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Winners named in £300m Laptops for Teachers gig

Jumping first hurdle

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The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) has named 28 new suppliers for its Laptops for Teachers scheme.

This is simply the first hurdle: the dealers and system builders have sailed through value for money, build quality, battery life and financial solvency tests to join 10 incumbent suppliers. Now they have to tough it out for the business, worth an estimated £300m over three years. (The pot was increased in January, when Charles Clarke, Education Secretary, announced the government's plan to pump in an extra £195m into the scheme.)

Becta has learned a lesson from previous accreditation rounds. It now insists that all contractors supply a bullet-proof warranty that will survive their insolvency. The agency says the need for robust warranty arrangements has become "more apparent over the last twelve months". At the prices the laptop suppliers are charging, how can it be surprised?

Here's a quote from Stephen Lucey, Director of Educational Technology, Becta: “Securing the inclusion of independently guaranteed warranty provision from the educational ICT supplier community represents a significant step change and will allow LEAs and schools to buy with confidence”. ®

If you've got this far you will probably want to know the list of accredited suppliers. So here goes:

Acer UK Ltd
Akhter Computers Ltd
Apple Computer International
CBC Computer Systems (Kirklees) Ltd
Centerprise International Ltd
Chisholms Computers Ltd
Compusys
Computacenter (UK) Ltd
Computer Village
Egton Consulting and Technical
Elonex plc
Ergo Computing UK Ltd
Evesham Technology Ltd
Hi-Grade Computers plc
Jarvis-MPC Systems Ltd
Micro Warehouse Ltd
Misco Computer Products
NEC Computers UK
Research Machines plc
Stone Computers
Teksys Ltd
Time Group Ltd
Tulip Computers UK plc
VdotCOM
Viglen Ltd
Watford Electronics Ltd
Westwood Associates Ltd
XMA Ltd

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