FAQs

Q. What is a Chromebook?
A. A Chromebook is a type of laptop with tablet level of simplicity. It does not require Microsoft packages such as Word in order to function. All software required for the student to use the device is provided via the school.
 
Q. Do you take ownership at the end?
A. Yes, the Chromebook is yours to keep at the end of the scheme, it will also remain in the school management system until your child leaves us. Upon leaving your child should visit IT Support to have the Chromebooks deprovisioned from the school’s management system. This will then release the device into your control and support.
 
Q. What happens if my son/daughter leaves the school before the term ends?
A. The remaining contributions can be made and devices becomes yours.
 
Q. Can we purchase more than one i.e we have siblings at the same school?
A. Yes, in fact we recommend this.
 
Q. Will there be an upgrade path if the device becomes outdated within 2-3 years?
A. We will be choosing a device model that has a Google Support lifetime of at least 5 years.
 
Q. How will the software be kept up to date?
A. As long as the device is in regular use the Chromebook will automatically keep itself upto date without any interaction from the end user apart from a prompted restart from time to time.
 
Q. Is the device protected online, at home and in school?
A. The student Chromebook is managed by The Chase until your child leaves. Use of the student Chromebook is monitored by the school – we use special software that detects any inappropriate use; The schools internet filtering system will still be in effect when the device is used at home, meaning that all browsing is filtered and recorded. Our internet filtering policy is available here: https://www.chase.worcs.sch.uk/information/policies/ .
 
Q. Can I bring in a device we already have at home?
A. Yes, if it is a Chromebook. No, if it is a laptop or iPad. Unfortunately, we are unable to add laptops and iPads to our device management system and therefore, cannot provide a safely managed device which would pose various safeguarding risks. Please note that there will be an £30 charge for a Chrome management license if you choose to allow your child to bring in their existing Chromebook which would need to be installed on the device. You would also need to arrange your own separate insurance for any Chromebook that is not part of the scheme.
 
Q. Can the device be used for non-school related activity e.g Games, Youtube
A. Students sign into these devices using their school provided accounts which will prevent certain types of activity taking place. E.g Students cannot install their own software/extensions unless it has been approved by the school.  Certain filtering categories (games etc) are released after school hours.
 
Q. How does the school propose to support those that do not take part?
A. Students whose parents are not contributing for a device will still be able to check one out from the designated location during the school day if required. However, they will not be permitted to take this device home.
 
Q. When will we get the Chromebooks?
A. The intention is for the devices to be issued to students in the first week of the September term, exact dates/times will be communicated later.
 
Q. When does the direct debit start?
A. The first direct debit will begin on the 1st September 2021, at which point the devices will be collected and used in school.
 
Q. What happens if a device gets damaged?
A. The student bundle includes iCare for term of the scheme. The school will administer any claims and a repaired or replacement device will be issued to students.
*iCare only protects the device from accidental damage and if the device is stolen. Deliberate and or malicious damage will be charged and the insurance will not cover repairs.
 
Q. What happens if a device is lost?
A. Whilst theft is covered by the device’s insurance policy (with a crime reference number), loss is not covered.
 
Q. What happens if the charger is lost?
A. New genuine chargers are available for purchasing from the school’s local ICT services.
*Please note that if you purchase your own charger without buying it through the school there is a chance that it will not be a genuine charger and therefore may void warranty and insurance.
 
Q. I can buy one cheaper online – why should I use this scheme?
A. Buying a device online will not include the necessary Chrome Management License which we use to manage and support the device on your behalf, to install apps and policies, and to provide the appropriate safety and security for your child. The bundle available through school also includes insurance for the donation period.
 
Q. Will there be a credit check to join the scheme?
A. No, The scheme is based upon donations so no credit check is required.
 
Q. What happens if my financial circumstances change during the year/s? ( I.e. Job loss, bereavement, terminal illness)
A. In this situation please contact the Birmingham eLearning Foundation, www.belf.org.uk or 0121 314 3407. As a Charity, BeLF aims to ensure no child is left out or left behind.
 
Q. What steps will the school take to support parents during rollout and adoption?
A. We will write to parents with advice regarding good practice around e-safety and device use. We are also providing at-home internet filtering included in the cost of the device.
 
Q. Does the school envisage students bringing these devices into school every day?
A. This project is primarily to promote home learning and to enable students to work on a supported, safe and easy to use device at home. The school has no immediate plans to start asking students to routinely bring them in every day. Teaching staff are asking students on the scheme to bring their devices from time to time for certain lessons as more and more students come onto the scheme. The school will still maintain its fixed computer suites for subjects like Computing, Creative Media, and Music Technology etc.

Google & Privacy

Use of Children’s Data by Google

This following link gives information about GDPR and personal data information for Schools. Google Education accounts are treated differently to normal consumer IDs, and not advertising tracked etc: https://edu.google.com/intl/en_uk/k-12-solutions/privacy-security/?modal_active=none

Here is an extract from Google’s Chromebook Privacy and Security document: “When our systems do compile and collect data, it is only used after the information has been completely scrubbed for information about individual users. This data is used to improve the services we provide. For example if data shows that millions of people are visiting a webpage that is broken, that site would be moved lower in the search results. If they choose to, administrators can disable Chrome Sync and users can choose what information to sync. G Suite for Education users’ Chrome Sync data is not used to target ads to individual students.” A link to the full document is here.

Here are extracts from G Suite for Education Privacy Notice: “Information we collect: A G Suite for Education account is a Google Account created and managed by a school for use by students and educators. When creating this account, the school may provide Google with certain personal information about its students and educators, which includes a user’s name, email address, and password in most cases, but could also include secondary email, phone, and address if the school chooses to provide that information.” “User personal information collected in the Core Services is used only to provide the Core Services. Google does not serve ads in the Core Services or use personal information collected in the Core Services for advertising purposes.”
A link to the full document is here: https://gsuite.google.com/intl/en-GB/terms/education_privacy.html

If were to try to anonymise each student by giving them a number instead of a username, in order for teachers to “translate” each student’s number back into their real name we would have to keep some sort of centralised directory of this data. As an organisation we use G Suite for the majority of our word processing and spreadsheets so this information would likely be stored in a Google Sheet anyway. Also, having students anonymised as a number would make it more challenging to filter and monitor all internet browsing activity which allows us to ensure that students are not able to reach harmful materials online.

Our teachers know the students in their class by name and using their names on their accounts makes our various systems easy to use. If students’ names were replaced by anonymised numbers, many of these systems would become borderline unusable. Teachers would have to refer to the directory mentioned above for every instance of registration, emailing, marking, assessment, reporting, safeguarding, etc. It would be very easy to get Student #03698 confused with Student #03689.

As children age they need to learn how best to represent themselves online, not only through social media but also in search of further employment. This is something we currently teach as part of our English curriculum. Dealing with students as a number instead of a name is unrealistic and not something they will be able to sustain as they move on to Sixth Form and then Higher Education.

Some systems, such as exam boards and UCAS will not accept anonymised student information.