Tackling digital exclusion: laptops and the right to quality education

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that every child has the right to quality education and to access information. This means that access to digital technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity, and must be seen as "the cornerstone to ensuring social justice and equitable life chances for every child" (UNICEF).

The Social Value Marketplace has played a role in ensuring one child does not miss out on opportunities associated with digital inclusion. In late 2022, Surrey's Year 11 to 12 Transition Manager, secured a laptop via the online platform, and provided it to a young person suffering poor mental health and living independently in sheltered accommodation. They were facing challenges studying doing their homework and sitting exams on their mobile phone, which had a small screen and no access to Microsoft Office applications.

Having access to a laptop has helped this young person to feel more motivated to go above and beyond with their schoolwork, as well as apply for part-time work in retail while studying in college. Through the laptop and the online tuition funding for Maths and English from the Virtual School, they are able to expand their current skill set and experience to prepare them for the labour market in the future.

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