School Business Managers and educationalists have their eyes firmly on the prize: brand spanking new education technology with a price tag that won’t break the bank. We explore how an operating lease could make such tech-related dreams a reality.
The second term of the school year is just beginning, but many schools will already be planning and budgeting ahead for the next academic year. Investing in technology is likely to be a top priority for most schools, but it can be an expensive undertaking with an increasing number of schools now turning to an operating lease as a means to acquire the latest equipment and stay within their budget.
There has been much uncertainty for schools over whether there would be cuts to budgets, and as a result, many have continued to hold back on investment in technology. However, with cuts to funding not mentioned in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, schools are now starting to move forward with investment plans that previously had been put on hold.
A whole new world
When it comes to exploring the latest developments in education technology, you can’t get bigger or better than the forthcoming Bett (British Education Training and Technology) show, which takes place at ExCeL London from 20 January to 23 January. This annual technology event enables schools to learn about emerging opportunities and to experience them first hand.
Bett has become synonymous with all things education technology related and it’s the place to be for suppliers wanting to engage with school business managers directly. The show allows educators and school business managers to keep up to date with the industry’s developments, meet existing suppliers and discover new resources that will improve their students’ time in the classroom.
Technology is becoming more and more important in schools, with items such as iPads and interactive whiteboards becoming almost ubiquitous in classrooms.
An understanding of IT is now a fundamental skill within every workplace, with the government keen for children to learn skills such as coding from a young age, and the pressure is on schools to offer the right provision to their students.
An affordable approach
Using technology in the classroom has numerous benefits aside from increasing pupils’ future employability. The variety of apps available are also designed to make learning more accessible and enjoyable for students of all ages.
This continuous development in technology focus has also meant that schools are now under increasing pressure from parents to deliver accessible technology solutions, providing items such as tablets to support personalised learning (both in school and at home). The government’s also encouraging schools to offer courses in programming; however, these are often an added expense on top of more necessary IT purchases such as desktop computers, networking and Wi-Fi.
These budgetary pressures and restrictions can be difficult for schools to overcome, however, this is where an operating lease can assist in helping schools to deliver, by spreading the cost of investment. 1-2-1 leasing opportunities, with the support of parental contributions, are also available which gives access for pupils to tablet and laptop devices for both home and school use.
An operating lease can give schools access to up-to-date technology that will best suit their pupils’ needs whilst at the same time avoiding high up-front costs.
The equipment can be used from day one whilst the cost is spread across a maximum three-year period.
It’s, however, important that schools look at all their options before agreeing an operating lease with a supplier. Make sure that any agreement is fully compliant with government and local authority regulations on your schools’ borrowing and that it’s the best option for your school’s needs.