I believe Scottish education currently makes use of a website that links all Scotland’s schools. However, the Scottish education ministry hoped that by also using Google’s cloud-based system the world-leading website would be enhanced. Now its future could be in jeopardy.
Google pulled out of any potential arrangements as the Scottish Government’s position on the website was at odds with Google’s own policy that all schools are independent of any national procurement policy.
Speaking with the Scotsman.com, William Florance, Google’s Head of Enterprise, said: “Although a single, common platform for collaboration would be preferable, we feel it is important to provide local authorities with the option of deploying Google ‘Apps for Education’ independently of the national procurement process and on a timescale of our own choosing.”
The reason for the devolved government contacting Google was because the contract for Glow, the national intranet site for school pupils was nearing its end. So rather than have to either renegotiate or stop it altogether, it was hoped the link up with Google’s own education infrastructure system could secure Glow.
The Scottish education ministry did insist recently that a note be put on the Glow website to the effect that the latter would not be suddenly switched off once the current contract finishes. However, experts are nevertheless concerned that that might just happen, as the government also admitted that it was constrained by its own procurement process.
Many schools across the globe are now reaping the benefits of using Google’s system. This is a setback for all concerned.