Brown offers free laptops to deprived UK schoolkids
Home Access scheme gets national rollout
Free laptops with broadband access will be dished out to more than a quarter of a million UK households to help kids from cash-strapped families do better in exams, said Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday.
"We want every family to become a broadband family, and we want every home linked to a school. For those finding it difficult to afford this, today I can announce the nationwide rollout of our home access programme to get laptops and broadband at home for 270,000 families," said the PM.
The £300m 'Home Access' project was kicked off by Brown in 2008, but plans to bring the interwebs into the homes of deprived kids have been mulled by the government for years.
Brown said the scheme - which has already been piloted in Oldham and Suffolk - would provide a link for families to access their children's school progress reports on attainment, behaviour and other issues.
The national rollout will be seen by some as a significant step in the right direction.
This time last year the UK government pleaded with the IT industry to help breathe some life into its Home Access programme.
It called on key players in the tech world to cough up cash towards ensuring all school children in England aged five to 19 had a computer and internet access in their homes.
The then schools minister Jim Knight said in January 2009 that Microsoft had created something he described as a “re-investment fund”. The software maker agreed to “commit to fund a foundation in support of the Home Access programme”.
However, Knight didn’t reveal how much cash Microsoft had pumped into the initiative, which has been periodically wheeled out by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for the past two years.
The initial pilot targeted some 28,000 schoolkids, with tech kit being supplied by the likes of RM, Stone Computers and Positive IT solutions. ®
Call me cynical.....
1>. These laptops will be on eBay, BNIB. Perhaps gordon should visit homes where they cant afford a laptop. I would suggest that if you can afford a 48 inch plasma, 40 fags, 2 crates of hoffmeister and 6 litres of white lightning a day, you can afford a laptop. And youll find that lot in every one of those homes.
2>. Whats in it for MS ? Getting them wile theyre young maybe with immersive advertising, feeding them MS crack whilst they dont know what theyre doing.
Well done Gordon. Youre a genius. Or an idiot.
title unavailble due to funding
looks like those who are on benefits are going to be getting yet more given to them.
things like this happen and i wonder why i bother with work
Waste of money
I work in schools and have seen free laptops given out over the last two years, I spent a lot of time reparing these. Usage I have seen is a follows:
25% - Child does get to use it and spends all their time on MSN, limewire and getting viruses.
25% - Parent uses it and kids not allowed.
48% - used by whole family as dinner plate/ash tray/door stop/weapon - laptop quickly destroyed but as they come with 3 year warranty and accidental damage cover the poor school technician has to keep getting these fixed. (I've had to repair laptops so dirty I the smell lingers after the laptop has gone)
1% - Sold/stolen
0.5% - put away somewhere and never seen again until the child starts to behave themselves.
0.5% - Used by the child for homework.
In general these laptops have no value to the family that receives them and are abused as such.
"Brown said the scheme - which has already been piloted in Oldham and Suffolk - would provide a link for families to access their children's school progress reports on attainment, behaviour and other issues."
should be corrected to:
"would provide a link for families' children to access MSN, zone out on FaceBook / MySpace and watch videos of happy slapping on YouTube"
This is basically a "laps for chavs" scheme - if they are stupid enough to deploy it, it should gi via a pre-filtered web proxy to block waste of bandwidth by those who are too stupid to realise they shouldnt be reproducing.
"For those finding it difficult to afford this..."
...we'll screw you in taxes to make up for my lack of fiscal savvy when I lived at No. 11, so you might as well take the laptop and sell it for drugs. God knows your kids will if you don't.