Tesco's new computers-for-vouchers scheme has met with mixed responses, with some critics insisting that teachers are still not receiving the information technology training they need to make use of subsidised equipment.
Tesco, the first of the supermarket chains to introduce vouchers for schools to redeem for computer hardware and software, has now added IT training to the package. Schools that claim a computer this year using Tesco Computers for Schools vouchers (each representing Pounds 25 spent at Tesco) will receive training worth Pounds 80 from Xemplar, the educational IT company.
Rachel Morrison, a spokeswoman for Tesco Computers for Schools, said: "The money will pay for one teacher to spend two hours, hopefully one-to-one, with an Xemplar computer trainer during the autumn term. This is not aimed at IT teachers but at ordinary history or geography teachers, for example. They will be asked to bring along their computer and shown how to configure it, set up the printer and load up the software."
She added: "We expect 5,000 places to be taken up this year."
Reaction from teaching unions was muted. Richard Margrave, spokesman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "Two hours of training will just about show someone how to attach the plug and turn the computer on."