Purpose of this policy
To ensure school 1-to-1 learning programs, where parents pay for personal devices such as laptop computers or tablets, are consistent with the Parent Payment policy and provide equitable access for all students.
Schools will determine a 1-to-1 model based on the teaching and learning needs of their community.
1-to-1 learning models may include:
- school purchased personal devices – owned or leased by the school and provided to students at no cost to families
- co-contribution – parents partner with the school to contribute to the purchase or lease of a device
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) where students bring in their own device either purchased or leased directly by families. This may include:
- any device
- any device, but with set features, e.g. software/applications as defined by the school
- a specified device as defined by the school. This may also be from a preferred supplier, negotiated by the school, that may also provide parents with a better/more flexible financial deal for their direct purchase of a device.
For more information on how schools determine their 1-to-1 learning model, see: 1-to-1 Learning
School councils must approve parent payments related to the purchase or lease of personal devices (such as laptop computers or tablets) and ensure that programs are implemented in a fair and equitable manner.
Schools may purchase personal devices and provide these to students at no cost. Where schools wish to introduce programs where parents pay for personal devices they must do so in consultation with their parent community. The consultation process should:
- provide advice on the 1-to-1 learning model and its proposed purchase/lease model including:
- the educational benefits and proposed costs of the program
- the rationale and guidelines for the preferred device/s (as the school may select a particular device based on technical and software considerations)
- details of proposed maintenance and insurance agreements
- the minimum technical specifications required for devices
- provide opportunity for the viewpoints of parents to be expressed
- seek out and consider the views of different groups of parents (such as parents of children with special needs, or parents who may have difficulties paying for the devices)
- address concerns raised by parents before finalising the decision-making process
- be documented, including documenting concerns raised by parents.
In addition, such programs must:
- be affordable for the parent community, with costs kept to a minimum
- demonstrate savings to parents associated with introducing the devices (e.g. parents are no longer required to purchase certain textbooks or the school provides other items parents previously purchased for free to compensate for the costs)
- include a reasonable amount of technical (or other) support by schools to ensure all students have access to the school network
- advise parents that they can choose whether or not to purchase/lease the devices
- advise parents that if they choose not to purchase/lease the device, the school will provide access to a device for the sole use of the child during the times the device is required at school
- have support options available for parents who may have difficulties paying for the devices, including subsidised devices, and payment by instalment
- allow parents to provide their children with an existing device instead of one specified by the program (see note below)
- provide parents with sufficient notice of the program’s introduction
- make new parents aware of any programs that are in place, including where consultation has been completed prior to their need to purchase/lease a device
- regularly review parent payments for the program, particularly with regard to parent satisfaction in the program.
If schools are providing the device for lease or purchase, the program must:
- be transparently costed where costs to parents do not exceed the cost to the school of providing the item
- only require parents to contribute to:
- the purchase price to the school of the device
- insurance costs for the device additional to those included in the purchase price
- software purchased locally by the school for the device.
Schools must not:
- mandate that a parent purchase or lease a device based on the adopted program. Parents have the right to choose whether or not to purchase/lease a device
- exclude a student from a learning program if they do not have a device as specified by the school program. The school must provide indivual access to a device (or other suitable equipment) at the school, during the times the device is required to complete the planned learning tasks. This device must provide software and applications that allow the student to partake in the learning program
- prevent a student from bringing a device from home that is similar and suitable but not a program approved device (i.e. meets the minimum technical specifications set out by the school to ensure that it can be effectively used for learning). Note that it will not always be practical or possible to connect a device that is not the one specified by the school. While the school should provide some technical assistance to allow the device to be connected to the EduSTAR wireless network, the amount of technical support that can be provided by the school is limited. In addition, if the specified devices are imaged by the school, it may not be possible to install required software for licencing reasons and parents may need to organise their own purchase of the software.
- require parents to pay for the following items as they are either centrally funded by the Department or are considered to be part of free instruction:
- any software provided centrally
- technical support
- internet use required for the standard curriculum program or any internet service funded centrally by the Department
- wireless network access.
For more information about how schools should plan for 1-to-1 learning, see: 1-to-1 Learning
Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Sections 2.2.4(1), 2.3.6(1)(c), 2.2.)