Mind the Gap believe that children with Internet access at home have a greater chance of achieving their potential at school. But government statistics show that over 500,000 children cannot get online at home. We at Mind the Gap want to fill this gap and we know schools are best placed to help us.
How big is the problem?
Over 500,000 children in over 400,000 of the poorest homes in the UK cannot go online using a computer at home, disadvantaging them in their education. Schools expect children to use the Internet at home for homework, research, revision, collaboration and independent study. Yet 10% of schoolchildren are excluded from doing this due to poor resources at home.
Some 14% of schoolchildren are eligible for free school meals, and it is estimated that at least that many again fall into the “working poor” category, with similar disposable income. (Department for Education, 2013). UNICEF estimates that 12.1% of children in the UK are living in poverty.
Why is internet access at home important?
Research commissioned by the BBC and SAM Learning found correlation between improved results and the ability to access Internet-based resources for enhanced periods of time (rather than a defined period in a public library or the after-school club).
There is a powerful link between poverty and academic performance. In 2012 only 37% of children eligible for Free School Meals got an A*-C grade in English & Maths compared to 63% of all the other children; a 26% point gap (DfE).
We need to help children whose families do not have the means to afford Internet access. They deserve to access the online resources that can help increase their school results.