HL Deb 12 May 1998 vol 589 c115WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will encourage local authorities which are replacing personal computers to offer the redundant machines to the schools in their areas. [HL1759]

Lord Whitty

This is a matter for local authorities in the light of their own disposal policies. When deciding whether donated equipment is suitable for classroom use, local authorities and schools will need to consider a range of issues, including the capability of the equipment to run an appropriate range of educational software; the acquisition of suitable software and the necessary licences; the additional costs of training and technical support associated with equipment (which may not be of a type familiar to schools); the provision of compatible peripheral equipment such as printers; and the need for a continuing service of maintenance and support. They should also consider the opportunity cost to schools of updating, supporting and maintaining equipment which may be on the verge of obsolescence or unsuitable for use beyond the year 2000.