Eliminating digital exclusion in 12 steps

Date: 19th November 2020
Category: Child poverty, Education, including vocational education, School exclusions, COVID-19

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Digital exclusion continues to be a key barrier to children accessing their rights. Reflecting on the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and the lockdown period, the report outlines recommendations for policy-makers, practitioners, academics and industry to improve digital inclusion across the UK. 

Research by Ofcom shows that, in April, 11% of the UK population still lacked access to the internet at home. Others did not have the necessary devices, connection or skills to engage online. Urgent action is required to address this issue, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic as education and other services have moved online. The Carnegie UK Trust has developed 12 recommendations on what to do, building on a decade of work on digital inclusion.  It highlights the need for:

  1. Clear commitments and timeframes to eliminate digital exclusion;
  2. Co-production of strategies with affected stakeholders, so that approaches can be tailored to different groups and their experiences of exclusion;
  3. Collection of quality data on digital inclusion;
  4. Establishing a new Minimum Digital Living Standard;
  5. Embedding work on digital inclusion across all public services;
  6. Alignment with anti-poverty efforts at the national and local level;
  7. Ongoing evaluation of progress and impact;
  8. Effective online harms regulation by the UK Government;
  9. Support, resources and incentives for organisations working on digital inclusion;
  10. Further action by businesses;
  11. Focus on market innovation;
  12. Provision of a public safety-net offering digital access.

Read the report here.