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Government Home Access Free Laptop for Low-Income Families

By Damian Robin
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 19, 2010 Last Updated: August 20, 2010
Related articles: United Kingdom » National
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Former British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson (L), Schools Secretary Ed Balls (C), and Prime Minister Gordon Brown pictured during a meeting to discuss the Home Access scheme at Downing Street, in London, on January 11, 2010. (PAUL GROVER/AFP/Getty Images)

Former British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson (L), Schools Secretary Ed Balls (C), and Prime Minister Gordon Brown pictured during a meeting to discuss the Home Access scheme at Downing Street, in London, on January 11, 2010. (PAUL GROVER/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON—Free laptops with broadband internet access have had a good take-up with only 10,000 left of the quarter of a million grants available to low-income households to boost school performance and job prospects.

The launch of the Home Access scheme was announced at the Learning and Technology World Forum 2010 at the begining of the year.

Former Prime Minister Gorden Brown said in a press release at the time: “This forum is an invaluable opportunity for countries to learn from one another and our collective commitment to worldwide improvement in education will drive up standards and increase opportunities for learners across the world.”

The £300 million project aims to get every family in the country linked to their children's schools, he said. Progress reports on attainment, behaviour, and other needs could be accessed by parents.

“I believe everyone should benefit from new advances in technology. It's right that we break down any barriers to social mobility in order to give more children and families the opportunity to complete coursework, conduct research and apply for jobs online," Mr Brown said.

Children from 7 to 14 can apply for a grant to buy a computer and broadband connection from selected stockists. Not all children on free school meals, the government's benchmark for poor children, will get a computer, a department spokesman told the BBC.

The programme was piloted in Oldham and Suffolk last year.




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