Home schooling’s digital divide is having a devastating impact on poorer kids’ life chances

THE SCHOOL lockdown has caused “unprecedented” damage to the education of disadvantaged kids, alarming research has revealed.

Poorer kids are being denied proper schooling because they do not have access to laptops or other devices, the Sutton Trust found.

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In a blistering assessment, the charity warned this new “digital divide” could harm the life chances of poor kids for years to come.

Their devastating study found that over a third (35 per cent) of working class parents said they do not have enough devices for the kids.

Just 5 per cent of state school teachers said all their pupils have access to the device they need for the studies at home.

Whereas 54 per cent of teachers in private schools said they do.

Deprived kids are also doing less schoolwork in the lockdown, and their parents are more stressed, the report revealed.

Just one in four (26 per cent) working class kids are doing five hours of school work today, whereas 40 per cent of middle class kids are.

Around a third of parents on low incomes (28 per cent) said they are finding this lockdown harder than the one in March last year.

While just 15 per cent of wealthy parents said the same.


Nearly 6,500 teachers and over 850 parents were surveyed for the report.

Experts warned that the alarming findings lay bare the shocking classroom divide which has opened up in the lockdown.

And they urged ministers to hurry up and put rocket boosters on their programme to give free laptops to poor kids.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “The first period of school closures have had a huge impact on all young people, but particularly those from lower-income backgrounds.

“The repercussions of these months of lost learning are devastating and will be felt for years to come. It’s imperative that we don’t let this happen again.

“Today’s research shows that schools are now better equipped to deliver online teaching.

"But significant barriers remain that threaten to widen the gap between rich and poor pupils still further.

“The immediate priority has to be to address the gap in digital provision between rich and poor.”

The Trust is calling for an extra £400 to be given to schools per needy pupil to help them catch up.

The Sun revealed earlier this week that schools look set to stay shut until at least Easter.

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