The government faces a legal challenge as activists claim that children from low-income and black, Asian and ethnic minorities (bame) are being "forced" schools during the lockdown of England.
The challenge is that schools across the country have only moved online by at least mid-February, and only important children of workers and vulnerable students are allowed to attend in person.
government Guidance Schools were expected to "strongly encourage" vulnerable children to attend classes. This could include "students who may have difficulty engaging in distance learning at home" because of a lack of equipment or a quiet space to study.
The Good Law Project has taken legal action to force working class children and Bame into school at the height of a deadly pandemic, while those who can afford devices can stay at home.
"We all know that health outcomes are particularly bad for the working class and bame families," said Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the organization.
"Forcing children in these families to go to school at the height of a pandemic because the government cannot or will not provide them with devices looks suspiciously like they are sacrificing their health to protect their reputation."
The Good Law Project said it had also taken legal action over the government's "failure" to ensure that all children have online access to education.
The Ministry of Education (DfE) announced last weekend that it had delivered 560,000 laptops and devices to schools to support distance learning. Another 100,000 is set to arrive this week, and was on track to hit its 1 million goal by the end of the academic year.
Ofcom estimates that between 1.14 and 1.78 million children in the UK do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.
But headmasters said The independent In the original first blocking instructions it was not explicitly clear that children without devices could fall under the endangered category Concerns have been raised about what this would mean in practice for school numbers.
The Good Law Project initiated a legal challenge last spring However, in order to ensure access to online learning for all children, it was suggested that litigation would be given laptops and WiFi routers after assurances were received from the government disadvantaged children.
A DfE spokesperson said: “We are very aware of the additional challenges disadvantaged children are facing in this crisis and have taken steps to reduce the impact on them. This includes purchasing more than a million laptops and tablets for schools and colleges, and working with the UK's leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families to support access to educational resources. "
“We have continuously assessed the impact of national restrictions and access to education on all students. As part of this effort, we hired an independent research and assessment agency to conduct a baseline assessment of the backlog and monitor progress over the year to help us provide targeted support. "
They added: "Schools have been closed to most students during the lockdown, not because they are unsafe but because the government is taking all possible measures to reduce cases in the community and protect the NHS. They offer students online lessons in line with the stricter minimum standards for distance learning. "