The Home Access Scheme offered home internet access to school children. Launched in January this year, it aimed to ‘provide funding to over 270,000 households that currently lack Internet access by March 2011’ for all ‘low-income’ families with children aged between 3-9. A Home Access Grant bought a laptop including pre-installed software, wireless, technical support and internet access for a year. The scheme was managed by BECTA, axed by the coalition, and unsurprisingly the Home Access Scheme has similarly been cut. Although not without the prerequisite spin.
The main Home Access programme has been a runaway success. More than 250,000 families have already benefitted from Home Access Grants…… which are now no longer available – that’s 20,000 families who didn’t get to benefit. However, the distribution of Home Access packages with Assistive Technology is ongoing. These aim to provide bespoke packages for up to 12,000 children with profound disabilities or special educational needs.
Apart from saying that’s 12,000 children who’ve fallen through existing assistive technology nets within the educational system, my maths is not good but isn’t that still a shortfall of 8000 children denied the opportunity for particpation.?