With schools facing increased costs amounting to 4.5% due to pay rises, National Insurance contributions and pension deficits, it’s no wonder that more than 90% of 1,000 head teachers surveyed by the ASCL say that their finances are going to be critically under pressure for 2015/2016. (Funding crisis will damage education say heads; BBC News, March 20th 2015).

It seems that educational budget cuts are inevitable and this might seriously affect your tech expansion plans. A lot of rapidly diminishing funds are being ring-fenced for more important things such as paying for teaching staff and replacing those leaving, and that leaves priorities like new desktop PCs way down the list.

Keeping your ICT running though is vital for learning opportunities. And for tech savvy students, having access to these resources is an absolute must.

So, here’s our quick guide on how to save money on your IT resources by retaining what you already have and making it work - or choosing to invest a small outlay to purchase machines that will take you into 2016 and beyond.

Hardware Repair, Spare or Replace? This is what you should have in mind when you’re looking into what ICT resources you currently own. Do a quick audit of all your tech estate, asking yourself the following three questions:

  • Is it broken? If you have non-functioning desktop PCs, laptops or tablets laying around in your libraries and classrooms, you might be thinking of getting these responsibly taken away and replaced. But if money’s a problem it might be beneficial to check to see if they can be fixed. If you aren’t sure what to do with a broken computer, send it over to the experts. If you post it or request for it to be collected by our repairs service we can have a good look around inside and give you answers as to why it’s not functioning and repair it (if we can) within a couple of days. Our repairs service costs as little as £50, so it’s worth investing in exploring the repairs option, instead of shelling out for a brand new unit.
  • Can you fix it? Sometimes old computers just need a quick patch up – replace a few hardware components and they can work as good as new. If you know what you are doing and are at home with opening up laptops and desktops to have a peek inside, then all you may really need to do is find a new computer part and slot it in. If you have a Dell, Lenovo, Apple or HP machine, we can definitely help you with extending the life of your IT equipment – just have a look at our hardware spares area. We stock over 20,000 computer parts for old and new machines, and if you don’t have what you want, we’ll try and source it for you.
  • Can you replace it? Sometimes old tech does give up the ghost or just isn’t suitable for today’s modern classroom and learning conditions. If you really do need to replace your school’s hardware, but the IT budget is tight, consider refurbished computers instead of brand new ones. There’s all kinds of great reasons to choose a refurb. To see our full breakdown of the benefits, check out this post: 10 reasons why you should choose a refurbished laptop computer. But the key factor is that refurbished computers can cost up to 2/3rds less than a new unit. Meaning that you can replace a raft of hardware with just a small budget.

We pride ourselves on the best budget friendly deals around for refurbished computers. Have a look, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save.

When school-wide cuts start to bite into your ICT spending, turn to us and we’ll help you find the best way to focus your funding for the most effective outcomes.