Gordon Brown promises free laptops for the deserving poor

The undeserving poor can just go whistle

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The British Prime Minister is set to unveil a new plan to give 270,000 low income families free laptops and broadband access.

The idea is based on the PM's aspiration to promote, well, "aspiration" amongst Britains' deserving poor, to help them follow their childrens' progress at school.

If the Government is able to get all families in Britain linked up to their children's schools, then the theory is that there is then universal access for all to school progress reports.

The Government has set aside £300m of investment for the scheme. With Brown telling an international education forum in Westminster: "We want every family to become a broadband family, and we want every home linked to a school. For those finding it difficult to afford this, today I can announce the nationwide rollout of our home access programme to get laptops and broadband at home for 270,000 families.

His speechwriter added: "Families can come together, learn together and reap rewards together."

Mothers, sons, FREE LAPTOPS

Brown will also say: "We realise that for parents to influence and engage in the education of their children they need rich, varied and easily accessible information on the progress, behaviour and attendance of their children.

"So the mother who's worried about her son struggling with his reading can find out more about how she can help, or the dad who works long hours and can't make a parents' evening can keep in touch with his daughter's progress, at whatever time of the day or night that he's free."

For those of us who went to school in the 1980s and 1990s – and who dreaded the annual 'school report' - this latest government initiative to encourage constant and consistent reporting to parents on their kids may well seem utterly barking mad. Such is the way of the world.

Via Guardian.co.uk