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Budgets and Expenditure Thread, Becta Home Access Scheme - any concrete information yet? in School Administration; Home Access - Home Access Ben...
  1. #16

    plexer's Avatar
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  2. Thanks to plexer from:

    Andie (15th January 2010)

  3. #17
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    Becta Home access scheme, Am i cynical or is this just an election ploy

    I can't help but feel this is just another election ploy by the government, having promoted and funded schools to get their VLE/MLE up and running, I come across countless schools who whilst can claim to have a VLE. It will not support the kinds of things the government is expecting and telling parents they will be able to use these devices to access. It's a year too early in my opinion and am concerned our money will just be used for devices to access social networking sites. I do appreciate the amount of content available on these devices, but lets be honest what percentage (I know its not all) of parents will be encouraging their children to actually use it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Interestingly a Becta consultant advised schools not to get involved at an LA meeting where this came up.
    That could be because it's quite a lot of work for the school to aggregate the order, and needs to be done through the e-Learning Foundation I believe. However, I have spoken to several heads who are considering aggregation so they can try to match what they get for the school with what those with Home Access grants get.

  5. #19
    torledo's Avatar
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    Yet another means tested giveaway for one of gordons special groups. For anyone who's
    ever seen if they were entitled to a college course or free school meals or various other things
    and you discovered that no you weren't worthy, the list below will look
    depressingly familiar.

    Do you receive at least one of the following?
    • Free school meals for your child***
    • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income support
    • Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and an income of less than £16,040
    • Guaranteed Pension Credit (not Savings Credit)
    • Income-based Employment Support Allowance
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    Can someone explain, if your household income is not much over 16040k, is it worth earning that extra money, progressing, bettering yourself etc. if your denied free school meals [if you have children], that's immediately a several hundred pound burden per annum.

    A complete package of laptop plus annual internet access could also be a few hundred pounds.
    You'd have to fork out for that aswell.

    And there's plenty of other means tested stuff where that CTC and 16040 requirement applies, costing
    up to several hundred more pounds.

    That's why i want to boot this govt. out at the earliest opportunity. Are there really such few families with such a high marginal tax burden, who are not entitled each time such means tested schemes are announced, that nobody seems to bat an eyelid.

    Next time your pay may be going up, better think twice, as you may lose out!!!! by earning too much!!!!!

  6. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    Yet another means tested giveaway for one of gordons special groups. For anyone who's
    ever seen if they were entitled to a college course or free school meals or various other things
    and you discovered that no you weren't worthy, the list below will look
    depressingly familiar.



    Can someone explain, if your household income is not much over 16040k, is it worth earning that extra money, progressing, bettering yourself etc. if your denied free school meals [if you have children], that's immediately a several hundred pound burden per annum.

    A complete package of laptop plus annual internet access could also be a few hundred pounds.
    You'd have to fork out for that aswell.

    And there's plenty of other means tested stuff where that CTC and 16040 requirement applies, costing
    up to several hundred more pounds.

    That's why i want to boot this govt. out at the earliest opportunity. Are there really such few families with such a high marginal tax burden, who are not entitled each time such means tested schemes are announced, that nobody seems to bat an eyelid.

    Next time your pay may be going up, better think twice, as you may lose out!!!! by earning too much!!!!!
    I was about £15 over the limit for a whole list of credits when I started working at my current school. That £15 meant the difference between receiving roughly £1500 of tax credits, housing benefits etc... But because of that £15 I was 'entitled' to no help at all.

    I just worked hard and got a pay rise instead. Now i'm on roughly 25% more than 3 years ago. But then, i'm in a 'high skill' job - meaning that job progression is relatively easy compared to, say, a family where both parents are labourers.

  7. #21
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I was about £15 over the limit for a whole list of credits when I started working at my current school. That £15 meant the difference between receiving roughly £1500 of tax credits, housing benefits etc... But because of that £15 I was 'entitled' to no help at all.

    I just worked hard and got a pay rise instead. Now i'm on roughly 25% more than 3 years ago. But then, i'm in a 'high skill' job - meaning that job progression is relatively easy compared to, say, a family where both parents are labourers.
    if your a low income family with a household income of 15k for example, and bump your income up by 25% to 20k, much of that net increase will be eaten up by costs which otherwise would be free or cost less if you were on the lower salary. Not all of them day to day, but school meals is one example. If you have two kids, double that cost.

    other things like dental, prescriptions, college courses, buspasses for college courses cost more.

    Council tax and rent would cost more i think.

    Then there's the issue that both WTC and CTC are income dependant, therefore the entitlement goes
    down the more is earned. And i disagree that it's relatively easy to job and salary progress. Many IT people employed in the public sector are going to come up against a glass ceiling as far as pay, it's not straightforward to make that move and get that job with the big pay jump. Additional responsibilities, performance linked pay, travelling, is what you could have to look forward to in the private sector in a skilled job.

    life may be a whole lot less stressful just to do a minimum wage job with no-one hassling you, don't
    have to pay as much in Council Tax [if anything at all], entitled to housing benefit, and the rest.

    Maybe this govt. is intent on driving people down that route into low paid, non-aspirational employment with significant benefit dependancy. I'd personally prefer to do a high skilled job, and not be taxed as much when on moderate income rather than get all those freebies. But that choice and assitance isn't available. It's all or nothing. Effectively you become a low income household if your 25%
    above the threshold because of the cost burdens.

    There can't be many dual income households which earn less than 16k. Effectively we're talking about single income housholds, but whatever the type of household there's a disincentive for say one part-time earner to go full-time in that household or for someone on 14k to apply for jobs that pay 16-20k depending on their family circumstances. I take your point about the low paid and unskilled, but low pay isn't the exlusive domain of the unskilled and unqualified. Ypu only have to look at some of the jobs advertised for IT technicians to see that.....and there's no guarantee that they'll progress to 30k four or five years down the track.

    Surely the tax system has to encourage the gaining of skills and qualifications and pay progression,
    for those willing and able to escape the benefit dependancy.....
    otherwise we might aswell all not be arsed with school and attending, knowing any menial low paid work will provide free housing and tax credits topups. It's a question of being truly progressive.

    A scheme such as this is just another example of the govt. not being interested in doing that.

  8. #22
    Andie's Avatar
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    I downloaded the information "pack" from the Becta site yesterday - masses of files. I haven't looked at it all, but did open up the sample guidelines for filling in a form. I must admit my heart sank when I read that there were 10 sections and 45 questions to complete, and that you needed your original child benefit letter to send with it. I'm reasonably well educated and have english as my first language, and even I struggle with filling in some of the forms that the government produce (working tax credit, etc.) let alone the real hassle of finding documents to send as evidence. I haven't had time to look in detail at the sample form, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we could all get a break from all this dratted complicated stuff. Surely the government now gathers so much data on everybody from all their various bodies that they must be able to fill in these forms for us by now???

  9. #23

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    Here is the information regarding aggregation for schools. A lot of work involved.

  10. #24
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    I downloaded the information "pack" from the Becta site yesterday - masses of files. I haven't looked at it all, but did open up the sample guidelines for filling in a form. I must admit my heart sank when I read that there were 10 sections and 45 questions to complete, and that you needed your original child benefit letter to send with it. I'm reasonably well educated and have english as my first language, and even I struggle with filling in some of the forms that the government produce (working tax credit, etc.) let alone the real hassle of finding documents to send as evidence. I haven't had time to look in detail at the sample form, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we could all get a break from all this dratted complicated stuff. Surely the government now gathers so much data on everybody from all their various bodies that they must be able to fill in these forms for us by now???
    surely, people who are normally entitled to such benefits and 'struggle' with big forms do what they've typically done. Get down the local neighbourhood office for help with filling it in

    failing that, i'm sure they can find a family member or friend with a degree and some time on his or her hands.

  11. #25
    Andie's Avatar
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    Our LA (not Cambs) held a meeting last week at which there was a rep from Becta Home Access. One of the questions asked was whether the material for publicity and the forms were avaliable in other languages and formats. The answer was no, and given in a way that indicated the question was a stupid one.

  12. #26
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    Our LA (not Cambs) held a meeting last week at which there was a rep from Becta Home Access. One of the questions asked was whether the material for publicity and the forms were avaliable in other languages and formats. The answer was no, and given in a way that indicated the question was a stupid one.
    maybe money's a bit tight ?

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