The Extra Time Study Support Centre at Everton FC's Goodison Park Stadium recently made a major investment in Macs in an attempt to keep children interested in turning up.

The Centre had been experiencing an increasing drop-out rate, which led it to consult with teachers and students to develop a strategy to keep kids coming. They decided to buy lots of Apple kit, which led centre manager Abigail Williams to say: "I can see the difference having the Macs has made just by looking at the register", according to a new report on the Apple UK website.

The Centre opened in May 2001. It aimed to offer IT resources to children aged between 8 and 14, offering school-time lessons and after-school sessions. It has hosted 8,000 pupils since launch, but was a Windows-only shop until October 2005.

The decision to buy Macs was driven by the realisation that widening the available subjects taught to cover a remit beyond the PC's strength in word processing would help chidren learn. The Centre wanted to ramp-up its multimedia activity.

Today, half the Centre's computers are Macs. "The kids are one hundred per cent engaged on the Macs", said Walton St Mary teacher David Jones. "Not only that, but the computers help the kids work collaboratively - for instance, they've worked together on song lyrics and music".