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Orkney councillors to hear about plans to replace IT devices in schools and services

Orkney Islands Council headquarters. Picture by Sandy McCook.
Orkney Islands Council headquarters. Picture by Sandy McCook.

Orkney councillors will consider funding for an IT upgrade that will ease a situation where the majority of school children are working with equipment “older than they are”.

At the scheduled meeting of the asset management sub-committee on Tuesday, councillors will consider allocating funding towards an IT capital replacement programme.

The report to councillors states that the two-year programme would cost £420,000 per year.

It would cover schools as well as the wider council.

In respect of the schools, the report says many young learners are using equipment that is “older than they are.”

With 2,700 devices across Orkney’s 22 schools, the council is hoping to replace 275 of these. With some devices dating back to 2013, the oldest would be replaced first.

Some devices in schools dating back to 2013

The council has also expanded the use of its current IT equipment to allow for home working.

This has resulted in equipment that would have been retired still being in use.

A top priority for the programme would be making sure laptops and desktop computers are up to date.

The report also states that some systems need updating to guard against cyber attacks.

Just before Christmas, councillors gave the thumbs up to dividing a £8.24 million pot of unallocated funding between 17 projects. This included half a million each for IT equipment at schools and the council.

A further £400,000 was also put towards installing Windows 11 across the council.

The extra funds were established after the council claimed for loss of income due to the pandemic.

These pots of cash would be used alongside the proposed £420,000 per year.

Cash allocated to replace even more devices

Using this money, the council is hoping it can replace even more devices in schools and across council services.

The asset management sub-committee will meet at 9.30am on Tuesday.

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