Home access – is the glass 80% full or 20% empty?

From Ruth Kelly’s opening address to BETT

…one of the biggest challenges for technology to
support Personalised Learning will be increasing home access.
Yes, the ratio of computers to pupils continues to get better in
secondary and primary schools. Yes, the number of schools with
high speed broadband access is now up to 85%. And yes, over
80% of families now have access to ICT at home. But there are
still over 1 million children who don’t.

We have to move towards a position where we can genuinely say
that we have universal access for all learners. Today, I’m delighted
to reinforce our commitment
to improve home access to
technology for our most disadvantaged pupils. (My emphases.)

From the Labour Party Manifesto

We will deliver our cross-government strategy for closing the digital divide and using ICT to further transform public services…

By 2006 every school [will be] supported to offer all pupils access to computers at home.

Oops! Well, what’s a million disheartened, disillusioned, dispossessed-of-their-future kids, here or there. The underclass can no longer be relied upon to vote Labour anyway.


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