Is the Digital Divide real or imaginary?

According to the most recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) data, the digital divide is still a major issue for young people in this country.  ‘Poverty is clearly a factor in poor access to digital learning technologies and poor performance in school.  The link between the two cannot be ignored’ says Judith Burns, BBC News education reporter.

According to data extracted by the National eLearning Foundation on families with children  ‘99% of children in the richest 10% of households can access the internet via a computer, this dropped to 57% in the poorest 10% of households with children.  In the poorest households 29% had no computer, 36% had no internet and 43% had no internet connection via a computer.’

Most staggeringly this translates to a total of 750,000 children living in households with no internet, and 650,000 without a computer.


*Judith Burns, 4th Jan 2013, A third poorest pupils ‘without internet at home’.

See also Facts and Figures of the UK Digital Divide

 Digital Divide - UK

BeLF Annual Report 2011

Download the 2011 Report Now!
Download the 2011 Report Now!

The Birmingham eLearning Foundation Annual Report 2011 is now available to download.  We hope you enjoy reading it and we welcome your comments and feedback.

We are pleased to announce that 2011 was another successful year for the Birmingham eLearning
Foundation despite all the national and local challenges. Like many organisations, we have had to
look at new ways of working, new partnerships and new opportunities to enable us to continue our
work in providing personal learning devices to pupils across the City of Birmingham and continuing
our battle to close the digital divide.’


Belf provides safer Internet Dongles

Internet Dongles


BeLF has teamed up with Steljes to provide safer internet access to pupils. Just a few days before the end of summer term.  BeLF  provided internet dongles to 3 schools. These schools who are already involved in the BeLF programme used parental contribution funds from previous projects to provide internet access to students and their families through via dongle modems.

These dongles are different to the usual dongles available from the shops. They offer managed access so pupils cannot  access certain sites such as gambling or adult -orientated sites. Access depends on age group so parents and teachers have the peace of mind that children are more safely surfing the internet.

BeLF plans to rollout about 500 dongles to schools in the Autumn term.  Any school that is involved in the BeLF programme and  interested in this should contact Sophie or Ian