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Loan scheme plans revealed;News

A SCHEME to provide cheap loans to help teachers buy computers could ensure 25 per cent of the teaching force in England will have a machine by 2002, says the Department for Education and Employment. The initiative would run for three years and involve low-interest credit from computer companies or subsidised loans from financial institutions.

The scheme, it hopes, will "give teachers the opportunity to acquire ICT of a guaranteed quality standard compatible with the National Grid for Learning" and bolster the lottery-funded training.

The complementary move to provide computers to low-income families for a small lease payment will involve a number of ICT suppliers, charities and firms recycling computers.

Funding should be available over the next three years, but the scheme will be self-sustaining if the pilot is successful.

The number of people benefiting depends on the tendering and negotiation process, but the Government wants as many as possible to participate.

More details of both schemes will be announced later this year.

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