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Laptops for Learning

Furze Platt Senior School is pleased to announce an exciting new initiative we are launching with students this September, “Laptops for Learning”.

Laptops for Learning enables all parents and carers the opportunity to obtain a laptop for their child to support learning at home, while students in Year 7, 10 and Sixth Form will also be using laptops in school. These devices will enable students to access a rich variety of additional learning tools and strategies. This will help students with their studies, as well as prepare them for their future working lives where using such devices are the norm in a wide variety of careers.

Following 18 months of research led by our IT Team, Governors and teachers, including work with several schools who have similar schemes, our research has shown that introducing a laptop scheme can have a number of benefits including:

  • Promoting greater engagement in learning.
  • Enabling teachers to use a wider variety of learning techniques (particularly visual).
  • Improving students’ organisation.
  • Helping students access up-to-date electronic textbooks and support materials within and beyond school.
  • Helping further differentiate students’ learning experiences.
  • Enhancing collaboration between students and teachers.
  • Improving how teachers can feedback to students.
  • Enabling students to draft and redraft to improve and develop skills and work.  
  • Students being able to access subject specific applications (e.g. in MFL, Art and Science).
  • Promoting independent study.
  • Introducing new learning opportunities including different ways of writing and further improving literacy.
  • Ensuring all students have a more equitable access to IT.

 

While we have identified the benefits of laptops for students, it is important to emphasise that we see their value as an additional powerful learning tool. They will work alongside more traditional means of learning, not least while students still will sit GCSE paper-based and written examinations.

 

Benefits of obtaining a device through the Laptops for Learning scheme include:

  • Laptop which has been specially designed to withstand daily use by students yet is still lightweight and has a battery life capable of lasting throughout the school day.
  • 12-month warranty, with no postage necessary as the pickup/return can happen at school.
  • Insurance covering accidental damage and theft for up to 3 years (depending on payment plan), with no excess (see FAQs for more details)
  • Specially negotiated price means the school package will be much cheaper than buying the equivalent on the high street or online
  • Flexible payment options allow you to spread the cost over several years, without a credit check.

 

Please refer to the Laptops for Learning brochure below for more details.

 

Payment options

Please refer to the brochure for details of the laptops and prices currently available on the scheme. Payment can be made in a one-off payment or spread over 12, 24 or 36 months (see FAQs for more details). The exact price will vary slightly year-to-year, as the school will always try to get the best possible price at the time.

 

FAQs

How do we pay for the laptop? 

Payment will be taken by Direct Debit, either as a one-off payment or in instalments (see below for more details about the instalment options). one-off payments will be taken in July, while those paying in instalments will make the first payment in September. 

Can we spread the payments?
 

Payment can be made in a one-off payment or spread over 12, 24 or 36 months (note, the overall cost will be higher if paying in instalments). Payment must be completed before the child leaves the school, so to avoid any balloon payments at the end students in older year groups will not have all the instalment options available. For example, students in Year 10 will have the option of a one-off payment, 12-month or 24-month instalments. You will not own the laptop until the final payment has been made.

I don’t have a good credit score. Will I still be able to get a laptop? 

A credit check will not be carried out, so your credit score will unaffected and you can obtain a laptop regardless of your credit rating.

What happens if we can’t afford the payments?
 

Financial support may be available for those families who need it. Please contact the school by email to laptops@furzeplatt.net for more information.

What happens if my circumstances change and I can no longer make the payments?
 

Financial support may be available for those families who need it. Please contact the school by email to laptops@furzeplatt.net for more information.

What happens when my child leaves the school? 

Payment must be completed before the child leaves the school, so to avoid any balloon payments at the end students in older year groups will not have all the instalment options available. If your child leaves before you have finished paying for the laptop, you will have the choice of making a one-off payment to clear the balance or returning the laptop to the school. You will not own the laptop until the final payment has been made.

Do I have to obtain a laptop through the school? 

The expectation is for all students in participating year groups to have a laptop available during lessons. The school has negotiated bulk discounts on laptops for those students who don’t already have one, however we recognise some students may already own a suitable laptop. Students will be able to bring in any laptop so long as it meets the minimum specification. Parents are advised to check the terms of their home insurance policy to see if it covers the laptop at school, and to consider additional insurance if not.

What is the minimum specification for a laptop? 

Students may wish to use their own current laptop in school, and we are happy to accommodate this. In order that students can use these devices in school, they will need to meet or exceed the specification below.

  • Windows: 1.2GHz processor, 4GB RAM memory, 64GB storage, 11” screen, Windows 10 or higher, 3 hours battery runtime
  • Chromebook: 1.2GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 3 hours battery runtime. The Chromebook must be a version which is still receiving auto-updates from Google, typically less than 5 years old
  • Apple: OS X El Capitan (10.11) or later, 3 hours battery runtime.

Will we have to buy additional software for the laptops?  

The school will provide access to the software and applications necessary to support your child’s learning at no additional cost.

My child is not in one of the year groups which require laptops. Can we obtain one through the scheme now anyway? 

The scheme will be open to all students, regardless of year group. There is a limit of one laptop per student.

What technical support is available? 

The school’s IT Support Department will be able to assist with any issues connecting to the school Wi-Fi, accessing school systems and installing the optional school software. They will also be able to provide advice and guidance on day-to-day computer use and troubleshoot basic issues. The school’s IT Support Department will offer “best endeavours support” for Laptops for Learning devices but cannot guarantee to be able to resolve issues relating to home printers or networks, or software installation/configuration changes which the students make. The school’s IT Support Department will not be available for any technical support other than Wi-Fi connectivity for laptops bought outside the scheme.

What happens if the laptop is damaged or stolen?
 

The school will have spare laptops available which could be borrowed while yours is being repaired or replaced. Students will be encouraged to save their work in the school OneDrive account, so it would still be available while the original laptop is being repaired/replaced.

How do I make an insurance or warranty claim?
 

Fill in the online form at https://www.edutech.zone/parent_enquiries and someone will contact you to discuss the claim. There is a limit of 2 insurance claims in a 12-month period, the warranty is unlimited.

Who do I contact with queries about the one-to-one laptop scheme?
 

For other information, please email laptops@furzeplatt.net and a member of FPSS staff will either assist you or direct you to the correct company, depending on your request.

Can I support other students who are unable to afford the payments?
 

If you would like to increase your monthly payment to support a child from a family in financial hardship, please email support@edutech.zone