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Home Access Programme

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the progress of the Home Access Taskforce in devising sustainable approaches towards ensuring that all pupils enjoy home access to personal technology by 2011; and if he will make a statement. (247200)

The Home Access Taskforce concluded its work in June 2008 and was reported in July 2008. The report is available at:

http://news.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=38386.

The Government responded to the task force's recommendations on 23 September 2008 when the Prime Minister announced the provision of £300 million for a programme to support Home Access for one million learners in low income families which Becta was asked to deliver.

Last October it was announced that the launch of local authority pilots in Oldham and Suffolk to allow the development of a detailed scheme for national rollout. They will become operational at the end of February 2009. In addition, the Department and Becta have taken action to support those learners for whom the local authority is their corporate parent.

We have so far made available £17.8 million capital funding to 109 local authorities which will benefit over 20,000 learners over the next few months. We expect to roll the grant scheme out nationally in late 2009 and will embed the rollout of technology within a programme to support parents, schools and local authorities in understanding the benefits of having technology available at home and how to make the best use of it.