Pupils at a Paisley school have been given a technology boost after they were gifted an iPad. Kersland School, which caters for children with a range of additional support needs, already uses touchscreen technology to help them communicate.
When Sopra – Renfrewshire Council's technical partners – became aware of how the technology was helping the pupils, the organisation was keen to donate an iPad to the school.
The award was made as part of the company's commitment to rewarding innovative use of technology in the public sector; it supports the company's belief that technology can be an enabler; that it can make a real difference to people's lives.
John Bailey, Sopra's Head of Local Authorities and Health, visited the school to see for himself how the gift would help the children. There, he met Councillor Jacqueline Henry, the Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Education Policy Board, and Robert Naylor, director of the council's Education and Leisure Services Department.
Councillor Henry said: "I was delighted to visit the school to see for myself how new technology is making it easier for the pupils to develop their social and communications skills. We would like to express our thanks to Sopra for their very kind gesture in donating the iPad, and look forward to working with them in future."
John Bailey said: "We believe people who take forward innovation should be rewarded and wanted to do so within Renfrewshire in a way related to the work of Sopra. We were moved by the story of how technology has helped the pupils at Kersland. It is fantastic to see how technology can make a difference to people."
At Kersland, the pupils have been using iPads and smartboard technology to communicate their needs, to say how they are feeling, and even to order lunch.
Kersland School head teacher Michelle Welsh said: "Being able to use iPads has really increased the children's independence. It's been really positive for the children and staff, they have really taken to it, and we are delighted. The pupils use various pieces of technology which allow them to communicate much more independently and are really easy to use. All the children get something out of it and it's been life-changing for some of them. It's been a great opportunity."