I’ve mentioned a few times that the Becta Home Access scheme has started rapidly, and that you need to encourage your qualifying students to take up their grants quickly, before they all go (the simple qualifying criteria is Year 3-9 pupils who have Free School Meals. But read all the small print here).
Well, there’s a bit more information on the success of the scheme that’s been released by Becta under an FOI request, which shows that they have had over 330,000 applications for grant packs (which is far more than the 285,000 grants available), and have processed, so far, 158,000 applications. Assuming that parents return the forms pretty quickly, then it is likely that all the grants will be gone fairly soon.
There’s also an analysis of grant applications by local authority area (Birmingham are racing ahead, chased by Norfolk and Essex).
The other thing that is interesting is that it gives an approximate (if two decimal places can be called approximate!) breakdown of the grants redeemed by each of the Home Access Suppliers. Comet have got the lion’s share – over half of all of the families have chosen them – with XMA in second place. I’m not surprised that Comet are leading, because they are the only supplier where you can walk into the shop, and walk out with the computer. With everybody else, you either have to order it from a high-street partner, and get it delivered, or order it over the phone/web.
I’m also not surprised that in the first wave of suppliers, the only two that were supplying all of their computers with Windows 7, Microsoft Office AND Microsoft Security Essentials (ie free anti-virus for life) have done significantly better than the suppliers who weren’t including it..
Time for a final parental reminder
If there are parents in your school that still haven’t applied, then they should act soon. Given more application packs have gone out than grants are available, then time is definitely running out. And given all the rhetoric about budget cuts after the election, there’s no guarantee of future funding for the scheme.