Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

18/01/10 Rosie Cooper MP hails new free laptop scheme

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has announced her support for the new scheme to give low income children and children with learning disabilities free laptops and broadband access.

The Prime Minister has announced the Home Access scheme that will involve 270,000 families around the nation. Families may bid for a grant for the laptops and one year of broadband service. Priorities will go to children in council care and with specific educational needs.

Rosie Cooper MP said: "I'm delighted that the Government has shown its commitment to aspiration and real investment in England's schools. Now parents have easier access to review what their kids are doing at school and how they are achieving.

"Britain needs to be on the cutting edge of technology and learning if it is to bring a new generation into the 21st century. This is Labour's promise to make sure that we have young people who are comfortable with using computers and future technologies. It's vital that British students understand new technology to remain competitive with the rest of the world.

"I encourage West Lancashire parents that may qualify for this scheme to take advantage of it by going online to http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/ or call Becta Home Access at 0333 200 1004 to request an application form."

A recent study has suggested that a laptop at home could have the potential to improve learning and test scores for students. All laptops will be linked to the children's schools for parents to see their progress online, and parental controls will come pre-installed on every computer.

Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said: "As every family becomes a broadband family, every home will be linked to a school. For those finding it difficult to afford this, I can announce the nationwide roll out of our home access programme to get laptops and broadband at home for almost 300,000 families. That promise is backed up by a £300 million investment that will see, by March 2011, free laptops and broadband for low income families across the country.

We realise that for parents to influence and engage in the education of their children they need rich, varied and easily accessible information on the progress, behaviour and attendance of their children. That is why we have said that from 2010 all secondary schools - and from 2012 all primary school - will guarantee reporting online to parents."

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