Scotland begins programme to deliver a laptop or tablet to all schoolchildren

Written by Sam Trendall on 17 August 2021 in News
News

Government intends to deliver 700,000 devices, as well as upgrading digital infrastructure

Credit: Nenad Stojkovic/CC BY 2.0

The Scottish Government has begun work to provide a laptop or tablet computer to every schoolchild in the country.

The government this week announced that “work has started” on a programme that intends to deliver 700,000 devices between now and 2026 – when the recently commenced parliamentary session reaches its conclusion. In addition to receiving their own device, some pupils may also be provided with an internet connection, if they do not currently have one at home.

The provision of computers for all schoolchildren was a manifesto pledge of the Scottish National Party, which secured a fourth consecutive term in office in elections held in May.


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“Discussions with local government are underway to deliver the ambitious commitment,” the Scottish Government said.

In addition to providing computing machines for all the country’s pupils – which include almost 400,000 in primary education, 300,000 at secondary level, and more than 7,000 in special schools – the government is also “considering how to deliver consistent digital infrastructure across Scotland’s 2,500 school buildings”.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Every child has the right to an education and we believe that means an education supported and enhanced by technology. This as a vital aspect of an education system in the digital age which was clearly demonstrated by the pandemic. This is a hugely ambitious programme of work that will build on efforts to tackle digital inclusion during the pandemic. These early talks with Scottish councils are a positive step towards delivering this commitment.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

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