How laptops and tablets are allocated
Find out how we estimated device requirements and how to query an allocation.
How devices are allocated
In February 2021, we allocated 300,000 more devices to support the pupils and students most in need.
The number of devices we’ve made available for you to order through the service reflects the number of laptops and tablets we estimate are needed by your school, college or further education institution.
This calculation is based on:
- free school meals data
- free meals data for further education institutions
- an estimate of the number of devices a school or further education institution already has
Providing internet connectivity
Our guidance explains your options for getting internet access for disadvantaged children and young people. This could be through:
increasing mobile data allowances for disadvantaged pupils in years 3 to 11 (not currently available to students in 16 to 19 further education)
4G wireless routers for disadvantaged pupils in years 3 to 11, and disadvantaged and students in 16 to 19 further education
How to request more devices
You can see your current allocation by signing in to the Get help with technology service.
If you find that your allocation is substantially lower than your school needs, you can request more devices by contacting us. We cannot guarantee that we’ll be able to meet all requests, as we need to distribute devices among a large number of schools and colleges in England.
Before requesting more laptops and tablets, you should make sure that pupils and students cannot access a device privately, or by being lent a device already owned by your school, college or further education institution.
You’ll need to provide anonymised evidence that confirms:
- the ages of the pupils and students for whom you are requesting additional devices
- how you’ve identified that these pupils and students are disadvantaged (such as whether they get free meals)
- how you know that the pupils and students do not have access to a private device (for example, through phone calls to families or a survey you’ve conducted about device ownership)
- that all the devices your school or further education institution has already, have been distributed
If you’re applying for a local authority or academy trust, you need to tell us:
- the LAESTAB number for a hospital school
- the name of the school your query is for and the number of additional devices required. If you’re requesting additional devices for more than one school, you’ll need to provide the number of additional devices required for each school
If you’re applying for a school, college or further education institution, you need to tell us:
- your unique reference number (URN), which is normally 6 digits. If you’re applying for a further education college, this will be your 8-digit UKPRN. If you don’t know your URN or UKPRN, you can find these on the Get Information about Schools site
- the name of your school, college or further education institution
- the number of additional devices required
We’ll review your query and respond with a decision as soon as possible.
How to request devices for children and young people who are shielding or attending hospital school
Devices can be requested at any time for disadvantaged pupils and students:
- 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 16 to 19 education, attending a hospital school
Contact us to make a request.
Do not submit any personally identifiable information about pupils that we do not need to process your support query. If we receive a request that contains such information, we’ll ask you to resend it.
Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers provided during the summer term 2020
Over 220,000 laptops and tablets were made available to distribute as part of the first phase of the Get help with technology programme. The most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people and children were prioritised to make sure they can access social care and remote education.
The DfE considered all allocation queries raised by local authorities and academy trusts, and reviewed the submitted evidence against the initial allocation. DfE then compared those queries to similar requests received nationwide, and balanced these against the total number of devices available. More devices have been provided where there was an evidenced need to support eligible children.