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Friday 24 April 2020 10:33 AM
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Trusts can apply for DfE-funded support to get schools set up on one of two free-to-use digital education platforms: G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education. There's also more information on how you can access laptops and tablets for your schools.

What's available?

The Department for Education has partnered with Google and Microsoft to support schools and trusts to start using a free-to-use digital education platform. 

You're now able to register to receive:

  • Funded support from an accredited partner to get schools set up on either G Suite for Education or Office 365 Education
  • Free training on how to use the platform, through online resources, webinars and peer-to-peer support between schools

Your schools are eligible for this support if they:

  • Don't currently have a digital education platform; or
  • Are already using Office 365 or G Suite, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils

Choose a platform and apply for funded support

Go to our hub to find feature comparisons and best practice case studies to help you choose the right platform and apply directly for funded support.

You can either ask your eligible academies to apply independently, or apply collectively as a trust.

What about laptops and tablets?

According to DfE guidance, laptops and tablets are available for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access. This applies to: 
  • Care leavers
  • Children with a social worker (including pre-school children)
  • Disadvantaged children in year 10, ahead of GCSEs next year

You should receive a letter today explaining the process for ordering devices for year 10 pupils. These devices will be delivered directly to your schools, for them to distribute to allocated families.

For care leavers and children with a social worker, LAs are responsible for ordering and distributing devices. They can register to receive to order devices from today, and they'll distribute the devices when they arrive, liaising with schools to help with this as necessary.

Internet access will also be provided through 4G hotspot devices for any of the following people who do not currently have it:
  • Care leavers
  • Young people aged 11 to 19 with a social worker
  • Disadvantaged children in year 10

The DfE says you'll receive correspondence explaining how you can request 4G internet hotspots for those who need them.