Council is set for a grilling over iPads

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Local Democracy Reporting Service

One of the flagship policies to come out of the 2019/20 budget is that iPads will be bought for every P6 to S6 pupil, which they will be able to take home and use with their family.  

Devices will also be given to P1 to P5 pupils at a ratio of one for every five children, kept at their school. The project will cost £15.7m over a ten-year contract with American technology giant Apple and Canadian firm CGI.

Now, the SNP-led opposition group are set to quiz the administration on the details of the plan at a meeting of the full council this week.

Questions asked will be: how much will it cost to provide wifi access for all nine high schools; how much of the budget has been set aside for training teachers; what targets have been set for teachers; and finally, what will be the cost be of charging the iPads, and how will this be achieved?

Councillor Heather Anderson (SNP) said: “The opposition budget group had proposed that the roll out of iPads across the school estate be slowed down and developed in collaboration with teachers. 

“Our group are keen to better understand the business case for the iPad programme as significant claims were made regarding the educational impact the investment will have.” 

During the budget debate, council leader Shona Haslam said: “We’re the first local authority in Scotland to be rolling out iPads on this scale to every single young person.

“We’re excited about the impact it’s going to have in the poverty attainment gap, as well as for additional needs students. Working very closely with Apple and CGI we’ve got a good deal.”