Giving more young people access to technology and education

Thursday 22 June 2023
Charlie with chromebook from Dell

Partnered with Dell Technologies, Action for Children is ensuring that children and young people can fully participate in education by working to close the digital divide.

Dell Technologies and Action for Children have been working together since 2009 to bridge the digital divide in the UK.

With the rise of online learning, technology has become an essential tool for education. Students who have a laptop can access a wealth of educational resources, complete online assignments, and communicate with teachers and classmates, regardless of their location.

Without access to a laptop or even a phone, children and young people are at a disadvantage when it comes to their education and may struggle to keep up with their peers.

According to research by the Education Policy Institute, disadvantaged pupils in England are almost 19 months behind their more affluent peers by the time they finish their GCSEs. The research found that in 2019, just 28.4% of disadvantaged pupils achieved a grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSEs, compared to 55.9% of non-disadvantaged pupils.

Getting a chromebook helped Billy with his schoolwork

Read our young carer's story here

Billy's story

Inspire IT with Dell Technologies

Action for Children in partnership with Dell Technologies are increasing access to education through the Inspire IT programme. The programme supports thousands of children and young people a year to successfully connect with the digital world. Together, we are committed to driving digital inclusion by providing young people with the technology and support to learn, grow, thrive, and succeed in an increasingly connected world.

Our Inspire IT programme supports under-served children and young people to gain essential digital skills, including iDEA qualifications, and teach them how those skills can be transferred to access education, employment and training opportunities.

The impact for a child or young person from receiving support from our Inspire IT programme at a critical stage of their learning and development, will be felt lifelong.

Why Education? Charlie’s story

18 year old Charlie had been in and out of foster care placements for a number of years. During this time, Charlie received emotional and practical support from Action for Children’s Guernsey Youth Housing Project, with his transition out of care to independent living.

When Charlie finished sixth form and had to give back his loaned laptop, Action for Children stepped in to support him with his education. They provided him with a new Chromebook through the Dell Technologies funded Inspire IT programme – something he desperately needed during his exams and when applying for university.

Charlie said “I had exams and really needed something that wasn’t my phone to study on. My exams were finance based and all my learning materials were online, so I really needed the laptop. When Action for Children found out about my situation and gave me a Chromebook, it was amazing - I've never had a device that was solely my own.”

Having something that’s not only my own but that I know will help with things like my education was overwhelming. I was smiling from ear to ear!

“My mentor said she’d never seen anyone look so happy. Having the Chromebook was so crucial in helping me sort out UCAS applications and student finance. These days it’s so difficult to do things without having technology – the world has evolved around It.”

Now, Charlie is looking forward to the future – he has started an Event Management course at the University of Essex and is keen to continue his activism work and public speaking.

“I can see how I've made a difference and that's why I do it. Seeing how I'm changing things is incredible. I spoke for a COP26 Guernsey climate change march, to about 400 people.

I get a real buzz from speaking, because I feel needed, wanted and listened to. Alongside my studies I really want to do a programme for the homeless and am really excited to work with Action for Children in the future.”

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