Next Members’ meeting – Thursday 27 May 2021 at 1.30pm

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 27 May 2021; again this meeting will be a virtual meeting. On this occasion we will be using GoToMeeting again but we are investigating the use of alternative systems.

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Get Help with Technology

The Get Help with Technology programme is being extended to support disadvantaged students in further education to access remote education.

FE providers will be eligible to receive devices where they have students that are aged 16-19 who are in receipt of free meals, and where they have students aged 19 and over with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who are also in receipt of free meals.

Allocations of devices follow the same process as the existing scheme for schools and are based on estimates of the number of:

  • students in receipt of free meals (FM) in FE aged 16 to 19 and those over 19 with an EHCP where they are also in receipt of FM in FE and,
  • devices that providers already own.

The department will invite the majority of 16-to-19 providers to register with the service before the end of January and at this point providers will be notified of their allocations. Providers will need to complete some pre-order information and then will be able to go on and place their order once this has been verified.  Currently the majority of orders are being fulfilled within 5 working days of being placed.

Note, you cannot access to the Get Help with Technology service until you have received an invitation from the department. To ensure we can fulfil orders, further education providers will be invited in waves.  Further education providers who are already registered on the system because they have 14-16 provision will be invited to order devices for their 16-19 cohort later this week.  Other further education providers are due to be invited in waves from week commencing 25 January.

Device allocations will also be proportionately increased to reflect that DfE secured additional devices for schools and further education providers this year.  Providers invited to order from 25 January will receive allocations that include this uplift from the outset.  Providers invited to order before 25 January will receive allocations without the uplift and will receive a further invitation to order additional devices to reflect the uplift in the following weeks.

Providers will be able to state a preference for the types of device they will receive, based on the four types of device available and subject to availability.  Like the existing scheme for schools, further education providers will own the laptops and tablets provided under this scheme and can lend these to the young people who need them the most.  These devices must only be used for publicly funded students aged 16 to 19 and those aged 19 and over with an Education Health and Care Plan.  Providers eligible to receive devices will also be able to access support for connectivity for disadvantaged students where they do not have access to the internet at home.

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