Plaid's Laptops (again)

One of the most unusual policies to be put before the electorate last May was Plaid's policy of giving all school students a laptop computer. A pilot project for this policy is part of the One Wales Agreement but no announcement about when the pilot is to begin has been made yet.

A school on a Hebridean island has beaten Plaid to it by giving every pupil in Bowmor High School on Islay a laptop. So far the scheme appears to be successful and has proved to be popular with parent, the students and their teachers.

One of the complaints leveled against Plaid's policy (of course) was that it would cost too much. The Scottish scheme is much more expensive per head than the one proposed by Plaid. Bowmor school has chosen to spend £750 per pupil in order to purchase the best computers and the best software. But despite the cost the school's headmaster suggested that the scheme would save the school money in the long term. In fact he told Politics Scotland this afternoon that the school would be able to purchase computers for new pupils starting in the school next year out of just half of the savings that the school would make on its photocopying bill alone.

This Scottish scheme is one that Plaid should keep an eye on as proof that some of its more unusual policies are not quite as daft or unaffordable as the other parties like to portray them.


  1. Perhaps we should all start shopping at Tesco in order to collect vouchers, and bombard the Cathays Park postroom over the coming year.

  2. Even at high street prices, I make that 23 sheets of photocopying per pupil per day for every single day of the academic year.

  3. Take a look at this:


    "Currently, the price is $175, but the aim is to get that down to under $100."

    .....which at today's prices is are £50

  4. The figures are £23500 per year on photocopying and printing (2005/6)
    The cost of the units are a lot less than the £750 per unit quoted on the tv programme but I can not divulge the exact amount.
    To purchase 40 new units a year (Assuming prices are the same) will cost us just over half that amount before we even look at what we spend on equipment already