UK Government must act now to close the digital divide for good for children and young people in the UK

June 21, 2021

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A new joint report Closing the Digital Divide for Good has been published today by Carnegie UK Trust and UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) which calls for urgent action to close the digital divide for all children and young people in the UK.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic – and subsequent school closures – has shone a new light on the importance of digital inclusion for children and young people across the UK, to ensure their right to education and for the sake of their wellbeing.

The Carnegie UK Trust and UNICEF UK have now produced a 10-point action plan, setting out why and how the UK Government should strengthen its work to close the digital divide.  This includes establishing a shared definition of digital inclusion, further research to understand the issue, and a consistent system of data reporting at national and local levels.

The Carnegie UK Trust and UNICEF UK are also calling for further support for schools and teachers, including enhanced training opportunities, and a comprehensive review of online safeguarding and privacy guidance for educational settings.

The UK government has the opportunity to build on all that has been learnt and achieved through the significant digital inclusion interventions delivered over the past eighteen months.  The report calls for a consolidation of this learning and a renewed commitment to a long-term strategy which seeks to eliminate digital exclusion for all children and young people for good.

Sarah Davidson, Chief Executive said “As we move nearer to the end of a second academic year that has been hugely disrupted by the pandemic , it is crucial that we recognise that a long term strategy is needed to tackle the problem of digital exclusion amongst children and young people.  We must learn from the interventions that have been delivered and ensure a systematic approach to ending the digital divide for good.”

To read the report in full, including the 10 recommendations for action please click here.