Mitcham and Morden MP urges government to close the “digital divide” for disadvantaged school students

Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh has written an open letter to the Prime Minister urging the government to provide internet and devices to children without them following school closures.

Primary and secondary schools have been closed to almost all students and learning moved online following the government’s announcement on January 4.

But research from Ofcom suggests that 9% of school age children in the UK do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.

In addition, many children do not have internet access in their house

The letter has been signed by over fifty charities, unions and current members of parliament – including Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham, and Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham.

McDonagh said: “The internet has been a lifeline through the lockdowns, keeping us connected at a time when we have been forced apart. 

“But children on the wrong side of the digital divide have neither the data nor the devices to log in from home when their schools close. In a country with free state education, no child’s education should be dependent on their internet connection.”

The letter urges the government to ensure that every child is equipped with a device and an internet connection saying: “These pupils were likely to be behind their peers even before the pandemic. 

“After five months  of missed education, they returned to school further behind and now start that new year  facing weeks of even more missed education.”


Please support your local paper by making a donation



Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *