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Children: Internet

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding from the Home Access Programme has been allocated; how many families have received assistance from the scheme; and what the maximum limit is on expenditure by each family on (a) a laptop and (b) connectivity. (313473)

[holding answer 26 January 2010]: We expect the total expenditure on the Home Access programme to be in the region of £300 million, with around £240 million of this released in the current spending period (to March 2011) for the pilot and specialist activities and the initial stage (key stages 2 and 3) of the national programme. 270,000 households are due to benefit from the current phase of funding, with over 30,000 already benefitting to date. Customers will be able to get a full package grant worth up to £528, or up to £400 for a device and support only or up to £180 for connectivity only.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to minimise the risks to children arising from their use of the internet. (322814)

Prof. Tanya Byron's report, “Safer Children in a Digital World” was published in March 2008 and its recommendations on child internet safety were accepted in full by the Government. Subsequently, the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) was launched in September 2008. Chaired by DCSF and Home Office ministers, the council unites over 160 organisations from across industry, the third sector, law enforcement and the devolved administrations to deliver the recommendations of the report.

UKCCIS published its first strategy on 9 December 2009, the first of its kind in the world, which laid out the steps that will be taken to help keep children safe online. These include: a £2 million public awareness campaign, launched in February this year, to help parents keep their children safe online; a range of guidance for internet companies, as a further step towards effective self regulation for the industry; and the planned introduction of e-safety to the National Curriculum for Primary Schools in England from September 2010. The UKCCIS strategy can be found at:

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families asked Prof. Tanya Byron to report on the progress made on improving children's digital safety following her original review in 2008. Prof. Byron's findings are due to reported shortly.