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Schools (Computers)

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 29 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the number of computers paid for by his Department in schools.

Yes, Sir. My Department has made excellent progress towards the Government's objective of introducing and encouraging the use of computers in schools.Since 1981, my Department's help towards the purchase of computers and related equipment by schools has included: Three Microcomputer in Schools schemes (June 1981-December 1984) whereby a total of £15·1 million was spent on providing 6,514 secondary schools and 27,407 primary schools with a half-price micro system plus monitor; in March of this year, a grant of £3·5 million allocated to local education authorities and the independent sector, which resulted in the purchase of over 2,000 computers in addition to other peripheral IT equipment. Assistance to enhance the capabilities of existing computers has included: the Support for Educational Software scheme with £3·5 million funding over three years (1985–86 to 1987–88) which encourages the purchase of additional software; and in March 1986 the Modems in Schools scheme, under which every middle and secondary school received a free modem to give them access to national databases.