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Scottish Borders Council provides iPads to schoolchildren


Mark Say Managing Editor

Scottish Borders Councils has provided all of its secondary school pupils with iPads and a suite of online learning tools.

Girl using iPad

It has made the provision under its Inspire Learning programme, carried out with its partner CGI, accelerating the plan to beat the coronavirus lockdown.

This has involved a £16 million investment and the support of Apple and IT solutions company XMA.

CGI said that nearly 6,300 pupils have been equipped with the devices and that Scottish Borders is the first local authority in the UK to deliver such a programme to support widespread home learning.

The council’s chief executive, Tracey Logan, said: “Through Inspire Learning every secondary school pupil is in possession of a managed iPad, and a suite of apps and tools to ensure they are learning at home through digital technology in the best way possible.

“Their teachers also have iPads, allowing them to deliver the curriculum from their own homes.”

Heavy usage

She added that parental engagement has increased since the programme began, and that the council’s statistics show that 96% of young people have been engaging with it at home. Teacher usage has been at a similar level.

“We believe we are we are currently the only council in the country delivering this type of digital learning at home in such a comprehensive way.”

Logan added that 540 iPads have been delivered to primary school teachers in the region. They will receive relevant training before all pupil in years six and seven receive the devices.

The programme is part of the councils Digital Learning Strategy.

Scottish Borders is also planning to run an online survey of parents on their perceptions of home learning.

Image from Scottish Borders Council

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