Gordon Brown to supply 270,000 free laptops and broadband access to low income families to get them online for school reports

News by Dan Raywood

The Prime Minister is to promise free laptops and broadband access for 270,000 low-income families.

The Prime Minister is to promise free laptops and broadband access for 270,000 low-income families.

The intention is so that they can better follow their children's progress at school and access progress reports on attainment, behaviour and other needs.

Speaking to an international education forum in Westminster, Gordon Brown is expected to say, according to BBC News and Yahoo News, "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, I can announce the nationwide rollout of our home access programme 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.”

“Just as today I set out with Ed Balls Labour's aspiration to make every home a broadband home, so too, from now until polling day, will all the cabinet set out Labour's aspirations for a better future for Britain than the Tories could ever promise”, according to BBC News and Yahoo News.

The pledge is contained in the children, schools and families bill which will be debated in the Commons today.

According to the Guardian, Brown will say: "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 schools – will guarantee reporting online to parents.

“So the mother who's worried about her son struggling with his reading can find out more about how she can help, or the dad who works long hours and can't make a parents' evening can keep in touch with his daughter's progress, at whatever time of the day or night that he's free.”

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme, schools secretary Ed Balls said the move would ensure that ‘all children, not just those (from families) on higher incomes can have a computer at home'.

He said: “The evidence shows that it improves their learning, it raises their exam grades. It is about delivering a more socially just society in which every child can learn.”

The announcement follows a recent plan that will see internet safety taught to primary school children from 2011.


Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews