Free Chromebooks for primary school pupils in West Dunbartonshire

More than 950 primary pupils to receive laptops following spending pledge.

P7 pupils in West Dunbartonshire will receive a Chromebook laptop to help with classwork.
P7 pupils in West Dunbartonshire will receive a Chromebook laptop to help with classwork.

West Dunbartonshire Council will invest £250,000 in the laptops for every one of its P7 pupils.

Youngsters at the local authority’s 34 primary schools will benefit.

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The computers will stay in school at all times and children won’t be allowed to take them home.

They will be used for research and revision and to present class work, the council said.

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Education services convener, Councillor Michelle McGinty, said the policy would ensure pupils were not disadvantaged due to their background.

Councillor Michelle McGinty, Convener of Educational Services, said: “The world around us is increasingly digital and we want to ensure our young people can take advantage of the opportunities which technology will present in future.

“Online learning is a key part of modern education. By providing every P7 pupil with access to a Chromebook in school we will ensure that our young people are not disadvantaged regardless of their background.”

Councillor John Mooney, Depute Convener of Educational Services, added: “When our young people move on from education into their future career, IT skills will be every bit as important to their prospective employers as literacy and numeracy.

“The Chromebooks will provide a powerful tool for learning and will bring huge benefits to their education now and in future.”

The spend was agreed as part of the administration’s 2016/17 budget.

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Investment in better connecting West Dunbartonshire to the digital age was a central theme of the spending plan.

Free wi-fi will be installed at libraries, secondary schools and new care homes as a result.

Meanwhile, councillors also voted to spend £2.6m on providing more free school meals than ever before plus £1.7m on school transport allowances.

A further £480,000 has been earmarked for the country’s most extensive school clothing grant scheme.