- The Digital Poverty Alliance, with Barclays, Intel, and the Learning Foundation, are launching new funding to tackle digital poverty in schools
- Paul Finnis, Digital Poverty Alliance CEO says teachers must not be forgotten by the Government or industry in efforts to provide better digital access and boost tech skills
- DPA research has shown that nearly half of teachers don’t have adequate access to the Internet
The Learning Foundation, Intel and Barclays today announced new funding for Tech4Teachers, a project that will provide computers to teachers at schools in disadvantaged communities. The organisations are coming together on this project under the umbrella of the Digital Poverty Alliance, which is run by the Learning Foundation.
The campaign will provide 550 devices to teachers who lack adequate online access, to enable them to better support 20,000+ school children in the most disadvantaged communities. In addition, a new collaboration room for teachers, sponsored by Intel and Barclays, will be created on the Digital Poverty Alliance community hub. It will serve as an area for participating teachers to share best practices, ask questions, and seek guidance.
The new funding for the programme will come from Intel and Barclays. Intel Corporation will provide funding as part of their RISE initiatives to create a more Responsible, Inclusive, and Sustainable world, Enabled through technology. RISE focuses on Intel partnering with organisations worldwide to apply their solutions and expertise to geographically unique problems as well as global challenges. Barclays part of the funding will come from Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. All of this follows the success of the initial phase of the Tech4teachers programme funded by Currys in 2021, which provided 1,000 laptops for teachers and teaching assistants at schools across the UK. After the project, the Learning Foundation will evaluate the impact and create a white paper with policy recommendations for the Department for Education.
CEO of the Digital Poverty Alliance and the Learning Foundation, Paul Finnis, commented: “A Digital Poverty Alliance survey of 700 teachers in 200 schools across the UK in 2021 revealed that during the pandemic, 47% of teachers did not have adequate technology to be able to teach effectively. Adequately equipping teachers with suitable digital devices is vital in supporting pupils and ultimately building the necessary digital skills to tackle digital poverty. Teachers must not be forgotten by the Government or industry in efforts to ‘level-up’. How can we support children to learn how to use devices and develop digital skills if their teachers don’t have suitable technology to teach them?”
Commenting on the announcement, Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “Our charity partners have been working tirelessly to support vulnerable communities across the UK through what has been a difficult year. These charities have championed a range of causes, including tackling homelessness, food poverty or loneliness, and we are immensely grateful for their work in the communities in which we live and work.
“While we are starting to emerge from the most acute stage of the crisis, the effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt by many. Our decision to extend our 100×100 programme for a second time reflects this, allowing Barclays to support 250 UK grassroots charities in their crucial work in our local communities.”