Link: schools mis-sold leases on computer equipment

5 Live Investigates have been looking in to the leasing of computer equipment to schools on terms that leave them paying up to 10 times what they should:

“the Leasing Advisory Service, a claims management company which represents victims of mis-sold leases says it has identified a particular problem with schools leasing computer equipment.

“Under these such schemes, schools effectively hire equipment from a supplier by taking on a loan from a bank who funds the supplier.”

Direct Technology Solutions Ltd is one of the companies named in the piece, now in administration “leaving Glemsford Primary exposed to thousands of pounds worth of liabilities owed to the bank which they could not afford.”

The comments are equally insightful, including the following:

“there is central government framework which was set up to ensure that bodies in the public sector get value for money for their purchases of equipment. Only companies with an approved pricing structure are permitted to operate within the framework . . .it even gives guidance as to how to procure equipment within EU rules”

And both sides of the autonomy debate:

“It just goes to show the dangers of giving schools more autonomy. It sounds like a good thing, “cutting red tape” etc. However, school/education is an insular environment and teachers might be good educators but are often not much skilled at anything else. The point of local authorities having departments for purchasing, HR, payroll etc – is because these things are not straightforward.”


“Schools have to have appropriate pupil:computer ratios which represents a huge investment, much of which is decided at county level. Very few teachers are consulted on purchasing decisions – we just cope with the outcome.”

About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.
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