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pound;1bn cash boost for learning grid

The Government has pledged a pound;1 billion cash boost for new technology in schools, which will "supercharge" the drive to bring new technology into the classroom - ensuring a computer for every five secondary pupils by 2004.

This cash pledge extends the National Grid for Learning programme and steps up investment with an extra pound;710 million for two years, 2002-2004 - more than the original programme investment of pound;657 million for 1998-2002. The Government aims to reduce the ratio of pupils to computers in rimary schools to 8:1 by 2004.

"This latest investment will step up the pace again - in two years we will invest more than the entire previous four year programme," said Secretary of State for Education, David Blunkett. "The pound;1 billion investment will supercharge our successful technology and learning drive. Young people must have the skills to use new technologies and to use them effectively if they are to be successful in today's workplace and the new digital society."

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