Schools on Skye could be amongst those across the Highlands who next summer receive new tablet devices for every pupil.

The roll out of the devices is part of a new contract that Highland Council are keen to get up and running. As part of that process its Resources Committee has agreed to select WIPRO Holdings UK Ltd as its Preferred Bidder for the future delivery of its ICT Core Services.

 However, the Council is still in a commercially confidential procurement process and an announcement of a formal award of contract will not be made until around 12 September following the required legal “standstill period”.

 The Council’s requirement is that a new Contract will deliver improvements within the Council and all Highland Schools with a significant investment in ICT to provide improved learning and to enable improvements in service delivery across all Services. This would include the roll-out of some 20,000 new tablet devices to pupils, commencing next summer.

 The successful bidder will be required to make a significant reduction in the cost of ICT Services, over the lifetime of the Contract, as well as delivering a programme of community benefits.

 Bidders are proposing to have a significant workforce based in the Highlands.

Chair of Resources, Cllr Bill Fernie said: “The Council has a duty to provide the best possible value for public money in the provision and delivery of all its services.

 “Through this new Contract we aim to achieve significant cost savings and deliver services in innovative ways, making the best use of new technologies and enabling business change and transformation as well as modernising classroom technology.”

Chair of Education, Child and Adult Service and Skye councillor,  Drew Millar, added: “We will modernise learning in the classroom with the deployment of tablet devices allowing anytime, anywhere learning for pupils including while at school and at home. This will include the introduction of around 20,000 tablets and a further investment in networks and bandwidth to schools to improve access”.