AN English company has been given a £75,000 contract to provide 5,000 iPad covers for Scottish Borders Council.

The contract, awarded to Nottingham-based tech business XMA, forms part of the council’s £16m ‘Inspire learning’ project, which will see every 10-to-17 year old Borders school child receive an iPad.

As well as every P6 to S6 pupil receiving an iPad, which they can take home and use with their family, the tablets will also be bought for P1 to P5 pupils at a ratio of one for every five children.

In total, 9,000 iPads will be supplied to Borders school children as part of a ten-year contract with American 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 spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “The ground-breaking investment by Scottish Borders 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 iPads were rolled out to teachers in April, so they can get to grips with them and test out the system.

S1 to S6 pupils will receive their iPads in August.

Teachers of P6 and P7 pupils will be given the devices in April 2020, and in August of that year the roll out will be extended to P6 and P7 pupils, as well as to new S1 pupils.

Neither pupils nor their parents will be able to download apps or games to the iPad, as it will come pre-loaded with the necessary apps.

Each iPad will also have a block on harmful websites, which will continue even when connected to wi-fi outside of their school. The block will apply no matter which family member is using the iPad.