We use RMs built-in printer credits which after consultation with the SLT implemented a strategy which had been drawn up by us which allowed only the students and ICT staff to print from the ICT-suites under controlled credits scheme.
The rest of the school subjects have their own printers which only the subject staff can print to and they maintain the toners from their budgets.
The main staff work area and the reprographics are the 2 places where the staff can print from in colour.
Technology and Art have a managed large print contract with United Carlton which they pay for out of their budgets at less than a penny a print for both A3 and A4
Credits are allocated thus:
All staff = 200 per week SLT = 1000 per month
Students years 7,8 and 9 = 50 per week
students years 10 and 11 = 100 per week
The students can request more through the teachers who can then allocate the credits or through us if no teacher available.
Budget spent on toners for the IT suites this coming year = £2.5k down from last years £4k
This has been achievable through the use of various in house built apps which allow the staff to view and mark work within the students home directories which can be accessed remotely from home which stops the students having to print work off to give to the teachers to take home to mark.
Also a better use of the VLE has enabled homework to be done from anywhere and from any device capable of running a web browser.
I have been consulting with the SLT on a scheme to further enable the staff and students to access printing via MFDs situated around the school and eventually eradicating the need for laser-jet printers except for the admin staff.
Works incredibly well and so far only one senior member of staff has complained but they have been dealt with by the SLT.
Our students use print credits; years 7 to 9 get 50 per half term, year 10s get 400 for the year, and year 11s 450. For the younger kids it's not much of an issue if they go over and need more, as credits are then knocked off their next term's allocation, but it's trickier for years 10 and 11. We're not really too keen on charging students for extra credits, and funnily enough departments are willing to pay either.
For staff, they should really be printing only on the photocopiers which are controlled by account numbers and billed annually to departments. However they can and do print to the network printers, so they have a fixed set of credits. Any additional credits are then charged to relevant departments as well.
We're having a bit of a refresh of our copiers this summer and part of it may be some print management software coming in, so I'm hoping to be able to further refine this system both in terms of setup and effectiveness. As it stands we've printed as a school over 318,000 pages this school year. That doesn't include local office printers and of course photocopying. Scary really.
Why are you charging students. AFAIK schools can't charge them for curriculum use - or are you private?
Not sure where you've read this. We've been charging students for years. Our printing policy is clear, and has been agreed to for years. Our policies are verified by our LA when we're inspected, and each year we send them our policies if they're updated.
Here is our setup;
We run Print Manager Plus, and have roughly 24 B&W printers, and 2 colour printers (not including the staff-only colour in the main office which is restricted to Admin only).
All these printers are rented under contract, which covers all repairs and maintenance, and consumables. It's a good deal, we never have to pay for toner and it's same-day on-site engineer if one breaks.
We charge 5p for black and white paper, and 10p for colour. If anyone prints duplex, they get a 20% discount from the total cost of the job.
Staff have money credited directly to their account, and this is totalled over the year and debited from their department's capitation. They tell us when it runs out and how much they want to add.
Students in years 7-11 receive £3 free credit each term. Sixth Form receive £5 free credit. If they wish for more or run out and need to top up, it's done by cash.
The exception to this is when it comes to final coursework deadlines, the department pays for the printing of their coursework. Staff give us a list of a students, and how much they want adding to each of their accounts to cover the cost of the printing. Departments can, of course, do this at any time they see fit if they want to pay for student's printing of materials etc.
Students have a restriction of 5 pages per job, to avoid the age-old mistake of 99 pages being printed because someone accidentally clicked the "number of copies" option and rolled the value forward. This restriction can be lifted at times for printing coursework.
Staff have no job restriction. Funnily enough, they are usually the worst when it comes to accidental over-printing.
EDIT: Forgot to mention photocopiers. We have 3 large photocopiers in reprographics, for staff-only. Using these costs 2p per page and is charged directly to their department. It bypasses Print Manager Plus.
Out of roughly 1200 students, less than 20% (at a guess) ever top up with cash, and even then it's mostly towards summer when they're printing extra materials. This is because the system teaches them to think about what they're printing, because if they're careless and run out, they'll need to pay to continue. They learn to manage their balance and calculate how much they'll need to do the job, and whether or not it needs to be done in colour. It makes them think twice about printing the picture of the cute fluffy bunny (or a lolcat), in colour, just to carry around with them.
Parents and governors have always been supportive of the printing system we have in place here.