Scottish local authority completes ‘accelerated’ rollout of digital tech to every secondary pupil

All secondary school pupils in a Scottish council area have been issued with a Chromebook device as the local authority continues its rollout of digital technology – which has been accelerated due to COVID-19.

By the end of this week, all young people in P7 will also be in possession of a device, while P5 and P6 pupils will receive one during the current term. Every secondary school teacher has also been provided with a laptop as part of the Council’s digital drive.

More than 6,200 Chromebooks and laptops will be in the hands of Stirling’s young people and teachers once P6 pupils take delivery of their machine.

The Council’s significant investment in digital technology across its education settings is part of a long-term strategy to equip Stirling’s young people with the skills to thrive in an increasingly digital workplace and society.

It has accelerated since the national lockdown, supplemented with funding from the Scottish Government’s Digital Inclusion Grant, due to the focus on increasing levels of digital inclusion to support learning.

Major infrastructure work has also been undertaken in both primary and secondary schools to support the digital provision expansion.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Cllr Susan McGill said: “The Council’s continued investment in safe, reliable digital technology will enhance learning across our education settings for many years, ensuring our children and young people are able to succeed and achieve their potential.

“In the short term, crucially, it means our schools are fully prepared to negotiate the remainder of the pandemic, including the implementation of our contingency plans for a blended learning model should this be required by the Government.

“Securing the devices only tells part of the story, though, and it’s important to acknowledge all the training, specialised support and infrastructure work that has gone on behind the scenes to make this a reality – a huge well done to all involved.”

Young people in S2 and S3 in Stirling schools already had access to a Chromebook as part of a Council initiative to supply the machines to all new S1 pupils in a rolling programme. This project has been in place since the start of 2018/19 session and has earned acclaim from the Scottish Government.

Vice Convener, Cllr Christine Simpson said: “Through the existing Chromebook initiative for all S1 pupils, Stirling Council was a leading light in Scotland for digital learning before the covid crisis and this rapid expansion ensures that remains the case.

“To have achieved this milestone so quickly amid such challenging circumstances is fantastic and is testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and the support of families.

“The rollout of these modern digital devices will transform teaching and learning and help provide our children and young people with equal opportunities.”