A group of cross-party MPs have urged the UK government to provide reliable broadband access to more than one million children after warning of a growing “digital divide” that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus.
A new bill will be put to the government before Friday that outlines the grave conditions many school children are facing this summer following a three-month period without a standard education.
It states that around 700,000 children have been unable to complete any form of schoolwork since March due to the lack of access to an internet connection at home.
Tony Blair is among a group of MPs and former ministers who want the government to provide reliable broadband and devices to 1.3 million children across the country.
The calls come just 24 hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to backtrack and announce a £120m voucher scheme for free school meals over the summer.
Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh believes children from more deprived areas are at a disadvantage as they won’t have the same access to resources as other classmates.
This disparity will mean those without internet and connected devices could have their education irreparably harmed when they eventually return to school later in the year.
She added: “This policy isn’t a silver bullet and can’t replace months of missed education. But it would make an immediate, tangible difference to families right across our country.”
Charities have also said households without internet access have struggled to complete essential tasks since the lockdown such as paying bills.