How Easy is it to Lease School ICT Equipment?
Myths on ICT Funding for Schools Debunked
As a school business manager responsible for the complexities of funding school ICT equipment and monitoring cash flow, you may often hear certain myths around IT leasing for school computer equipment. Don’t let them deter you from making a decision on leasing school equipment that could be right for your school’s requirements and for your budget.
Find out why some of the most common IT leasing myths often talked about are actually quite far from the truth.
Myth: Schools cannot use IT leasing
You may have heard that leasing is forbidden for schools when it comes to funding assets. But this is not true.
It is important to note, however, that an operating lease is the only type of leasing contract that state-run schools (local authority funded schools) can make use of without having to gain approval from the Secretary of State. Other types of leasing such as finance lease agreements are considered borrowing and prohibited for use by schools. (If you are unsure about the difference, read our blog: Finance lease or operating lease? What is the difference?)
According to legislation, “all local authority maintained schools are expressly forbidden from entering into any form of finance lease without approval of the Secretary of State for Education” (LA Scheme for Financing Schools). So schools do have access to lease agreements, but are only allowed access to operating lease agreements that are compliant with current EFA regulations.
Maxxia can provide school managers with a fully compliant operating lease that will help schools invest in vital equipment that will benefit the staff and students. Contact our team of school finance experts to ensure you have access to school funding that is in line with EFA.
Myth: Operating leases for schools are unnecessarily complex
You may have heard that operating leases are deliberately confusing and complex, designed to trick head teachers into signing up for an IT leasing agreement that doesn’t quite cover their requirements and leaves them with a giant financial headache.
This is not true. Operating leases are no more complex than a finance lease, and, in fact, with the right lessor on your side, any complexity and form-filling should be taken care of for you.
An operating lease organised to fund ICT equipment in schools will involve the school paying a rental fee in order to hire the equipment over an agreed period of time.
Operating leases can be arranged by the school with a third party finance provider in order to fund school ICT and other equipment.
Myth: Department for Education regulations are out of date
You may have heard it said that the Department for Education’s regulations are out of date, due to it not allowing local authority maintained schools to consider the option of a finance lease. Some argue that the regulations have not fully considered the implications of the increasing need for ICT equipment in schools
DfE regulations have actually been updated. The school leasing policy regulations were reviewed in 2011, after which the DfE stated that it would only allow the use of operating leases. In 2012, the Education Funding Agency also produced the Academies Financial Handbook with which the government also advises that academies should also not pursue finance leases when it comes to funding school equipment.
All this considered, how easy is it to lease school ICT equipment?
At Maxxia, our school finance agreements provide vital IT leasing equipment for a variety of educational establishments, from schools to colleges and academies, and all in a transparent and honest way.
Funding for school ICT equipment doesn’t have to be a headache. With our years of expertise, we can offer you the funding support necessary to access important IT equipment, while managing the entire process for you. We can make your life easier by ensuring you comply with all the necessary regulations. Have a look at how we helped the Green School in Isleworth with its ICT leasing agreements, or contact our team for more information.