Budget setting and allocation of funds are high priority at the moment, alongside numerous requests for more staff and better equipment. One area where a school could benefit is leasing. Used correctly (and cautiously) a school can achieve so much more whilst reducing annual spend. In assessing leasing options, school business managers should review our key points for successful leasing:
1Ensure that your lease is compliant and adheres to the Law regarding schools borrowing. Just because you are told it is an operating lease does not make it an operating lease.
2With budgets being tight, it is all too easy to focus on the cheapest rental when comparing lease quotations. Schools tend to use their IT equipment past the final year of the lease and are often caught out by overpriced extension rentals or title fees. By asking for confirmation of exact end of lease costs you are able to make a better call on which provider to use.
3Schools that do choose to return their equipment at the end of a lease (or after a secondary rental period) will be constrained by the Terms and Conditions of the original lease agreement. By checking to see if you are able to return part of the equipment and who is liable for the collection charges, you can save a school thousands of pounds.
4Knowing where your equipment is at all times, but especially at the end of a lease agreement, enables a school to again save money. By using a quality asset management tool, schools will know what assets are due for return and when, helping to avoid costly late return fees.
5Many leasing companies offer different leasing structures which help them to increase the finance rate to the school. By asking for an interest rate alongside each and every quotation you are able to track any changes.
6Changes to technology, the curriculum and also how your pupils respond to technology will all have a bearing on what the school needs to buy, when and who from. Having the flexibility, provided by some lessors, will enable schools to adapt their offering to get the best learning outcomes for their students.
Understanding the constraints of some leases and the potential risks is key to making the right decision.