5/24/2010 12:49:00 PM
Government to cut Home Access agency BECTA
The Government agency responsible for the delivery of the Home Access programme, BECTA, has had its funding halted as the newly formed Government announced a wave of spending cuts in the public sector, with the aim of saving 6bn this year.
The Home Access Programme is a £300m project aimed at providing internet access and IT facilities to disadvantaged school children. Partners from the mobile industry included 3, Micro-P and Fonehouse.
The funding for this year's programme has already been cleared, so the latest move will not affect any of the approved partners involved in the project. However, new projects will be re-examined, claimed sources.
Becta chairman Graham Badman and chief executive Stephen Crowne said: 'Naturally we are very disappointed at the Governments decision. Becta is a very effective organisation with an international reputation, delivering valuable services to schools, colleges and children. Our procurement arrangements save the schools and colleges many times more than Becta costs to run. Our Home Access programme will give laptops and broadband to over 200,000 of the poorest children.
'Our top priorities now are to make sure we have an orderly and fair process for staff, and that as far as possible schools, colleges and children continue to benefit from the savings and support that Becta has provided. We will be talking to Government departments and our other stakeholders including the industry about this.'