Richard Lockwood wrote:
I allege that the advantages of switching to Free
Software *can* outweigh the costs (sic) of support, teaching, and third
party staff upgrading their skills to more open, flexible and studiable
systems. ;-)

I like the use of the word "allege".  Can you demonstrate it?
There is number of problems that prevent the wide use of Linux, Open Office and other open source applications. These are:

   * Microsoft offers the OS and Office at extremely competitive prices
     to schools.  I have heard it quoted as being around £5 per license
     for Office.
   * Parents have an expectation that MS Office will be taught in the
     classroom as it is what they know and use in their work place.
   * The majority of schools have limited IT resources and might have
     limited experience of using and securing Linux and other open
     source software.  They could be substantial costs in retraining staff.

I totally agree that opensource has a great to offer schools with applications like Moodle, Audacity and many others, but currently I don't think many schools are ready for Linux/Ubuntu and OpenOffice.

Its a shame BBC Jam was killed. That could have really improved the educational software market.


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