Publication - FOI/EIR release

Computing equipment to assist with home schooling: FOI release

Published: 23 Mar 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
23 Mar 2021
Computing equipment to assist with home schooling: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100148780
Date received: 1 Feb 2021
Date responded: 25 Feb 2021
Information requested

1. The total cost to the Scottish Government of purchasing hardware devices (laptops and tablets) Since 1st March 2020 to assist with providing children with access to these devices for learning at home.

2. The breakdown of the manufactures of all devices purchased by the Scottish Government to be distributed through all channels to allow disadvantaged pupils to access learning at home.

3. Was research undertaken into the advantages of tablets vs laptops for learns at both secondary and primary school age?

4. If so the outcome of this report.

Response

1. Each local authority was provided with an equitable proportion of £23,982,155.20 grant funding to be used for devices and connectivity packages to tackle digital exclusion amongst disadvantaged children and young people.

2. Decisions on how best to utilise the funding were taken by individual local authorities based on local need. We know that a mix of iPads, Chromebooks and Windows devices have been purchased by councils in line with their local digital learning strategies.

At the outset of the project, the Scottish Government purchased 24,485 Chromebook devices to combat supply issues. The decision to purchase Chromebooks was based on feedback from local authorities. These devices were made available to all councils and 18 decided to use a proportion of their grant to purchase these devices from Scottish Government.

As at end-January 63,382 devices and 11,846 connectivity packages had been distributed to learners across Scotland. It is expected that over 70,000 individuals will benefit in total.

A further £45 million was made available to councils in January to support remote learning. This funding can be used flexibly to deliver additional devices and connectivity solutions, for additional staff or for wider family support measures. We do not yet hold information on how this additional funding has been utilised by local authorities.

3 & 4. The Scottish Government did not undertake any research into this issue as it is for local authorities to determine which type of device best meets their needs locally, in line with their digital learning strategies.

About FOI

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.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG