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13 January 2010
Families of children who are entitled to free school meals can now apply for a free laptop and internet connection under a new scheme.
The Prime Minister announced the ‘Home Access’ scheme to help close the ‘digital and educational divide between rich and poor’ and keep parents in touch with their child's progress. Around 270,000 low income families will benefit.
Currently the scheme is only for children in years three to nine (around 7 – 14 years) who are eligible for free school meals. Although ‘Looked After Children’ up to the age of 18 will also receive laptops (carers and foster parents can apply).
The groundbreaking system comes after research revealed pupils could improve by two grades at GCSE with a computer at home.
The scheme will also offer bespoke packages to provide more support for children with special educational needs. Online safety is to become a compulsory part of the primary curriculum from 2011. In keeping with this all free laptops will come with pre-set parental controls and loaded with a copy of the award winning e-safety guide ‘Know IT All for Parents”. The computers will also have a pre-set homepage which includes the Child Exploitation and Online Protection ‘report abuse’ button.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families said “The £300m investment in the Home Access programme will help make England one of the first countries in the world to ensure young people can use a computer and the internet at home for their education, and get parents better involved and understanding more about what their child does at school.”
The programme is in place nationally after successful pilots in Oldham and Suffolk showed a positive impact on the pupils and their parents.
Those children who received computers from the Home Access programme spent an hour more per week learning online, compared to their classmates who already had the internet at home.
81 per cent of parents believed that home access had increased their involvement in their child’s learning – and increased parental engagement is proven to improve children’s educational progress.
The laptops will have to be bought from an approved supplier and families must first meet strict eligibility criteria.
For more details on the scheme see Becta.org.uk or the Home Access website
To apply for a grant call 0333 200 1004.
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Free laptops for poorer children under new government scheme
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RE: Free laptops for poorer children under new government scheme
This is very interesting.They can also try introducing the Anne Segal Tucson idea because I think it could do lots of good things to many people.
15 October 2011 14:21
I was talking to a friend of mine who works for an IT services Phoenix company and let me tell you that some people are debating right now about introducing "internet access" as a basic human right. This initiative is great and congrats for the people who are behind this project.
11 October 2011 08:43
This is a great project. I am glad that poor children have this amazing opportunity. They have the right to learn about computers. It will help them a lot later. And now, thanks to the free downloads such as movies, music, games, books and antivirus download free, they have access to online culture. The world is making a great progress.
20 July 2011 11:29
Excellent idea! I’ve heard of this before and I think it’s very efficient. All the children have the right to facilitate their learning process. And I really agree with the interval age they benefit by this scheme. It’s the perfect time for them to learn basic things about computers such as document editing or file extensions, for example.
29 April 2011 13:26
The programme is in place nationally after successful pilots in Oldham and Suffolk showed a positive impact on the pupils and their parents.Essay Writing
26 April 2011 07:07
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