Thousands of poor families will be given free lap-tops and broadband to help their children get online.

Children between the ages of seven and 14 who are eligible for free school meals will be able to apply for a portable computer as part of the Government’s £300 million Home Access scheme.

Almost 5,000 pupils of all ages are eligible for free school meals in Brighton and Hove alone.

The parents of eligible pupils will be able to apply for a grant to buy a laptop from an approved supplier.

Looked after children up to the age of 18 will also be included in the scheme and there will be packages available suited for children with special needs.

But politicians were last night split over whether the money involved could be better spent on other projects.

Families who think they may be eligible should ring 0333 200 1004.

What do you think? Should the money be spent on other projects? Leave your comments below.