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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School

1:1 Device Scheme

Holmer Green Senior School is pleased to offer all students the opportunity to purchase a device through our 1:1 device scheme.  Students can use these devices to support learning both in school and at home.

1:1 Device Scheme Brochure (click here)

Student Personal Device Daily Guide (click here)

BYOD Scheme Instructions (click here)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I have to purchase one of these devices?

A. The expectation is that every student in Years 7-9 should bring a device to use in school and to use at home. However, there is no requirement to purchase one of these devices if either:

       a) You already own a device and you are happy with your child to use in school (please remember that the school is not responsible for any damage or theft occurring onsite or in the journey to/from school).

       b) You want to purchase a different device for your child. Many devices are suitable.

However, we recommend that any alternative device your child brings to school has a minimum of a 10” screen and includes a physical keyboard, and is capable of running the latest Microsoft Office Professional and Microsoft Teams. Office online is not sufficient and we do not recommend Bluetooth or battery powered keyboards. In practice, this means that a Windows 10 based device is strongly preferred. 

Chromebooks are unfortunately incompatible with our school systems, as are obsolete Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices. Devices on other platforms must be running the latest IOS or Android versions. Any device your child brings must also not be too big so that it becomes difficult for your child to transport it to school, and it needs to have a working battery so it does not require plugging in to mains supply at school.

Touchscreen ability is not required for Windows laptops. We recommend Windows 10 Professional Edition, if buying your own device, although Windows 10 Home Edition is sufficient. Windows 10 S Edition is also sufficient and 'S' devices will automatically be switched to Home Edition when your child attaches their device to their school account.

Q. Can my child use something other than their school OneDrive to store their work?

A. Students must store all files on their school OneDrive. This allows other teaching tools to be available for use at Teachers' discretion, which use OneDrive. ICloud, DropBox, Google Drive, non-school OneDrives and other similar services cannot be accessed in school. Using the school OneDrive also protects against losing all of a students work, if a device is lost or stolen.

Q. How does my child connect to the WIFI in school?

A. The 'Company Portal App' management agent must be installed on any device a student wishes to use in school. It sets up the school WIFI onto the device. There is no other method for connecting a student device to the WIFI.

Q. Why am I being encouraged to purchase a device?

A. IT is playing more and more of a central role in schools.  One of the problems with its use is that not all students have equal access to it and as a result some of its real benefits can not be utilised.  Secondly, the recent COVID19 pandemic has made us all aware of its vital role in learning.  At HGSS we want to capitalise on some of the positive IT gains we have made with online learning and continue to use these as part of our day to day practice, students have enjoyed the way in which they have been able to progress at different speeds as a individual device makes them more independent and should we ever enter a lockdown period again it will reduced pressure on devices at home.

Q. Will there be other IT access in school?

A. Yes, but only in curriculum areas that rely on it as an integral part of the course, including: Business Studies, IT, Photography and Computer Science rooms, Sixth form study area and the LRC. 

Q. Will my child use their device every lesson and at break/lunch time?

A. No.  Devices will be used in the lesson where they support the learning, otherwise they may become a distraction and we do not want students on their device for the whole day.  Devices can be used in the LRC and Sixth form study area at break and lunch, but otherwise they should be out of sight at these times to afford students a break.

Q. What happens if my child leaves school?

A. Pay any outstanding sum due for you to retain the device.

Q. Can my child use the device at home?

A. Yes, the student can use the device to support their learning at home. You are responsible for all usage of the device, and all WiFi/Internet access at home by your child.

Q. Will there be any credit checks?

A. No

Q. What are the costs?

A. For Years 7-9, for devices ordered in the initial phase, the devices are offered either as a one-off payment of £471.64, or over 12 / 24 / 36-month payments at £41.77 / £22.34 or £15.84 respectively.  All come with the same features and 3-year accidental damage and theft cover.

Q. What can I do if I don’t think I would be able to make regular payments?

A. This scheme is designed to so that all students have equal access to technology. However, we do not wish to see any child is left behind because of a financial situation. If this is the case, please contact us to discuss.

Q. Does the school make any money from this scheme?

A. No. The school operates this scheme to enable access to technology for all students for a low monthly fee. The school makes no money from running this scheme.

Q. Is there a limit to the number of claims I can make under the accidental damage or theft (ADT) cover?

A. No, there is no limit. However, we ask you to remind your child(ren) to take good care of the equipment you are paying for.

Q. Is there any excess on the ADT cover?

A. No.

Q. How many devices can I order?

A. One device per student

Q. What are the deadlines for orders?

A. Phase 1 – the portal closes on 10 August . This is the first batch of orders. Direct debits for devices paid monthly will be taken on 25 August. The portal will re-open on 12 August (Phase 2) until 12 September for further orders. This second batch will have later delivery, with direct debits taken on 25 September. Payment options will change as only shorter payment periods will be available.

Q.My child is not in Year 7-9, or I missed the initial phase 10 August deadline for orders. Can I still order a device?

A. Yes. However, some the period over which payments are offered are usually based on the minimum time it is anticipated your student will remain at the school. The periods, and cost per month are in the tables below. When you go to the ordering portal, you will be offered the options available to your child:

Phase 1 – Orders put on before 10 August. First direct debit 25 August.

Phase 4 - Orders by 10 January 2021. First direct debit 25 January 2021:

Cash - £471.64

6 Months - £83.54

12 Months - £41.77

18 Months - £29.78

24 Months - £22.34

30 Months - £19.01

36 Months -£15.84

Device delivery - roughly 12 weeks from close due to COVID supply. This will be the last and final opportunity.

Q. What happens at the end of the agreement?

A. At the end of the agreement, when the final payment has been made, the device becomes yours.

Q. Will payments be taken straight away?

A. Cash payments would be taken on the day the order is placed – all other over-time options are paid on the 25th of each month, beginning in August or from the month you place an order.

Q. When will my child receive the device?

A. Much longer lead times are being experienced due to the CoVID worldwide pandemic. We expect to be able to distribute the devices during November (subject to any further delays due to the CoVID situation and any unforeseeable changes to manufacturer delivery dates). If, however, we are able to receive and distribute devices sooner, then we will of course do so.

Q. How do I set the device up? 

A. Instructions will be provided in the box on how you should set the device up with your child(ren). It is important that these instructions are followed closely so that your child will be able to continue using the device when they leave school. They will need to create an Offline account to use the device in the first instance. We recommend you keep a backup note of your child’s device username and password, as the school will not be able to recover any lost passwords. 

Q. Can I install any software on the device?

A. Whilst you/your child can install free software on the device, we strongly recommend you only install software shown on the schools ‘HomeBase’ website. Other software could slow down the device or make it unstable or unreliable.  

Extra paid-for software must not be purchased or installed on these devices. Should the device develop a software or hardware issue, the device will either be replaced or wiped to factory settings. This would mean the loss of any paid-for software.  

The Microsoft 365 software will be automatically installed on scheme devices (and remains licensed whilst your student is at the school). These are general-purpose devices designed to run Office and also run browser-based applications, such as OnShape or Photopea. To keep the cost of these devices down, these devices are not suitable for advanced and/or KS5 CAD, digital audio workstation or composition software.  

The only other limitations are that WiFi sharing (‘MiFi’) and Bluetooth tethering are disabled on the device whilst your child is still a student at the school. Web browser extensions are also be disabled. Some other settings are changed to encourage safe use of the internet. Parents should monitor what software their children install and use. VPN, Tor, BitTorrent, Proxy and other similar software should not be installed as this is forbidden in school.  Please see below for details of AntiVirus. Apart from connecting to home WIFI, other network, DHCP and DNS settings must not be altered apart. 

Q. What about Privacy? 

We recognise that these are parents/students' personal devices and have strived to get the correct balance for setting up the devices for safe use in school. We're also encouraging the use of internet at home, and we have a duty of care to make things as safe as possible. 

We are not collecting nor have visibility of any browsing history or personal data from student devices. The schools' internet does however log and retain all browsing records, but this applies only to browsing when using our WiFi onsite. We recommend all parents review regularly their students’ browsing history. School staff do have access to students’ OneDrives and can ask students to show them their screens of their devices when in school. 

Settings and software may be updated from time to time (depending on your make of device and the role of the user in school) but are always within the framework of keeping internet access when in school working and as safe as possible, deploying software for students to use, and protecting the schools’ infrastructure, software and management agent. 

Students are not forced to install the ‘Company Portal’ agent, but without it access to the school WiFi is impossible. (Please also note that for safeguarding reasons, the use of unfiltered MiFi/Personal hotspot internet access is also forbidden onsite). We take the privacy of both our parents and students seriously.  

Q. How do I make an insurance or warranty claim?

A. The first point of contact is the school. If the device has a hardware issue it will be swapped. If there is a software issue, it will usually be wiped back to factory settings, ready for setting up again. During this process, any extra software installed will be lost. Any files not saved on the students OneDrive will also be lost. It is therefore essential that your child saves all of their files on the school OneDrive.

Q. Is a carry case included in the price?

A. No. These laptops should be small enough to fit into most school bags or rucksacks. You may purchase a suitable laptop bag or sleeve, if you wish. Most bags/sleeves for suitable for a 12” device should fit. The devices are ruggedized to improve longevity, but we still recommend your child takes as much care as possible of the device.

Q. How long does the battery last?

A. The quoted battery life is enough for a full day at school. We recommend that your child charges the laptop at home overnight, as it is not practical for all students to charge their own equipment on the school site.

Q. Is my child’s data backed up on the laptop automatically?

A. Students must store all files on their school OneDrive. This is then backed up automatically to the cloud. The instructions with the device include setting up the school OneDrive. Students can also regularly back up onto a memory stick. If the device has to be fixed, wiped or replaced, any files not stored on the OneDrive will be lost. 

Q. What is the software management client?

A. When your student sets up their device using the instructions provided, a small piece of software call a management client (MDM) is installed. This software helps the device get on to the school WIFI and internet. This software must not be removed or tampered with whilst your student attends HGSS.

Q. Do I need to pay or buy antivirus software?

A. No. Windows 10 comes with Windows Security, which is more than adequate for day to day needs. We recommend you do not purchase any other antivirus or security software as this may be incompatible with the schools’ internet connection.

Q.  What about Year 10 and Year 11 - do they have to have a device?

A. Students who have their own devices in Year 10 and Year 11 will be able to use them during lessons (note taking etc) and will be able to participate in IT based lessons using their own devices.  Teachers will encourage the use of IT in all lessons where appropriate and therefore it would be advantageous for your child to have one.

Q. When will students be required to bring devices into school?

A.  We will notify you via SchoolComms email when this should happen.