Get Help with Technology – further DfE funding available now for schools
The DfE has announced that from October 2021:
- Nearly half a million additional devices will be made available to schools for pupils isolating at home due to Covid disruption as part of a new government package.
- DfE funding is available for schools to fund the costs of technical support for the setup of new devices supplied via the DfE after November 2021; and to reset and reconfigure devices acquired under the previous initiative which ran from September 2020 until June 2021.
This means that you can offset the cost of services you purchase from Scomis for the management and configuration of your DfE devices by claiming costs back directly from the DfE.
Why might you need technical support for your DfE devices?
Many DfE devices issued to schools under previous schemes were locked down and preconfigured as “restricted devices” prior to shipping. This was for safeguarding reasons, as many disadvantaged pupils had to use unfiltered home broadband to access their remote learning.
These security restrictions were enforced by the DfE using Mobile Device Management (MDM) software such as Microsoft Intune and Cisco Umbrella.
These enforced restrictions meant that pupils could not install any software on the devices, make configuration changes, or bypass Google safe search when accessing the Internet.
The Mobile Device Management licences were due to expire on 30th September 2021, but to ensure devices remained safe for children and young people to use, the DfE has extended these licences until 30th September 2022.
You are required to reset these devices and apply your own safeguarding settings as soon as possible as otherwise pupils would be able to freely access any online content. Additionally, devices will not be maintained with future updates, including virus scans and software upgrades unless you do so.
If you receive DfE devices via the Get help with technology (GHwT) service from November 2021 onwards, you will be responsible for having them configured as managed devices for safeguarding reasons prior to pupil issue. This is because the DfE devices provided under the current scheme will not include any content filtering or device management software.
How Scomis can help?
Scomis can assist with resetting any DfE “restricted devices” issued under the old scheme. We can also configure DfE devices as managed school devices. If your school has an existing Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace tenancy we can help your school acquire device management licences and configure the devices to be managed directly via the cloud.
We also offer technical support – ideal if you require ongoing support of your Google and/or Microsoft systems – or require an escalation point for your inhouse Support Teams.
How do you claim technical support funding?
Schools and other settings can claim for two types of grants in relation to DfE devices:
- for costs incurred for purchasing technical support during the period 1 November 2021 and 14 January 2022 relating to resetting a DfE restricted device received in academic year 2019 to 2020 or academic year 2020 to 2021
- for costs incurred for purchasing technical support during the period 1 November 2021 and 14 January 2022 relating to setting up a device received from the DfE on or after 1 November 2021
These grants are intended to support organisations that may not currently have the capacity to set up and reset devices they received. Restrictions and eligibility criteria are set out in the DfE guidance.
For more information about how Scomis can help please contact us.