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£700,000 Investment In School Computers

Renfrewshire Council is to spend £700,000 on improving computer technology and internet access in the area’s schools.

The new investment will see the replacement of older computers, as well as improved access to wireless internet.

The cash – to be spent in the next 12 months – will also allow the council to invest in new methods of internet-based learning and teaching in the area’s schools.

Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Convener of the Education Policy Board, said: “We are delighted to be able to spend such a significant sum of money on what we believe is a crucial area for our children’s futures.

“We now live in a digital age and it is important to keep our technology up to date if we are to equip our children with the skills they will need in the years ahead.

“In particular, the internet is now playing an increasingly important role in schools, and the investment in wifi access will put Renfrewshire’s pupils and teachers a mouse-click away from the world of learning that exists online.”

Councillor Cameron visited St James’s Primary School in Paisley to meet some of the pupils and teachers who will benefit from the investment.

Lorna Murray, the school’s acting head teacher, said: “This will really increase the opportunities available to our pupils as it will give them better access to computers than they have just now.

“Computers are becoming more important as a tool for learning all the time. It will be great to have some new laptops for the pupils and teachers.”

Money will be targeted at the replacement of older computers in Renfrewshire’s schools. This will help the council bring down its maintenance costs, as these bills increase with the age of the hardware.

The investment will also allow the council to enhance its provision of innovative internet-based teaching and learning methods.

The council is forming a working group – featuring head teachers and pupils as well as council IT staff – to work out where best to spend the money, with detailed proposals to be produced later this year.

The money was made available as part of an additional £1million investment across education and leisure services, announced as part of the council’s budget in January.

The remaining £300,000 is to be spent on extending free wifi internet coverage in Renfrewshire’s town halls, libraries, museums and schools. This investment was agreed by the Community and Family Care Policy Board in February.