All schools will have high-speed Internet access by 2025, the education secretary announced.
Nadhim Zahawi made the request when he spoke remotely at London’s Bett Show last month, adding that the ambition would be facilitated by a £ 150 million fund for ‘neediest’ schools to upgrade their wifi connections. .
The Department of Education (DfE) will contact schools in priority areas to accelerate the roll-out of faster and more reliable connectivity.
Zahawi also announced that the DfE would establish it first set of technological standards.
“We will provide support to help meet these standards for schools that need them,” he said.
“Every child or student – or teacher, for that matter – must be able to enter any class with the certainty that everything works.”
From the archive: Schools need ultrafast broadband
Following his speech, the DfE published a guide stating that primary schools should have a “minimum download speed of 100 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 30 Mbps”, while secondary and full schools should have a “connection with the ability to deliver 1 Gbps download and upload speeds. “
Standards are also defined in areas such as online child protection, data protection and the resilience of broadband connectivity.
Elsewhere in his speech, the minister spoke of the “huge debt” owed to edtech companies that had offered their products for free during the lockdown, invoking the words of Michael Gove as he insisted that “we must maintain this momentum, what one of my predecessors called the “restless spirit of technological innovation”.
To this end, he called for “an environment where it is easy for our teachers to use proven and reliable digital products … [and] an ecosystem where good tools can quickly spread through and between school and college families. “
Any child or student – or teacher, for that matter – must be able to enter any class with complete confidence that everything works out – Nadhim Zahawi
Schools should use connected, cloud-based data systems “across the board,” Zahawi said.
“Data and evidence, shared transparently, are key to improving complex systems,” he added, citing the ongoing national trial to automate pupil attendance data as an example of how to identify and solve problems.
Calling for “a new culture of evidence-based use of the technology embedded in every school”, the minister said: “I would like to challenge edtech suppliers to build that evidence base: what is the impact of your product on the results of the ‘learning? – and then to share it openly ”.
Schools are hoping the announcement of high-speed Internet will do better than a similar one made in the last election. A government manifesto pledge to deliver gigabit broadband nationwide by 2025 was scrapped within a year, before being resumed with a new date – 2030 – in February. White paper to level up.
All schools will be able to enjoy high-speed Internet access by 2025 – Zahawi
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