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O2 and Three to provide extra data for disadvantaged children

This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks

O2 is providing 40GB free data a month to support home schooling families struggling to connect during lockdown. In partnership with the Department for Education, O2’s free data offer will enable disadvantaged pupils in years three to 11 to Get Help with Tech, and continue their learning from home as the national lockdown comes into force.

Mark Evans, O2 CEO, said:

“Tighter lockdown restrictions risk leaving the most vulnerable disconnected once again, so I am proud that O2 is supporting children of home schooling families through the DfE’s Get Help with Technology scheme. 

“Connecting the most vulnerable, and digitally disconnected, is something we’ve long championed at O2. As well as being part of this scheme, our own Community Calling initiative is already landing in homes across the country – with donated devices and data connections allowing children to learn – and adults to get online – from home.”

Three UK will provide unlimited data upgrades to disadvantaged school children in England to ensure that they are able to continue with their studies, as many schools across the country move to remote learning.

Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer, at Three UK said:

“Education is crucial for everyone in society and it is vital no child misses out. Three UK wants to support those families that need access to connectivity to support their child’s learning needs during the pandemic”

Anyone wanting to donate a device for O2’s Community Calling scheme in partnership with Hubbub can still help. If you have a device at home that you don’t need, it could be used to help someone access online lessons, do their food shop or just prevent loneliness and isolation.

Increasing data allowances on mobile devices to support disadvantaged children

This scheme temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted.

Schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increases for children and young people who:

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

Children with access to a mobile phone on one of the following networks might be able to benefit:

  • EE
  • O2
  • Smarty
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Three
  • Sky Mobile
  • Virgin Mobile

Other providers may join the scheme at a later stage.

Schools, trusts and local authorities can request mobile data increases when schools report a closure or have pupils self-isolating.

They can also make requests for children who cannot attend school face-to-face because:

  • they’re clinically extremely vulnerable
  • restrictions prevent them from going to school

For each request, the Department for Education need to know:

  • the name of the account holder
  • the number of the mobile device
  • the mobile network of that device

There’s an online guide to help gather mobile information.

Schools, trusts and local authorities need to submit mobile information through the online service. Each provider will vary in how quickly they process requests.

You can donate your unused device here – and it will reach someone who really needs it.

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