Outdated regulations set to cost schools £100m over next decade
Schools in England are wasting millions of pounds each year on expensive ICT leasing contracts due to outdated Government leasing regulations, according to education sector trade association, the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).
Responding to the Department for Education’s consultation ‘Review of Efficiency in the Schools System’, BESA is calling for Government to introduce new leasing guidance in time for the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September 2014.
BESA believes that current guidelines are preventing headteachers from signing up for best value-for-money finance leases, and forcing them to opt for more expensive operating leases. BESA estimates that schools are losing more than £10m per year because of overly complex and restrictive Department for Education guidance. As a result many schools have been left with less money to spend on commonly leased products such as computers and other ICT resources.
Caroline Wright, director, BESA said: “By limiting schools in their choice of leasing arrangements the Government risks placing in jeopardy the successful adoption and introduction of its flagship new National Curriculum, which is due to be introduced in schools from September 2014. Over the coming year many schools are likely to wish to refresh and purchase new ICT and science equipment to help them deliver the more rigorous curriculum programmes of study for computer science, science and design and technology. Yet if the Government fails to amend its current leasing guidance schools will continue to be hamstrung into spending over-the-odds on the purchase of essential equipment”.
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