A survey by children's charity Barnardos has found that just a quarter of young people have access to tablets and ebooks in schools.

The study also found that the majority of parents polled think the Government needs to develop a national strategy for how digital devices should be used in classrooms.

Barnardo's Schools Digital Survey of 700 parents found a lack of standardised investment and planning around the use of technology in schools.

The study indicated that it is posing financial issues for parents and adversely impacting on disadvantaged children.

It found strong support among parents for the use of digital devices in schools, but uneven access to them.

The survey found that around two thirds of schools supply digital hardware like PCs, laptops, tablets, and software including apps and e-books.

However, one in ten parents said they must pay for the gadgets and software.

Nearly half of those questioned said they thought their child needed more training in the use of the devices, while three quarters said that when it comes to internet safety they themselves would like more advice and guidance.

Barnardos says the Government must take robust action to ensure all children have equal access to technology in the classroom and at home for educational purposes.

It has called on the Department of Education to publish its national plan on how schools use digital devices, to abolish the 23% VAT that applies to e-textbooks and to invest in schools.