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General Chat Thread, Should Staff Printing Be Restricted? in General; Simple question, but I ask because one of our staff members has raises a couple of complaints because occasionally he ...
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    Should Staff Printing Be Restricted?

    Simple question, but I ask because one of our staff members has raises a couple of complaints because occasionally he wants to print out the staff bills and I have the following restrictions for staff:

    No documents over 40 pages.
    No more than 6 copies of any document
    No repeat printing within 10 seconds.

    I know in this specific case he could print half, wait 10 seconds then print the rest however I was wondering what other people's opinions towards restricting staff are.

    My personal opinions is that staff should be restricted. People will look for the easiest way out of a problem and a lot of the time that is not the most cost effective and that us what we should be encouraging. However the restrictions should be such tha if people are using common sense and doing what they should be doing then they don't really restrict. For me the big one is stopping people printing lots of the same thing on their ink jet printers and use photocopiers!

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Yes, a hundred times over. School teachers will be the death of every rainforest on the planet the way they print. The problem is getting them to realise how much paper they are wasteing needlessly and actually careing about it.

    Certain things unfourtunatly require paper, accounts for one thing thanks to government and accountants paper fetishes but that methodology is wasteful.

    Convincing staff of this, even the eco nazis who will turn off computer moniters after every lesson to save the 1/1000000th of a cent worth of power will happily print out a class set of novels to their nearest printer, be it inkjet or not.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    I've always viewed systematic restrictions as a last resort, for anyone. There will always be users, both staff and students, who have a legitimate need to exceed their restrictions, however lenient they may be (and yours are towards the lenient end of what I've seen). I take the same approach as you and strongly encourage people to print to the networked photocopiers for any and all bulk jobs. That particular point is official school policy, so it's a good management stick to beat people with.

    The approach I take to enforcement is to carefully log all printing and target the top offenders, but you have to have management both on side and willing to kick some backsides for this to work. In my last school (a secondary grammar), a report of the top 20 bulk users each week would be sent to one of the Assistant Heads. She would take a look at it, and typically would instruct us to block the printing of any student who had printed more than 100 pages that week until they had visited her to explain themselves. She had a reputation as a battleaxe and word got around very quickly; students began to self-regulate very effectively and about 6 months later our overall printing bill had dropped by about 1/3.

    In my current school it's the staff who are the problem, and I've recently begun supplying data from PaperCut Print Logger to the Bursar on which members of staff are ignoring the school policy and sending bulk jobs to the printers. He's had a bee in his bonnet about wasteful printing since before I started (it was even discussed in my interview), so he's looking forward to seeing the patterns that are beginning to emerge.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Yes staff printing should be restricted. I did some stats with print manager plus a year or so ago and proved that one-third of our printing was being done by an unrestricted teacher, one-third of the printing by staff of one department and the remaining third by all the rest of the school put together (pupils, staff and office staff)!

    The SLT took action and now everybody has much tighter limits. The Bursar has her own printer so invoices are printed on that. I do lift printing restrictions occasionally for big print runs, but only if there is authorisation. The staff hated it at first, but they have got used to it.

    Health warning: do not attempt to restrict staff printing unless you have the full 100% backing of your SLT. It will fail miserably without it. Unless the SLT are prepared to tell staff to go jump, it will fail.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    I've recently begun supplying data from PaperCut Print Logger to the Bursar on which members of staff are ignoring the school policy and sending bulk jobs to the printers.
    <shameless self promotion>
    Are you using this with the printlogger or processing it in a different way?
    Papercut Print Logger Free edition - Log Distiller ASP page
    </shameless self promotion>

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    We use papercut to control staff printing now and since we introduced it printing costs are a fraction of what they used to be.
    Staff can only print in B&W from departmental printers at about 10p a page, anyone that wants to print in colour has to go through the main repro photocopier and 30p a page
    It also monitors locally attached printers too

    SLT want to go further and start making them print to PDF...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yup! Printing should definitely be restricted.

    We have restrictions in place at our school - pretty lenient ones:

    Unlimited mono printing
    20 Colour prints per month

    We also have a policy of centralised printing, so have a bulky mono copier and a smaller colour copier to handle the majority of all printing. As it stands, we average about 90% printed on those 2 machines, and 10% printed on the printers that departments have bought and pay for themselves.

    Personally, I want to go further with our restrictions. We've basically printed 1.8million pages in 18 months, and I think that's ridiculous for a school with 600 pupils.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Are you using this with the printlogger or processing it in a different way?
    I actually rolled my own system which imports the daily logs into an SQL database at the end of each day. I then query that using a page on our Intranet and through Excel data queries. It doesn't provide live information like yours does, but it does allow me to combine data from multiple installations and perform complex queries on it very quickly. Plus, I love me some databases.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 20th March 2011 at 01:15 PM.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We don't restrict as such although we implemented papercut and have put the client on the machines so staff can actually see how much its costing. They then realise rather then printer 30 pages on 15p per sheet printer the walk the 100m to the photocopier at 30p for all of it!

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    steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart_C View Post
    No documents over 40 pages.
    No more than 6 copies of any document
    No repeat printing within 10 seconds.
    We're looking at the same thing, but I was going to go with:

    No more than 35 copies (allows a class set)
    No more than 30 pages per document
    No repeat within 180 seconds

    Also going to look into the papercut print scripting Tour - Advanced Scripting: Write print scripts to control routing, redirection and print workflow - PaperCut to route big jobs to a holding queue in repro department.

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    I am not in favor of restricting staff from printing. Rather than impose restrictions, we make staff use departmental printing codes. The head of department then receives a monthly bill which is itemized. This way the HoD has responsibility for controlling unnecessary printing. They can print what they like as long as they pay for it.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    I have suggested many times that more of our Staff printing should go through Reprographics [we have a colour photocopier: This is far cheaper when copying/printing in colour than our inkjets and laser printers]

    I have been rebuffed and my request to control the amount that Staff print using PaperCut has been rejected.

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    Better to ask for forgiveness than permission ;
    Thanks for the responses. I thought it might be the case but sOmerimes it's nice to have some reassurance.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I am not in favor of restricting staff from printing. Rather than impose restrictions, we make staff use departmental printing codes. The head of department then receives a monthly bill which is itemized. This way the HoD has responsibility for controlling unnecessary printing. They can print what they like as long as they pay for it.
    This is probably the best way of doing it in larger schools. If departments see the impact on their budgets, they'll mange it themselves. It is worth giving them detailed print management software reports (electronically ) so that they can see where the expense occurred.

    Unfortunately, in a tiny school like mine, the departments don't have direct control over a local budget. However restriction plus SLT support is doing well

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    sister_annex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I am not in favor of restricting staff from printing. Rather than impose restrictions, we make staff use departmental printing codes. The head of department then receives a monthly bill which is itemized. This way the HoD has responsibility for controlling unnecessary printing. They can print what they like as long as they pay for it.
    This is how we intend to do it also, we will be imposing some restrictions though, mainly due to the fact of while we have been testing there have been numerous erroneous print jobs that have ended up being 8000+ pages...

    so some realistic almost non imposing restrictions will be put in place

    (we use papercut also)


    we do make a point to staff that printing one copy and photocopying (in mono or colour) is quite often cheaper than printing the full set, usually though the answer is 'It's too much hassle, so I'll just print it....'

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