Virtual learning measures announced by the DfE and BBC

April 24, 2020

Virtual learning measures include providing free laptops to disadvantaged children and the launch of two new websites to share educational content

Virtual learning measures announced by the DfE and BBC

A series of virtual learning measures have been announced by the UK government as schools are set to remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The first statement was an announcement that free laptops and tablets would be provided to all disadvantaged children.  The laptops and tablets will become school property once the lockdown measures have been lifted.  Disadvantaged children are commonly defined according to the socio-economic status of their parents.  The Department for Education (DfE) also announced a plan to provide 4G wireless routers to secondary school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds if they currently lack broadband access.

The BBC launched its virtual learning platform which is being delivered through the Bitesize portal.  Daily lessons are being posted online and via both TV and the red button.  These lessons have been created with the help of celebrities including Sir David Attenborough, Danny Dyer and Jodie Whittaker.  The content will cover a 14 week period and has involved more than 200 teachers and education specialists.  Other celebrities that have offered their services include footballer Sergio Aguero, former politician Ed Balls and Professor Brian Cox.  Activities consist of informative videos, interactive quizzes and games.  A schedule for each week is available to help parents plan when to deliver lessons.


Also announced was the launch of the Oak National Academy Project.  Created by 40 teachers and backed by grant funding, the website will feature 180 videos each week covering all age groups and most subject areas.

“ By providing young people with these laptops and tablets and enabling schools to access high quality support, we will enable all children to continue learning now and in the years to come. We hope this support will take some of the pressure off both parents and schools by providing more materials for them to use. ” Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary

Finally, the announcement includes £1.6 million in extra funding for the NSPCC to help the charity cope with a surge in calls.

You can read more about these virtual learning measures by following the links below:

The DfE’s laptop plan:

BBC Bitesize:

Oak National Academy: