Parents, carers, children and young people

Parents, carers, children and young people cannot apply for laptops, tablets or internet access. You should contact your school, college or further education provider for help accessing remote education.

Safeguarding for device users

Information on content filtering, privacy policies and mobile device management to ensure devices are used appropriately by young people and families.


What devices should be used for

Devices are being provided to help children and young people access social care and receive remote education, as well as support for their safety and wellbeing. In particular they are being provided to 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 with upcoming GCSE exams

Local authorities (LAs), academy trusts and schools own the devices, and should consider including an acceptable use policy in loan agreements. Please see our guidance on lending devices for more information.

Parents and guardians should provide age-appropriate supervision for the internet use of the children and young people in their care (but LAs should be alert to cases where parents of children with a social worker may not be in a position to do this). They may find the following information helpful:

Content filtering

LAs, academy trusts and schools are responsible for avoiding risks to the online safety of the children and young people they provide devices to.

If you order Microsoft Windows devices from September 2020, you have the option to receive them without Department for Education (DfE) software and settings. These 'Standard' devices will be delivered with factory settings as supplied by the manufacturer.

You are responsible for setting up management and safeguarding measures before you distribute the devices. Cisco Umbrella will be pre-installed on devices ordered during the 2020 summer term, and those from September 2020 where you have selected 'DfE Restricted' devices which will have software and settings installed prior to delivery.

Where Cisco Umbrella has been installed, content filtering has been set up to meet the needs of children and young people of all ages. You can choose to use your own content filtering solution to replace Cisco Umbrella to make it more relevant for your users’ needs.

Please see our guidance on content filtering software for Google Chromebooks and Microsoft laptops and tablets for more information.

Updating your Microsoft mobile device management

'DfE Restricted' Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets can be supplied with security settings already configured and managed by DfE using Microsoft Intune.

You can lend the devices out to users straight away as the mobile device management (MDM) will be in place. After 30 September 2021, the MDM will expire and the devices will be unprotected.

You can take control of the devices at any time by restoring them to factory settings and applying your own remote management solution. This will restore the machine to its original state without any DfE software or settings, and it will no longer be enrolled in the DfE device management system.

If you remove the MDM and content filtering provided by DfE or continue using the devices after 30 September 2021 once the software expires, it is your responsibility to safeguard the young people in your care. Once the software has been removed, or expired, DfE will no longer support these devices.

You can choose to remove the DfE safeguarding software and replace it with your own, or you can distribute the devices without any content filtering and MDM installed.

Please see our guidance on management of Microsoft laptops and tablets for more information.

Antivirus and security software

Google Chromebooks will arrive with Chrome OS, which includes virus protection.

Unless you have selected to order devices without a DfE configuration, Microsoft laptops and tablets will arrive with Windows 10 and Windows Defender Antivirus software enabled.

Privacy notice: How we look after personal information using the mobile device management on Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets

This privacy policy is for the end users of Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets provided as part of the Department for Education’s Get help with technology programme.

Who this information is for

This information is for:

  • children, young people and care leavers
  • parents and carers

How we use your personal information

The Get Help with Technology programme is run by the Department for Education (DfE). This privacy notice explains how it will use your personal information.

As part of the Get Help with Technology programme we need to be able to:

  • keep children safe whilst they are online
  • locate, disable and delete data from the laptop that is on loan, if it is lost

The DfE have installed mobile device management software on the laptop or tablet to do this. The mobile device management solution will collect some personal information when it is implemented on the device.

The DfE is the data controller for the personal information collected when using mobile device management on a laptop or tablet provided through the Get help with technology programme.

The personal information collected will be:

  • a device number for the laptop or tablet loaned or given to you
  • your Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is a number linked to a device connected to a computer network
  • addresses of websites visited when using the laptop or tablet

For these purposes, the personal information above is securely shared between the DfE and the mobile device management software providers (including their contracted partners), under agreements with the DfE.

Your name is not shared with the DfE or mobile device management software providers (including their contracted partners).

When we can use your personal information

To use your personal information we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. For this service we can use your information as part of our legitimate interests to provide a safe and secure platform, including disabling laptops that may have been stolen.

How long we hold personal information

Personal information is held by the DfE and the protective software providers (including their contracted partners) for up to 2 years.

Who we share your personal information with

We only share your personal information with the protective software providers (and their contracted partners) under our agreement for the reasons described above, unless there is a legal requirement for us to share it.

Your individual rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you’re entitled to ask if we hold information relating to you and ask for a copy, by making a ‘subject access request’.

For further information and how to request your data, use the ‘contact form’ under the ‘How to find out what personal information we hold about you’ section in the Personal Information Charter.

You can read further information about your data protection rights at the Information Commissioner’s Office.


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