BT announces ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme for kids and families

  • BT introduces connectivity support scheme to help disadvantaged children continue their education while schools remain closed

  • Package to include:

    • Free unlimited mobile data for those families and carers supporting children with no internet access, to help access remote education, as part of DfE’s Get help with Technology programme

    • Free WiFi vouchers for schools and charity partners for access to the 5m BT WiFi Hotspots across the UK

    • Zero rating of some of the most popular educational websites designed to support home learning, before the end of the month

    • Updated online educational resources, tech tips and digital skills with BT Skills for Tomorrow programme

BT, the UK’s leading telecommunications provider, is increasing its effort to enable school kids to better connect with teachers and online learning, while schools remain closed, with the launch of its ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme.

Unlimited free mobile data will be made available to those EE and BT Mobile customers eligible for the Department for Education’s Get Help with Technology programme, rather than the 20GB previously announced. BT is also offering free BT WiFi vouchers to schools and charity partners to pass on to parents and carers of children lacking the connectivity they need to access home schooling digital resources.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT Group’s Consumer division said: “As a national champion, we want to ensure no one is left behind while face-to-face teaching is on hold.

“That's why we’re launching our ‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme, which offers a number of different ways for disadvantaged school children to get connectivity support, across both our fixed and mobile networks.

“We’ve been working closely with the DfE since the start of the pandemic, to help get kids connected, and we’re now stepping up our partnership to offer unlimited data, as well as working harder on getting free WiFi passes into the hands of those families and kids that need them.

“We’re also aiming to zero rate some of the most popular learning portals this month, to ensure critical learning can continue even when data access runs out. We’ll reveal more on this in the coming week.”

‘Lockdown Learning’ support scheme

  1. Unlimited data: To help ensure no one is left behind while face-to-face teaching is on hold, BT’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ package extends BT and EE’s partnership with the Department for Education’s Get Help with Technology programme to provide unlimited mobile data for EE and BT customers who need it to support a child’s education. The data can be accessed by applying through their school, and will enable children access to any online educational resources they need. For more details and teacher application portal, here: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/

  2. Free WiFi vouchers: BT has also pledged to distribute WiFi vouchers directly to schools, and our charity partners, allowing those families and carers with little or no connection to access the 5 million BT WiFi Hotspots available across the UK. For further information click here: https://www.businessdirect.bt.com/learning-in-lockdown

  3. Zero rating educational websites: We will also aim to remove all mobile data charges, for some of the most popular educational websites before the end of this month, while schools remain closed. More details to follow in the coming week.

  4. Keeping kids safe, learning and entertained online: Launched in 2019, BT Skills for Tomorrow provides free support, information and advice on key digital skills for 10 million school children, families, jobseekers and businesses across the UK. These include a series of educational and fun activities to support home learning for children aged 4-11 years. https://www.bt.com/skillsfortomorrow/families




Notes to Editors

BT’s Lockdown Learning’ support scheme will help customers across BT and EE brands:

  • Unlimited Data: Starting at the end of January and available until the end of this academic year (July 2021), the free unlimited data for EE and BT Mobile customers is accessed through children’s schools and allows eligible families to access whichever educational resources are needed whilst face to face teaching is paused. The DfE’s programme is only currently available for families in England. We are working with DfE to explore whether this can be extended to schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Free WiFi Vouchers: BT was the first telecoms operator to have an offer for families who needed help with home learning, offering BT WiFi vouchers for free access available since June. BT will shortly be offering these directly to schools and our charity partners and increasing the vouchers available. Our estimates suggest around 20 - 30% of homes across the UK are in range of a BT WiFi hotspot, coverage varies. BT distributed some vouchers direct in the summer and had an active user rate of around 10% of vouchers distributed.

  • BT also offers a social tariff for low income families - BT Basic, a £10 per month fixed broadband and phone line service. With priority connection, this long term solution offers low income families a sustainable option that meets their data needs. More information here: https://www.bt.com/help/landline/getting-set-up/help-people-with-impairments-or-with-particular-needs/how-do-i-find-out-more-about-bt-basic-

  • Following the successful launch of free home learning resources last year, BT and Computing at School (CAS) have continued to update its Barefoot computing resources to accommodate the shift to home schooling and adapted dozens of activities to support parents with their children’s digital skills. https://www.barefootcomputing.org/homelearning 


About BT  

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2020, BT Group’s reported revenue was £22,905m with reported profit before taxation of £2,353m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about