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UK.gov drops Home Access scheme

Laptop, broadband for poor pupils prog canned once cash dries up

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The government will ditch the £300m Home Access scheme overseen by soon-to-be-dead IT education quango Becta once the money for the plan runs out.

In the meantime it has shifted funding for the scheme away from providing laptops and broadband to poor households over to applications from families with children with disabilities or Special Educational Needs.

Whitehall’s previous incumbents only signed contracts for the scheme in November 2009, and the programme finally launched in January this year.

The government said yesterday that more than 200,000 families with kids aged between 7 and 14 had gained access to a home computer and/or broadband since launch.

Despite that, the scheme will be killed alongside Becta, which will shut up shop in November this year.

“The programme has been very popular, and is expected to close when the funding runs out,” said UK.gov.

It added that just 12,000 “assistive technology packages” remained. The full details are here. ®

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