Publication - FOI/EIR release

Funding provided for laptops for school children: FOI release

Published: 13 Jul 2021

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

Published:
13 Jul 2021
Funding provided for laptops for school children: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100215611
Date received: 19 Jun 2021
Date responded: 12 Jul 2021
Information requested

1. How much money was provided to the Scottish government in 2020 to provide Scottish school children with laptops and/or broadband who did not have access to these during the pandemic?

2. Who provided these funds?

3. How many laptops and/or broadband were distributed?

4. How were these laptops distributed?

5. Is it known how many pupils actually received the laptops?

6. How much money is leftover from the initial funding? If there are remaining funds, when will these be allocated to disadvantaged children?

7. Is it the Scottish governments intention to ensure the funding has been properly directed to the most disadvantaged Scottish pupils?

Response

1/2. The Scottish Government made £25m available to Scottish local authorities to tackle digital exclusion during the pandemic.

3. To date, 72,288 devices and 14,478 connectivity packages have been distributed.

4. Local authorities themselves were responsible for identifying children and young people in need of this support, for securing appropriate devices and for distribution of those devices.

5. All 72,288 devices have been distributed to pupils.

6. Beyond the initial £25m, a further £45m was made available to councils early in 2021. This funding was used flexibly to provide additional devices and connectivity, to recruit additional staff and to deliver wider family support measures. In addition, the Scottish Government has now committed to providing every child in Scotland with an appropriate digital device (and where appropriate an internet connection) during the lifetime of this parliament. Planning for this commitment is underway and we will be engaging with stakeholders across the education and technology sectors in the coming weeks and months.

7. Funding was distributed to councils via grant based on their rates of deprivation and rurality. Grant terms and conditions specified that funding could only be used by councils to tackle digital exclusion.

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