Tuesday, January 12, 2010

U.K. Prime minister Promises Free Laptops, Broadband For 270,000 Low Income Families

U.K. Prime minister Gordon Brown has pledged more than £300m ($484m US) to provide free laptops and broadband access for 270,000 low income families so that they could "better follow their children's progress at school."

Speaking to an international education forum in Westminster, Brown said: "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 program to get laptops and broadband at home for 270,000 families. It will mean all families can come together, learn together and reap rewards together."

The move is designed to back up the government's "guarantee" that all parents will be able to access school reports about their children's progress online – by 2010 for secondary schools, and 2012 for primary schools.

The details of the plan have yet to be finalized and it still has to be ratified by the Commons which is hearing the children, schools and families bill. The program was added to the bill which aims to provide guarantees for parents and pupils, setting out what they are entitled to expect from the schools system. It will also reform the curriculum and introduce a new licensing scheme for teachers.

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