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  • Intel hails UK's affordable PC plan, but more can be done

    by Richard Wilson
    Tuesday 12 January 2010 10:18

    More needs to be done to provide affordable PCs to low income families in the UK, according to an executive at Intel.

    “We need to act quickly and much more work needs to be done if we are to deliver the benefits of technology to all of the 1.3m low income families that are in need of assistance, to enable those children to reach their full potential,” said Tristan Wilkinson, a member of the digital inclusion taskforce at Intel EMEA.

    Wilkinson was responding to this week’s announcement by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown that thousands of families will be able to claim free computers and internet access as part of a Government initiative.

    Wilkinson pointed to the findings of a recent report from the Digital Inclusion Champion and PwC which found that where children have one or more GCSEs at A - C, computer ownership increases chance of getting five good GCSEs by 9%.

    The Government’s Home Access programme is being rolled out nationally after pilots in Suffolk and Oldham.

    Its aim is to allow an estimated 270,000 families with children in years 3 to 9 to apply for grants to buy computers and broadband connections from approved suppliers.

    “Research has shown that pupils could improve by two grades at GCSE if they have a computer at home, and ministers hope the scheme will narrow the educational divide between children receiving free school meals and their peers,” said the Government.

    “There is a clear and proven linkage today that access to technology can improve the educational outcomes for many children and that to deny that opportunity to low income families can have the adverse effect and make entering the workplace even harder,” said Wilkinson.

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    Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. We fully support the Government’s commitment to give access to technology to some of the most disadvantaged segments of society,” said Wilkinson.