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"In his Manchester conference speech, Gordon Brown unveiled funding of £300 million for new proposals under which low-income families will recieve vouchers worth up to £700 to get them connected to the Internet"

(30 Posts)
JoolsToo Wed 01-Oct-08 12:50:46

this is from my monthly newsletter from my ISP, I hadn't heard anything about it on the news.

What do we think?
I'm wondering where the money is coming from. This country is in SO MUCH debt can we really afford to do this. Are computers THAT necessary?

In his Manchester conference speech, Gordon Brown unveiled funding of £300
million for new proposals under which low-income families will receive vouchers
worth up to £700 to get them connected to the Internet. The means-tested
vouchers will be worth up to £700 and can be used to pay for broadband charges,
software, technical support, or even computers where necessary. ?It is now
clear that pupils without Internet access are at a disadvantage to their peers.
Home access is increasingly becoming an essential part of a good education and
having a computer with Internet access should be seen as equally essential as
having a school bag, a uniform or a pen and paper,? explained Jim Knight, the
minister of state for schools and learners. Earlier this year, the government
laid out a three-year, £30 million plan to deliver Internet connections to
students in disadvantaged families and £60 million for a two-year Computers for
Pupils scheme, which targeted 1,000 schools in England?s most deprived areas.
That money had already been spent, according to a spokesperson from the
department of children, schools and families.

FioFio Wed 01-Oct-08 12:52:36

Message withdrawn

LittleMyDancingForJoy Wed 01-Oct-08 12:53:43

There's a media request about this and about the larger topic of supporting learning at home over here, if you're interested, JoolsToo.

Personally, I think internet access does put chldren at an advantage with their homework, especially in a house where there may not be things like dictionaries, encyclopaedias, or even any books at all.

LilRedWG Wed 01-Oct-08 12:54:03

Am with Fio on this one.

kormachameleon Wed 01-Oct-08 12:54:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LilRedWG Wed 01-Oct-08 12:55:27

But surely libraries have internet connection. There was no internet when a lot of us was at school - we went to the library and used books. no-one suggested funding a full set of encyclopaedias for all school children.

LilRedWG Wed 01-Oct-08 12:56:30

Doh - will reword that. "There was no internet when a large proportion of us were at school."

Cappuccino Wed 01-Oct-08 12:56:38

yes fio absolutely I agree

there is no guarantee that these homes are going to create a wonderful working environment for the children of the house to do their homework on said machinery

just as likely that dad ends up looking at porn on it and mum ends up moaning on here about him wink

TheCrackFox Wed 01-Oct-08 12:57:26

TBH, I would believe when I see it. Where is he going to get the money from?

Tortington Wed 01-Oct-08 12:57:33

oooh i am split

this isn't the greatest time for the ountry to be doing these redic election winning stunts.

however IT skills are seen as an essential basic skill

my kids are expected to do their homework on a computer - they have their own school e0mail address and support sites for GCSE to on where teachers can monitor their study.

vouchers isn't the way to go though

Cappuccino Wed 01-Oct-08 12:57:49

remember doing something at college years ago about children who did not have a table to do work on

not caused by lack of money but by lack of parental importance placed on homework

Sexonlegs Wed 01-Oct-08 13:02:48

I thought there were poor kids needing to be fed properly - bollocks to the computers. As you say, schools have them, as do libraries.

Makes me quite cross tbh.

FAQ Wed 01-Oct-08 13:05:30

Libraries do have internet connection that's true, but often not many computers, and in our local one you can wait 2/3hrs to get one!

Just because things were done differently when we were at school doesn't mean that the world doesn't move forward and that things are done differently.

Also, particularly in rural area, libraries are being closed at alarming rates so children with no books at home to look at, no computer, and no library which is easy to access will be at an advatange.

I should imagine supplying computers for schools/community centres would cost more than simply giving individuals vouchers to get one. There would be on-going costs in maintaining them, having staff there to supervise/assist etc etc. Giving vouchers is a one off cost, whereas providing regular access to one for more people is ongoing

beansmum Wed 01-Oct-08 13:06:20

why £700? You can get a computer for a couple of hundred, my broadband is £10pm.

FAQ Wed 01-Oct-08 13:12:00

you got your broadband set-up for £10 beansmum?

Freckle Wed 01-Oct-08 13:13:32

At the boys' secondary school, the ICT suites are open to all pupils at break, lunchtime and after school. I would imagine that this is true of most secondary schools. There is no reason for any child to feel that they cannot perform adequately at school because they do not have a computer at home.

Seriously there are far more important things that that sort of money could be used for. It's just another headline grabbing stunt.

Bramshott Wed 01-Oct-08 13:14:17

How about money for actually enabling broadband in rural communities. There are so many places (here included) where you just can't get it except by installing a satellite.

zippitippitoes Wed 01-Oct-08 13:15:53

what about money/legislation to stop energy companies over charging on slot meters for gas and electricity

and a governmen t loan scheme to put companies like provident out of business

expatinscotland Wed 01-Oct-08 13:17:01

ffs, can we get a gas/electricity voucher instead?

TheCrackFox Wed 01-Oct-08 13:19:12

Yes, I would prefer that these children were actually warm enough and that their parents could afford to put the lights on in the evening so they can do their homework.

zippitippitoes Wed 01-Oct-08 13:19:22

only way i can see the broadband thing working is public hotspots with internet through digital tv

so you have a password issued and can access the public broadband

so not a pc as such

FAQ Wed 01-Oct-08 13:22:20

but actually £300 million, while it sounds a hell of a lot to most of us MN'ers isn't actually a great amount in terms of government budgets - the budget for the NHS for 2007-8 was £92bn, education in 2007 was £60bn, defence budget "baseline" was £32bn.

Of course there will be families where the money is wasted........but isn't this already true of the standard benefits system? I'm sure most families would use their computers for school stuff (as well as porn and MNing wink - and in this day and age computer skills are frequently a requirement for a lot of jobs, even ones at the bottom of the pay scale.

aintnomountainhighenough Wed 01-Oct-08 13:23:06

Sounds like yet another headline grabbing plan that hasn't been thought through properly. Its all very well saying 700 quid to get them connected but who is going to pay for the on-going costs of running all these computers? I agree with other posters it would be better to give the money to schools or equip local libraries/IT centres. IMO much to much is made of computer access and skills.

kormachameleon Wed 01-Oct-08 13:28:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FAQ Wed 01-Oct-08 13:32:06

"who is going to pay for the on-going costs of running all these computers? I agree with other posters it would be better to give the money to schools or equip local libraries/IT centres."

Who is going to pay for the on-going costs of employing staff etc for the increased use at such places?

I don't think too much is made of computer access and skills - office administrator, data entry, call centres, even some retail jobs require some knowledge of how to work a computer. We live in a global world now,

I also recall a thread recently where it was asked which was the last "luxury" item you would give up, many people on the thread classed their internet access as an essential, and many others said that their internet access would be the last luxury to go. There are MNers who put their internet access before home insurance.

If you were told to give up your computer, and your internet access today - would you do it willingly??

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