Device allocations

Find out how we estimated device requirements for each school and how to query an allocation.


How devices are allocated

Laptops and tablets for schools, academy trusts and local authorities from September 2020

The number of devices available to order through the Get help with technology service reflects the number of laptops and tablets we estimate are needed by each school. This calculation is based on:

  • the number of children in years 3 to 11
  • free school meals data
  • an estimate of the number of devices a school already has

This allocation can be used as part of preparing to deliver remote education. However, the exact number and type of devices available will be confirmed at the time of ordering based on stock availability and the extent of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

How to query an allocation

If you think a school will have unmet needs as a result of this allocation, a request for additional devices can be made by providing the following information to

If you are a local authority or academy trust, you need to tell us:

  • your unique reference number - for a local authority, this will be your three-digit local authority number. For an academy trust, this will be your Companies House number. For a hospital school, this will be your LAESTAB number
  • the name of the school you’re querying 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
  • how many of the devices you’re requesting are for years 10 and 11, as we’ll prioritise them if stocks get low

If you are a school or college, you need to tell us:

  • your unique reference number (URN), this is normally 6 digits. If you are 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
  • the number of additional devices required
  • how many of the devices you’re requesting are for years 10 and 11, as we’ll prioritise them if stocks get low

Schools, local authorities and academy trusts will need to provide anonymised evidence of:

  • how you’ve identified disadvantage, such as the number of children in receipt of free school meals or pupil premium who do not have access to a device
  • your understanding of children, young people and families' access to private devices. For example, through phone calls to families or a survey about device ownership
  • all school-owned devices having been distributed
  • disadvantaged pupils joining the school since the most recent Schools Census

Evidence can be surveys, calls home, awareness of families, demographic data, questions asked to parents to identify whether a child has access to a device.

In any response, do not send us any personal information (for example, names of children, dates of birth, etc).

Providing this evidence is not a guarantee that DfE will be able to provide additional devices. We will review your query within 8 working days and respond with a decision.

Laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers provided between May and July 2020

There were a limited number of devices 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. The department then compared those queries to similar requests it received nationwide, and balanced it against the total number of devices available. More devices have been provided where there was an evidenced need to support eligible children.


How and when to order laptops and tablets


About the offer