There have been recent requests from Havering schools to ensure that children have access to devices and connectivity, particularly those that are disadvantaged. In response to this, the HES School Improvement Service and Educational Computing Centre explored available procurement routes for schools. This coincided with an announcement from LGfL. As a result we would like to signpost schools to the LGfL Bridge The Divide offer. LGfL has tendered for up to 2 million devices including Chromebooks, Winbooks and iPads. More information about the initiative (#BridgeTheDivide) can be found at devices.lgfl.net along with a short introductory video. Prices of Chromebooks and Winbooks start at around £125 for an entry level device and around £165 for an intermediate device (although prices may fluctuate due to factors such as the exchange rate). These prices represent a significant saving over current market prices. By the end of June 2020, LGfL hope to have bulk procured 4G and Wi-Fi dongles and expect advantageous pricing to be made available to schools.
Additional advice from Gary Bedding, Manager of the Educational Computer Centre (ECC)
These low cost devices are designed to bridge the divide for LAC or disadvantaged children to use at home as personal online devices. Please be aware of the cost implications of buying any apps from the relevant app stores.
If interested in procuring Chromebooks and having signed up for the G Suite online learning platform, it is recommended that a Google device licence is purchased at the same time as the device. The ECC (or third party support company) can then enroll them into a school’s Google G Suite as a managed device (the ECC will provide any Google domain information if requested). They can be used in school and at home. Please note the screen size on offer is 11.6”.
If a school supported by the ECC is interested in procuring the Winbook option and wishes to make use of Microsoft apps like Office, contact Gary Bedding on 01708 432515 (option 2) or email@example.com for more details on the Microsoft subscriptions that may already be available.
N.B. These devices may not be suitable for building or imaging to a school’s network or as replacements for laptops that a school is currently considering. However, LGfL have suggested that a higher specification laptop will soon be added – these would need to be tested before procuring large quantities to ensure that they are suitable for a school’s network.
Apple iPads (coming soon)
If procuring the iPad option please ensure that an Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool like Meraki is in place to enable management of the devices and deployment apps. The other option may include asking a parent or carer to setup an Apple ID for use by their child (costs may apply in Apple app store).