Laptops scheme is indefensible

16th February 2001 at 00:00
LIMITING the Computers for Teachers scheme to key stage 3 maths teachers is indefensible (TES, January 26).

I recently conducted a national survey which revealed that less than 10 per cent of teachers have benefited from the scheme. Even those that did, get no support when it comes to Internet access. More worryingly, teachers cannot always get web access at work, with some schools having as many as 483 students to each Internet terminal.

Minister Michael Wills says teachers should "apply as quicly as possible ... because the money will run out". It is surely a sign of a flawed scheme when, instead of universal provision, a wacky race decides who is to receive support.

Teachers at all levels should be entitled to subsidised equipment. After all, they are asked to make use of technology in the classroom. How can they hope to do this effectively if they do not have personal access to modern equipment?

Richard Allan MP Liberal Democrat IT spokesperson House of Commons, London SW1

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