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Vodafone has today announced that it is working with the Mail Force Computers for kids initiative to extend its schools.connected programme. This emergency package is intended to help children who are struggling to complete lessons and schoolwork because of poor-quality internet connection.

YouGov revealed last week that as many as one in four UK parents believe their children are struggling to complete lessons and schoolwork because of poor quality internet connection and some have no online access at all.

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Vodafone has already offered 350,000 free data SIM cards and reached over 9,000 schools and further education colleges as part of its schools. connected scheme and this latest partnership mean 500,000 pupils across the UK will now be given the help they need to get online.

From today, schools can apply for the SIMs at www.vodafone.co.uk/mailforce. Headteachers can request a maximum of 80 for a secondary and 50 for a primary. SIM cards are allocated on a first come first served basis, but priority is given to areas with higher numbers of free-school-meal pupils.

Ahmed Essam, CEO, Vodafone UK said: “We are delighted to be working with the Mail Force Computers for Kids initiative to continue our schools.connected programme. Getting connectivity into the hands of children and young people who need it the most has been our priority throughout the pandemic. By working together we will be able to extend the programme to reach half a million young people right across the UK.”

I encourage schools and further education colleges to apply  – together, we can ensure no child is left behind.”

Geordie Greig, Editor of the Daily Mail said: “Our Computers for Kids campaign is dramatically helping to improve the lives of children most in need. Now millions of hours of data are being donated to families who have been unable to access online learning for their children  –  a crucial and wonderful gift.

We are determined to tackle the digital divide. We’ve raised enough money for MailForce to provide tens of thousands of laptops for the families who need them most, and we are now doing our best to make sure they are connected.

It is great to be working with Vodafone in creating this opportunity for children who would otherwise be missing out on their education.”

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