1. As of the 15th November 2023, how many digital devices were distributed to school pupils for use in school and at home – as per the SNP’s 2021 manifesto pledge? Can I get the breakdown for the 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-24 financial years? Can this also be broken down by council?
2. As of the 15th November 2023, how much funding has been made available to distribute digital devices to school pupils for use in school and at home – as per the SNP’s 2021 manifesto pledge? Can I get the breakdown for the 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023- 24 financial years? Can this also be broken down by council?
1. Whilst our aim is to provide information wherever possible, the following exemption applies to some of the information requested.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested, specifically relating to the number of devices distributed in 2021-2022, 2022-23 and 2023-24.
Scottish Government has not issued any devices between April 2021 and the date of this request. However, we know that many local authorities have invested in devices in line with their own digital strategies. Information provided by local authorities in December 2022, indicated that 280,000 devices had been distributed to learners (including 72,000 funded by the Scottish Government in 2020). We do not hold further information on the number of devices local authorities have issued to schools since this time. Local authorities should be able to provide more detailed information on the number of devices they have provided to learners to date.
No information exists for the year 2020-21 as the manifesto commitment was not made until April 2021. Devices funded before this time were provided to support pupils during the period of pandemic school closures.
2. Scottish Government has not yet issued funding to local authorities under this commitment between April 2021 and the date of this request.
The Scottish Government provided £25 million to local authorities for devices as a result of the pandemic and closure of school buildings in 2020-21. This resulted in the provision of 72,000 devices and 14,000 internet connections.
The device for every child commitment referred to in your question, builds on but is ultimately separate to the digital inclusion funding issued as a result of the pandemic.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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