Until now, Apple device owners under 18 years of age were prohibited from setting up and managing their own iTunes accounts; instead access to Apple's music, games, entertainment and productivity apps had to be managed on their behalf by a parent or guardian.
But as more and more US schools start to adopt tablets as classroom teaching aids, the company is introducing pre-teen accounts for educational purposes.
However, the change doesn't mean that there will be an app-downloading free-for-all. While US children 13 and over with parental consent will be able to have their own accounts and manage them appropriately -- though Apple recommends that teenagers do so with their parents, children younger than 13 will only be granted an account if their learning institution has made an initial request. And to ensure security and permission, the school in question must have received a child's parental consent before making said request.
The pre-teen accounts will also have special settings that will allow teachers to not only control how installed apps are set up on devices, they will also be able to stop a user from launching different apps during lesson time.
In the US at least, it would appear that the iPad is about to become a fixture in most schools. In June, The Los Angeles Unified School District awarded Apple a $30 million contract to provide every student within its 47 campuses with an iPad.