Budget figure for computers for pupils: FOI release

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

Information requested

Information on the whole budget figure for the equipped for learning (computers for pupils), including:

1.  Whole budget figure.
2.  The date it is/was due to be distributed to each council.
3.  The original plan of scheduled payments, by month, by council that was drawn up.
4.  How much has been distributed so far and what is the percentage per head per council.
5.  How much is due to be distributed and the date this is due by.
6.  A breakdown of each council's payment.
7.  What each council has had to date also what percentage this is equal to.
8.  How much each council is due to date.
9.  What date will each council have had enough money to cover each child per council area.
10.  What is holding up payments to each council.
11.  What is the reason this has not been brought forward due to covid.
12.  Have each council been notified with a schedule of payments due to them if they have what it  each council's schedule.
13.  Has the original payment plan been amended, if so, what was the breakdown of changes and whywere they made.
14.  If each council has had payment for various different percentages per head per area why is  this the case and who made that choice to give one area a money faster priority than another area and what was their reason for this per area.


Please find a response to your request below and at annex A.

Whilst our aim is to provide information wherever possible, 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 because we remain in the planning stages of this commitment.

In particular, the finalised whole budget for delivery is still to be confirmed. The recently  published Resource Spending Review (RSR) sets out high-level resource spending plans from 2023-24  to 2026-27. Detailed planning will be undertaken to shape budget proposals in due course and the RSR  provides a basis for us and our partners to plan together with more certainty as part of the  pre-budget activity. There is also relevant information contained within the Capital Spending  Review, including the commitment of £140 million to support the roll out of digital devices to  school pupils and improvements to school infrastructure.

Given the above, we are also unable at this stage to be definitive about how future funding will be  granted and distributed to local authorities. We remain in ongoing dialogue with CoSLA as we  develop such plans.

As you will be aware, the Scottish Government is committed to providing access to a device to every  school aged child by the end of this parliament in 2026. The commitment to provide every school  aged child with access to a device by the end of this parliamentary term is ambitious and requires  significant planning. Alongside the devices themselves, we also need to consider schools’ digital  infrastructure, the Glow online services and the appropriate support required for the teaching  profession.

In addition to this, the Scottish Government has already provided over £20m to councils in 2020/21  for devices as a result of the pandemic and the closure of school buildings. This resulted in over  72,000 pupils receiving a tablet or laptop to support their learning. The funding also provided  14,000 internet connections. The full funding has been allocated to each local authority and no  further funding has been distributed since this time.

The device for every child commitment builds on but is ultimately separate to the funding issued as  a result of the pandemic.

You may wish to note that councils have also invested in technology in line with their own digital  strategies and have indicated that in total, almost 280,000 devices have been, or are in the  process of being, distributed to learners. This includes the 72,000 devices procured as a result of the Government funding.

You may wish to contact local authorities directly if you have further enquiries regarding their  individual digital strategies, information on local spending for devices, or their own device and  connectivity
package rollouts. Contact details for all local authorities in Scotland can be found on the COSLA  website at this link - www.cosla.gov.uk/councils.

The attached annex contains a table that provides a breakdown of the funding granted to each local  authority in 2020/21 as a result of school closures. This table also provides how many pupils at  that time were enrolled in each local authority and how many devices were distributed as a result of this funding (including a percentage per pupil). Please note these figures are from September 2020 and do not reflect the 280,000 devices that have been, or are in the process of being, distributed to learners by local authorities themselves.

The 2020/21 funding (separate from the device for every child commitment) was allocated to councils  via a formula based on deprivation (70%) and rurality (30%). This was carried out in agreement with  COSLA. This methodology allowed local authorities to purchase devices and connectivity for learners to align with local digital strategies. As we are in the planning stages of the overarching devices commitment, we do not hold information on future funding arrangements. We will be working in partnership with COSLA moving forward to determine the funding models.

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.

FoI 202200301112 - Information released


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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