivity they need to access home schooling digital resources.
The company are also aiming to zero-rate some of the most popular dedicated online learning portals to ensure critical learning can continue even when data access runs out. BT says it will confirm more on this in the coming week.
Eligible families without fixed connectivity at home can apply for their unlimited free data via their school or local authority, as part of BT’s partnership with the Department for Education. It will cover them for the rest of the academic year, running until July 2021. BT has been working closely with the DfE since the start of the pandemic to help get kids connected, and they’re now stepping up their partnership to offer unlimited data, as well as working harder on getting free WiFi passes into the hands of those families and kids who need them.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT Group’s Consumer division said:
“As a national champion, we want to ensure no one is left behind while face-to-face teaching is on hold.
“That’s why we’re launching our ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme, which offers a number of different ways for disadvantaged school children to get connectivity support, across both our fixed and mobile networks.
“We’ve been working closely with the DfE since the start of the pandemic, to help get kids connected, and we’re now stepping up our partnership to offer unlimited data, as well as working harder on getting free WiFi passes into the hands of those families and kids that need them.
“We’re also aiming to zero rate some of the most popular learning portals this month, to ensure critical learning can continue even when data access runs out. We’ll reveal more on this in the coming week.”
‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme
To help ensure no one is left behind while face-to-face teaching is on hold, BT’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ package extends BT and EE’s partnership with the Department for Education’s Get Help with Technology programme to provide unlimited mobile data for EE and BT customers who need it to support a child’s education. The data can be accessed by applying through their school, and will enable children access to any online educational resources they need. For more details and teacher application portal, here.
Free WiFi vouchers
BT has also pledged to distribute WiFi vouchers directly to schools, and charity partners, allowing those families and carers with little or no connection to access the 5 million BT WiFi Hotspots available across the UK. For further information click here.
Zero rating educational websites
BT will also aim to remove all mobile data charges, for some of the most popular educational websites before the end of this month, while schools remain closed. More details to follow in the coming week.
Keeping kids safe, learning and entertained online
Launched in 2019, BT Skills for Tomorrow provides free support, information and advice on key digital skills for 10 million school children, families, jobseekers and businesses across the UK. These include a series of educational and fun activities to support home learning for children aged 4-11 years. For further information click here.
BT also offers a social tariff for low income families – BT Basic, a £10 per month fixed broadband and phone line service. With priority connection, this long-term solution offers low income families a sustainable option that meets their data needs.
Talking long-term, BT want to give school children the digital skills they need for a brighter future with their Skills for Tomorrow programme. To that end, through their Barefoot Computing programme in partnership with Computing at School, BT has made a series of educational and fun activities available to support home learning. Designed with teachers and aligned to the national curriculum, these interactive learning games and simple offline activities introduce children aged 4-11 years to key computing concepts and problem-solving skills that will help them thrive in a digital world. To access the free resources visit here.