The previous link that was issued giving a summary of eligibility has changed. Please direct parents to http://www.homeaccess.org.uk/Are-you-eligible/. More usefully, please copy the criteria into your school newsletter to ensure that parents without computers (the target audience!) have access to it.
Becta have confirmed that there is little take up of 'Assistive Technology' applications. These are applications that request further technology to support children with special needs. To do a Home Access grant application for assistive technologies the school must fill in section 5c of the form, this task is usually completed by the SEN Coordinator and information for them is available here: http://collaboration.becta.org.uk/docs/DOC-1992
One Stop Shop
The One Stop Shop service based in Lynton House, Ilford, is being inundated with parents asking for proof that they receive free school meals. They have advised me that the proof they can provide is no different from that that a school can provide. If you are running support events, or briefing school office staff relating to this grant could you arrange to provide proof for parents if necessary. If parents are part filling out the form with your support and then having to travel to Ilford for proof that they are eligible it may well prevent some parents from completing their application.
National Association of Teachers of Travellers
This organisation has produced some additional support material available here. This includes a post card for distribution (see right) and some traveller specific information.
Looked After Children
Looked After Children who are deemed to have a Home Access need can be in years 1 to 13 inclusive, as opposed to years 3 to 9 for the main programme. Grants will be issued to the foster family and they will then use this to buy a Home Access package from an approved supplier. This application will then be endorsed and verified by the relevant professionals – usually the designated social worker. The borough CLA Support Service 020 8708 3913 will be able to advise further.
More suppliers on board
Four more provisionally approved suppliers have just been announced. DA Computers, Micro P, NS Optimum and Stone Computers will soon be joining the six other approved suppliers. All four suppliers have had to undergo a stringent accreditation process to gain provisional approved supplier status. They are working to Becta guidelines to try and achieve full approved supplier status in April. (Press Release)
Proving Child Benefit
An original Child Benefit award letter must be included in every application for a Home Access Grant, and three different types are acceptable:
• Initial Child Benefit award letter. This must be dated from 1 December 2008.
• Child Benefit Statement of Entitlement. This also needs to be dated from 1 December 2008 and will only have the first name of the child the application relates to.
• Child Benefit uprating letter. This should have been received by the applicant in December 2008 or January 2009 and will have advised them of the annual increase in benefit payment.
The most important information to get out to parents is still the telephone number 0333 200 1004 as this is the easiest way for parents to get hold of an application form. The most important site for schools to find out detailed information is http://www.homeaccess.org.uk/.
You may like to read previous updates on the Home Access Grant published on this blog:
Further questions for Redbridge schools that are not answered by any of these posts can be sent to me directly.