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Heads, you get a laptop...

Thousands of headteachers in small primary and special schools in England will get a laptop computer, writes Chris Johnston.

The Department for Education and Employment has allocated pound;3 million, to be distributed to local education authorities based on the number of primary teachers in each.

The scheme is intended to allow more heads to enjoy the benefits of a laptop computer, such as cutting the time spent on administration and allowing those in isolated and rural areas to keep in touch with other teachers via emailand discussion groups.

The computers will be bought by LEAs and schools, which will be able to reclaim the VAT. If each laptop costs about pound;1,000, at least 3,000 heads will get one. Under the rules, at least 70 per cent of the funding must be spent on the computers, but LEAs can create packages that include a printer, software and training.

The laptops must be selected from the 26 models approved by Becta, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, for the Computers for Teachers scheme.

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