Look local and

national Some computer and printer manufacturers offer product donations, which schools can request. So, research businesses in your area, attend local CSR forums and networking groups, connect with companies online and try to find a match with your needs. Nationally, charities such as In Kind Direct ( offer money-saving deals on photocopiers, and also redistribute new goods that have been donated by well-known manufacturers and retailers. Schools can make significant savings by buying discounted goods in this way.

Reduce risk Whether you receive product donations of new, used or refurbished equipment, always be vigilant and aware of risks. You will need to ensure equipment is PAT tested and that malicious software is not installed on any computers

you intend to use. Manage risks by: n Wiping hard drives before using

them or replace them with new ones n Installing software to protect your

systems from malware and viruses n Getting an ICT expert to check

machines and set them up safely n Carrying out due diligence (buy from reputable suppliers and only accept donations from donors whose values align with your own). Schools not only have a legal and

moral duty to minimise risks, this is also key to winning grants and avoiding costly mistakes. Most grant-makers prefer to support projects that can show they have tried to avoid risks, so factor this into your plan.

Become savings savvy Look for ways to bring your long- term energy costs down and become a more sustainable school. Laptops are usually cheaper to run than desktop computers, as they consume fewer watts per hour. However, tablets and smartphones use less energy still. Consider what this means for your school. Could teachers use tablets rather than power-hungry desktops to take class registers?

26 SPRING 2020 FundEd


Do a school energy audit and replace power-hungry

machines with eco alternatives, or reconfigure the power settings to conserve energy.

2 3

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Use a wattmeter to help guide your power saving

efforts. Is it better to power computers off when not in use (and re-boot when needed) or is it better to leave them on standby?

Adopt good energy saving practices – print on both

sides of paper and recycle where possible. Did you know schools can raise money by recycling old printer cartridges? Check out Empties Please at

Service your equipment to extend its lifespan. Look

after your equipment and your equipment will look after you!

Re-evaluate your purchase intentions. Can the power of

the internet, video conferencing software and virtual reality teaching help you save money on traditional telephone calls, trip

‘Parents or ex-students might be able to access a corporate giving scheme through their employer’

costs and training methods? Can apps and multifunctional devices save you from buying new, separate resources?


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Weigh up the pros and cons of leasing ICT equipment.

If technology is constantly evolving, do you want to be stuck with outdated machines?

Collaborate with other schools. Can you share

resources or joint-purchase to save money?

Check out the government’s national

deals. Look at procurement frameworks to get the best deals on ICT, energy and utilities: find-dfe-approved-

Organise ‘Green Days’. Get the free Green Day: A Climate

Change Activity Kit for Schools at guide/green-day-climate- change-activity-kit-schools


Get involved with the Eco-Schools



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