Tory ministers have missed their target to get laptops to needy school pupils without computers at home.
Gavin Williamson had claimed 230,000 laptops and tablets were “on schedule” to be distributed by June 30.
But the Education Secretary’s pledge fell short – as official figures show 202,212 were “delivered or dispatched” by that date.
Despite schools shutting three months ago, almost a quarter of the laptops or tablets – 47,922 – were only distributed in the last week.
And even then, pupils may still be waiting for tens of thousands of the devices.
Official figures only record when laptops are dispatched to councils or schools – not when they are received or given to a child. The statistics also include laptops that are still “in transit awaiting delivery”.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green branded the figures “extremely disappointing”.
She said: “Disadvantaged children have now spent nearly a term without adequate access to education.
“Ministers need to get the remaining laptops to the families who need them immediately, and provide proper support for children who will be catching up over the summer.”
The government pledged to send laptops to the “most vulnerable and most disadvantaged children” without access to IT at home.
Care leavers and children with social workers were first in line, followed by disadvantaged pupils in Year 10.
The government sad the £100million scheme would hand laptops to schools permanently to improve kids’ education.
But unions have said even the ambition to send out 230,000 of the machines is not enough.
The ASCL union has described the availability of laptops as a “national scandal”, warning they cover a “tiny proportion” of pupils without access to technology and “we need to do better.”
Gavin Williamson said on June 9 he was aiming to distribute 230,000 laptops by the end of the month.
He told MPs: “We are on schedule to receive all those laptops and get them distributed by the end of the month.”
Today’s figures also show 47,416 wireless routers were delivered or dispatched by June 30.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We have delivered over 200,000 laptops and tablets for the children who need them most, as promised, and will continue to make sure all children are supported as schools prepare to reopen in September.
“We have also launched a £1billion Covid catch up fund to directly tackle the impact of lost teaching time as a result of the pandemic.
“This will fund a £350million national tutoring programme for disadvantaged children and young people, and a £650m universal premium which schools have the flexibility to decide how to spend in the best interests of their pupils.”