Peterborough and Luton families among first to trial educational apps

The scheme aims to help parents think about how to use children's screen time constructively Credit: ITV Anglia

Disadvantaged families from Peterborough and Luton will be among the first in the UK to trial new apps aimed at boosting children's education.

The government scheme wants poorer parents to use technology to develop language and literacy skills at home.

According to data from the Department of Education, disadvantaged children are on average four months behind their better-off peers in their overall development at the age of five.

Under the scheme, families in 12 pilot areas will get free access to a choiceof two apps focused on early language, literacy and communication. The apps will be chosen through a competition. Tech companies will field apps for the scheme - the educational criteria includes elements of play, interaction and ranging difficulty levels.

Areas in the East of England that will benefit from the scheme are Peterborough and Luton. Middlesbrough, Oldham and Halton in the North will also participate, along with Stoke-on-Trent, Sandwell and Leicester in the Midlands.

In London, families in Enfield, Tower Hamlets and Brent will be invited to take part.