1 in 3 children don’t have continuous access to a device at home for learning, survey reveals

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1st June 2024 12:35 - Education

1 in 3 children don’t have continuous access to a device at home for learning: A recent survey by OFCOM has found that 34% of children don’t have continuous access to a device at home for learning. This figure equates to 44% of primary school children and 19% of secondary school children who don’t always have access to appropriate online devices for learning.

The findings come from OFCOM’s Children and Parents: Media and Attitudes report published in April 2024. The report investigates media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged between 3 and 17. The report also reveals the views of parents of children aged between 3 and 17. In terms of education, the report focuses on the access children have to devices that connect to the internet and can be used for learning and schoolwork at home.

Managing the Issue

Of the 1 in 3 children who don’t have continuous access to a device at home, 55% share with others in their household to overcome this problem. Seventeen per cent of secondary school children postpone schoolwork until a device is available, compared to 13% of primary school children. In addition, 13% of children in secondary education choose to borrow a device from school or elsewhere with the figure slightly lower amongst primary age children (11%).

The survey found that limited access to devices at home can have a direct impact on a child’s ability to do their homework. Over ten percent of children who do not always have access to a device said they were unable to do their homework (12%), with some parents saying they weren’t able to manage the problem. However, some parents have sought alternative educational activities to ensure their children aren’t missing out because of their limited device access. In total 15% of secondary school students, and 13% of primary age children, were found to be doing alternate work to compensate for their adhoc device use.

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