schools.connected

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ⓘ Our schools.connected programme has now ended - thank you to everyone that took part and helped thousands of students across the UK stay connected.

However, the work doesn't stop there. To learn more about our commitment to tackling digital exclusion in the UK, head to our everyone.connected page.

Free data for an extra 150,000 students from Mail Force

We all know how important education is, but there are too many people who still can't access online learning at home because they don't have the right connectivity.

That's why the Mail Force Computers for Kids initiative has partnered with Vodafone to extend the schools.connected programme and give an extra 150,000 data SIMs to those most in need in schools, colleges and universities across the UK. Each SIM has 30GB data to use for 90 days.

Get involved and help those most in need to stay connected. Terms apply

What is Mail Force?

Mail Force is a charity that's stepped up to help hundreds of thousands of children who don't have laptops and the necessary data connectivity to follow online classes. So far, the Daily Mail has raised over £10m for Mail Force's Computers for Kids initiative, and has the backing of many celebrities and UK businesses. Watch their campaign video here

How has schools.connected made a difference?

During the most difficult months of the COVID-19 pandemic, headteachers and educational trusts in the UK saw a lack of access to devices and poor connectivity as major concerns for students. As the mission to catch up began, it was more important than ever to ensure everyone had access to online learning.

Through schools.connected and together with Mail Force's Computers for Kids initiative, we were able to help over 350,000 students most in need across the UK to get online.

Why we need to #KeepConnecting

Order your data-only SIMs today

30GB SIM card

Data-only SIM
30GB data
Lasts 90 days
Terms apply

What else do you need to know?

Data lasts for 90 days once the SIM is activated.
 

Put the SIM into a smartphone to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot - or insert straight into a smart laptop.

All SIMs are pre-configured to block age-restricted content.
 

Frequently asked questions

This scheme is open to any university, further education college, state primary and secondary school in the UK.

Unfortunately not - headteachers/chancellors are the only people allowed to place orders for their own establishments.

If you think you would benefit from these SIMs, please get in touch with your headteacher/chancellor.

Headteachers/chancellors are ultimately responsible for the decisions at their establishment, which is why we feel they are best placed to make these orders - and to ensure that only one order is placed for each eligible establishment.

Orders can be placed from Monday 22 February 2021 until Wednesday 30 June 2021, or until we have distributed all 150,000 SIMs - whichever happens first.

Previously, in order to help us support as many people across the UK as possible, we only allowed one order for each eligible educational establishment.

However, as of 18 March 2021, we are allowing any establishment that has already taken part in schools.connected to place an additional order with us.

Just follow the application process as normal to place your second order.

Please note: Any establishment that has already taken part in schools.connected will only be able to place one additional order - multiple additional orders will not be accepted.

Once dispatched, it should take up to three working days for the SIMs to arrive.

We'll keep you up to date on the progress of your order via email.

This is for each educational establishment to decide because they are best placed to consider the educational needs of their pupils.

We anticipate that they will look at the available indicators, including free school meals, pupil premium etc.

We also trust that they will look beyond these indicators and consider who else might be considered disadvantaged (e.g. students who may fall just above the threshold of getting access to any benefits).

This is a setting we provide on our network to prevent customers under the age of 18 from accessing age-inappropriate content on mobile devices - such as pornography, violence, discrimination, drugs or crime.

This content bar works when using the Vodafone mobile network only, which means if your device is connected to the internet over WiFi, this age-inappropriate content may still be available - this can be managed from the settings of the broadband provider.

There are limitations in internet search engine results or adult content hosted on social media sites, so we always recommend parental supervision when children are using digital technology. We also recommend applying additional parental controls and filtering to your child's device, app, browser and search engine settings.

Find out more about parental controls and filtering

These SIMs are compatible with any smartphone, tablet and other devices that have a SIM card port.

If your device also has a hotspot feature, you can use this to tether other smartphones, tablets or laptops to this connection - even if they don't have a SIM card port.

For more information on using hotspots, head to our device guides.

If your device is locked to another network that isn't Vodafone, you will have to get in touch with that provider and ask them for a Network Unlock Code (NUC).

This can sometimes happen when first inserting the SIM card into your device - usually because the SIM card does not match the settings on your device.

If your device asks you to choose from several Vodafone options, select Vodafone (Pre-Pay) and your SIM card will activate.

Don't worry if you accidentally press the wrong option - this can be adjusted in your device settings.

To find out how, please visit our Device Guides page for more information.

The 30GB data will last for 90 days, which starts from the moment the SIM card is activated.

Once those 90 days are up, you will still be able to top up the SIM with data, like a regular data-only SIM, for which you will be charged in accordance with your selected price plan.

For more information, please visit our Top up page.

No, these are data-only SIMs.

If you're having issues with your SIM card, please book an appointment with a Tech Team expert by visiting our Tech Team page. All appointments are currently conducted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Alternatively, call us on 191 free from a Vodafone mobile, or 03333 040191 from a non-Vodafone mobile.

If we're unable to fix the issue, we would advise the person in possession of the SIM to get in touch with their educational establishment to claim another SIM card.

If you require a replacement SIM, contact schools.connected@gktelecom.com for support.

If you think your establishment is eligible for this scheme but is not on the list, please ask the headteacher/chancellor of the establishment to get in contact with our partner, GK Telecom, for further assessment.

Email: schools.connected@gktelecom.com

Every university, further education college, state primary and secondary school in the UK is entitled to these 30GB data SIMs. We are using an allocation system which helps us determine how many SIMs we offer to each establishment.

This system is built around a number of factors, including the type of establishment, student population and/or proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals in the local authority the establishment is located in.

Once your order has been confirmed, you should receive an email with order tracking details from our partner, GK Telecom.

If you didn't receive this email, or you need further support with your order, please get in touch using the details below.

Telephone: 01753 568 441
Email: schools.connected@gktelecom.com