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Government to give away free laptops

The Government has announced details of its scheme to provide free laptops and internet access to low income families that currently lack internet access at home.

The Government's Home Access programme aims to ensure every child in the UK has access to a computer and internet access at home. The programme will initially target children in school years 3 to 9 from low-income families. Those that meet certain eligibility criteria, such as receiving free school meals or certain benefits, can apply for a Home Access grant that will cover the cost of a computer, basic software, internet access for one year and three years technical support.

The Government justifies the Home Access programme, claiming that children with internet access at home achieve higher GCSE grades than those who do not. The Home Access programme had been trialed in Oldham and Suffolk in early 2009.

Although the Conservative Party has backed the international One Laptop Per Child programme to provide laptops to children in the developing world, it's unknown if the Tories would continue the Home Access programme if they come to power.

Families can register for a grant application form by calling 0333 200 1004 between 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday. Further details are also available online at the Home Access website.

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