Leasing for Schools FAQ

Apple iPad hire and rental

Why Lease?


Schools will lease for a number of reasons. The main two are to update equipment regularly and to assist with cash-flow (for example, yearly budgets may not be sufficient to purchase equipment outright). Today, virtually anything can be leased, with the most common items being iPads, desktops, laptops, notebooks and other IT Equipment.

What options can you offer my School?


Typically we deal with 2 types of enquiries. As Apple iPad specialists, they tend to revolve around the following scenarios.

Firstly, schools that are looking to equip a mobile classroom and the school pays the lease. So, typically, we would specify around 30 Apple iPads, complete with a charging and syncing trolley plus a MacBook to configure the iPads.

A HardSoft technician will install and maintain support then a trainer comes out to offer extra training for a larger body of staff. This is then put on an operating lease with a 3-year warranty and accidental damage cover for around £375 + vat per month for the package. The numbers of iPads can vary but essentially it is a school internal requirement.

Secondly, and usually where iPad’s have been in a school environment for some time, we are working with schools to look at providing iPads for all students in their school on a one to one scheme. Adopting the Parental Contribution Scheme also includes accidental damage cover and warranty, as well as GAP insurance to cover against lack of payment. This scheme is cost neutral to the school and light on administration but allows us to put a brand new iPad Air in a student’s hand for only £10 a month.

Is it more than buying?


NO. An operating lease offers better value and a cheaper repayment by up to 20% compared to purchasing directly from a supplier.

What sort of lease should I have?


There are now some very clear guidelines on this. While you may be offered two types of leases, HardSoft only offers a legally compliant Operating Lease. As part of this, the school rents the equipment and has no ownership rights at the end. DfE guidelines state:

“An Operating Lease is the only type of lease a School should enter into. These leases involve the School paying a rental fee for the hire of an asset for a period of time, and similar to a rental agreement. No other types of lease, such as a Finance lease or Hire purchase, may be entered into by the School as this is a form of borrowing” (Buy Goods Service section of Departments website).

However, some lease companies and other computer suppliers may offer you a finance lease. These are illegal for a school to commit to, the current DfE guideline states:

“All LA maintained schools are expressly forbidden from entering into any form of Finance Lease without the approval of the Secretary of State for Education. This constitutes borrowing and is prohibited under section 3.9 of the Local Authority Scheme for Financing Schools .” The Department for Education’s Guidance on the use of Leases by Schools
“Finance leases are borrowing, which is therefore illegal unless the Secretary of State has given written permission.” (Hertfordshire County Council)

What if I drop it?


We offer comprehensive accidental damage cover in all leases. In these instances, we may require an explanation and picture but a machine is repaired or replaced within 48 hours.

What happens at the end of the agreement?


Your school has the option to either return the equipment at the end of the lease term or if you are still using the equipment you can opt to extend the rental period by up to 12 months at a reduced rental cost.

Remember, under DfE guides, you are in an Operating lease that acts as a pure rental, not a loan. Under our Fair Use Policy, we expect all iPads to be returned to us with a reasonable amount of wear and tear, remember if your iPad is damaged within the lease period we will repair it for you free of charge.

Key benefits of our lease


We offer better value for money than local Government funding rates or other borrowings, as less than 90% of the equipment is cost financed.

Match lease term to use of the equipment, i.e. no long-term loans to pay for equipment used over the short term.

Allows the user to create leasing profiles matched to budgets i.e. annual, quarterly, monthly or by term.

Complies, where applicable, with Local Education Authority guidelines on lease tests.

Encourages the discipline of keeping a modern ICT infrastructure to ensure your local school keeps pace with continuing technological advances.

Aids schools in acquiring the ICT they need as opposed to the ICT that they can afford.

Maintains your devolved formula capital as the monthly payments can be treated as operating expenditure.

Fair Use Policy


On the return of your equipment, we expect that they will be in a functional state with reasonable wear and tear. Like in the case of leasing a car, if there has been purposeful damage to the equipment a charge will be placed on repair or replacement.

In the case of iPads, as we are providing very sturdy cases and accidental damage cover, there is no reason for this to be a problem. We do maintain that the iPads should not be purposefully damaged or defaced in any way. If any iPad is returned not fit for use a reasonable charge will be incurred for repair or replace.

Computer leasing and IT hire from HardSoft

x15 User Apple Learning Lab: Leasing for Schools From £195.00 +VAT per month. SHOP NOW
Apple iPad Leasing for Schools: Including I-Blason protective Case £10.60 +VAT Per Month. SHOP NOW
iPad Protect Your Device with Inclusive Damage Cover
Child With iPad & Mother with the caption "Parent Lease 1-to-1"

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