Government plans to Internet enable children

The government is reportedly drawing up plans that could see every child in the country being given access to an Internet connection at home, although parents may be required to help pay for it. It's claimed that over 1m children have no access to the Internet at home:

Jim Knight, the schools minister, said he is in talks with companies such as Microsoft, BT, Sky, Virgin and RM to help close the widening achievement gap between pupils from the richest and poorest families.

The initiative is part of a major push which could also see the parents of every secondary school student given access to continuous online updates on their child's lessons, performance and behaviour as early as next year.

So-called "real-time reporting", which was first mooted in the government's children's plan last month, could be extended to primary schools within two years.

In an interview with the Guardian, Knight signalled that the government was putting pressure on IT firms to bring down the cost of equipment if internet connections are in effect made compulsory for nearly six million children.

The Guardian reports that the first phase of deployment, referring to real-time reporting of a child’s progress, could come into operation as soon as 2009 for secondary schools with primary’s following a year or so later.

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