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What the teachers say

HOW has the Government's offer of pound;500 towards the cost of their own laptop computer been received by teachers? Warwick Mansell gauged reaction at Bett 2000, the technology conference where the subsidy was announced.

Lynn Holloway, deputy head of Great Ecclestone Copp primary school, Lancashire, said: "The Government's offer to pay half of the cost of a laptop is very nice, but will they give us the money for the other half, please? If they want every teacher to have a laptop, then they should meet the cost in full, for every teacher."

Ros Alden, information and communications technology co-ordinator at Stourfield first school, Bournemouth, said: "I already have access to computers at home, but many staff at my school do not.

"The job is getting increasingly difficult to do without comuter access. A number of staff have to stay late at school to prepare worksheets on the computer. I think they will welcome this offer."

Sheila Thomas, a special educational needs advisory teacher for Anglesey and Gwynedd, said: "I've got my own laptop and find it invaluable. Computers are very useful as a learning tool for the visually-impaired children I work with, and I can do a lot of the preparation work on my computer at home."

Simon Grant, a teacher at the Leighton Project, a further education college in Camden, north London, for students with moderate learning difficulties, said:

"I think it's a great idea. I'm thinking of buying a computer myself, and would be interested in an offer like this. If I had access to one in my free time, I think my skills would improve."

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