HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 cc473-4W
Mr. Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many(a) teachers and (b) families in Birkenhead have benefited from the Computers within Reach programme. [166323]

Mr. Charles Clarke

The Computers Within Reach scheme closed on 31 October 2001 having delivered over 24,000 recycled computers to people in 22 pilot areas, at a cost of £7.1 million over two years. Those eligible were in receipt of certain working age benefits or a State Pension with minimum income guarantee.

At the same time as funding was made available for the Computers within Reach scheme, funding was also provided for the Computers for Teachers programme. For teachers who met certain criteria, this programme subsidised the cost of a computer. It was subsequently replaced by the current Laptops for Teachers scheme which dispensed with subsidies, and through which sufficient funding will be provided to enable two-thirds of teachers to receive a laptop by March 2006.

Of the 24,000 computers delivered through the Computers within Reach scheme, approximately 3,000 were for people in the Liverpool area, including those in and around Birkenhead.