Scottish schoolchildren may soon get yet another reason to extol the virtues of the Scottish education system compared to that South of the Hadrian's Wall – its possible they'll be using iBooks soon.

A report on The Scotsman claims that "every pupil in a single-year group at schools across the Lothians will get their own laptop by next year under plans unveiled today."

While Apple sources have declined to comment as to whether the scheme will use Mac notebooks, this appears likely, as the decision follows a fact-finding mission to the US State of Maine.

Children over 12 in Maine spend a minimum three hours daily using iBooks, and the decision to run the scheme follows a £20,000 fact-finding trip to Maine by Edinburgh councillors two years ago.

Edinburgh is working with neighbouring local authorities in West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian after over a year of discussion between councillors, officials and the Scottish Executive, the report says.

They plan to provide every school pupil above infant level with a laptop within the next three years, with the project scheduled to begin in 2005. If implemented it will be one of the first such schemes across Europe.

Project leader Councillor Aitken said: "The Scottish Executive has indicated that it would be interested in supporting that project team which will have the eventual aim of bringing in an initial pilot across one year group and then a scheme for every pupil across the Lothians above infant level".

This is because Maine's schools experienced significant improvements in attainment once they launched the scheme, in comparison to conventional, dated education methods.