UK.gov drops Home Access scheme
Laptop, broadband for poor pupils prog canned once cash dries up
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. ®
Took me ages to save up before I could buy my laptop. I was none too pleased when the kids' school sent letters home offering the local unemployed parents what amounts to free porn courtesy of those of us that actually work for a living.
Re-purpose old PCs instead?
Why not take every PC that UK government no longer has a use for, wipe the hard disk, install Linux with a prominent Firefox icon, and give those to the hard-up? At the moment, UK government is paying with our taxes for people to take them away to be scrapped.
Of course, if UK government used Linux rather than Microsoft, it would not be trapped in Microsoft's upgrade treadmill, and it would not have to scrap perfectly good computers just because the latest Microsoft bloatware won't fit in them. But for the time being, there are probably quite enough unwanted computers coming out of UK government to give one to every child living in IT-deprived poverty.
One less complete waste of money
Good thing too! The only thing kids do with a PC and the internet is sit up half the night not doing their school work. There is almost no educational benefit from internet access.