£75,000 deal agreed with English firm to buy iPad covers for Borders schoolchildren

An English firm has landed a £75,000 contract to provide 5,000 iPad covers for Scottish Borders Council.

By Joseph Anderson, local democracy reporter
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 5:16 pm
Scottish Borders Council's Newtown headquarters.
Scottish Borders Council's Newtown headquarters.

The contract, awarded to Nottinghamshire-based tech business XMA, is part of the council’s £16m Inspire Learning project, set to see every child aged 11 to 17 at school in the Borders issued with an iPad.

As well as every P6 to S6 pupil receiving an iPad, the tablets will be bought for P1 to P5 pupils at a ratio of one for every five of them.

Altogether, 9,000 iPads will be supplied to Borders schoolchildren as part of a 10-year contract with US technology giant Apple and Canadian firm CGI.

A contract notice, published by the local authority on the Public Contracts Scotland website, indicates that the iPads covers will come in either red or black.

A council spokesperson said: “The groundbreaking investment by the council to transform all schools into world-class digital learning environments is making good progress as teachers start to get their hands on the technology.

“This programme is aimed at raising attainment and supporting equity and inclusion for all children and young people.”

“It is about investing in the learning of our young people and putting them at the heart of education, improving outcomes and success for all.

“The effective deployment of digital technology in schools will ensure our children and young people develop a level of general and specialist digital skills that are vital for learning, life and work in an increasingly digital world.

“This will transform teaching and learning across the Borders for the benefit of all teachers, children and young people.”

The first of the authority’s iPads were handed out to teachers in April so they can get to grips with them and test out the system, and S1 to S6 pupils will get theirs in August.

Teachers of P6 and P7 pupils will be given iPads in April 2020, and in August next year the rollout will be extended to P6 and P7 pupils, as well as to new S1 pupils.