Who can get laptops and tablets, and why DfE is providing them

Find out who is eligible for devices and why the DfE is providing them.


Ordering devices for schools, colleges, academy trusts and local authorities from September 2020

DfE is providing support to help disadvantaged children and young people who are otherwise unable to access remote education.

Examples of this include disadvantaged children:

  • with no digital devices in their household
  • whose only available device is a smartphone
  • with a single device in their household that’s being shared with more than one other family member
  • who do not have access to the internet at home

This offer applies to maintained schools, pupil referral units, academy trusts and hospital schools, as well as sixth-form colleges and further education institutions which have enrolled 14 to 16-year-olds. They’ll receive an allocation of laptops and tablets to be used to support disadvantaged children if they do not have access to a digital device through other means.

They may also be eligible to get internet access for disadvantaged children through increased mobile phone data allowances or 4G wireless routers.

Laptops and tablets were made available for further education institutions to order in the 2021 spring term.

Devices are currently available for disadvantaged pupils and students:

  • in years 3 to 13 who do not have access to a device and whose face-to-face education is disrupted
  • aged 16 to 19 who receive free meals in further education
  • over the age of 19 with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) who also receive free meals
  • in any year group who have been advised to shield because they (or someone they live with) are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • in any year group, including those in 16 to 19 education, attending a hospital school

Find out how we’ve calculated how many devices you can order.

Find out how to order laptops and tablets and get the internet.

Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers provided during the 2020 summer term

DfE provided laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to local authorities and academy trusts during the 2020 summer term.

These are being distributed to disadvantaged families, children and young adults who did not have access to them through another source, such as their school.

Laptops and tablets were provided for:

  • care leavers
  • children and young people aged 0 to 19, or young children’s families, with a social worker
  • disadvantaged year 10 pupils in the 2019 to 2020 academic year

4G wireless routers were provided for those who did not have internet access. They were provided for:

  • care leavers
  • secondary school pupils with a social worker
  • disadvantaged year 10 pupils in the 2019 to 2020 academic year

A care leaver is someone aged 16 to 25 who was looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks (at least part of which was on or after their 16th birthday), but who is no longer looked after.

These digital devices will help:

  • social workers to provide virtual safeguarding and support to the children and families they work with via video conferences, for example
  • children, young people, families and care leavers to access the online services they need to protect their wellbeing
  • families and care leavers to avoid social isolation
  • children and young people to access remote learning, including year 10 pupils in the 2019 to 2020 academic year

What to do if you cannot get laptops, tablets or internet access from DfE

Parents, pupils, social care workers and schools that are not eligible for the Get help with technology programme can find information about support available from other sources in our guidance.