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General Chat Thread, Your Technology dept.'s printing in General; I was simply wondering how much printing is done by your schools' technology department. Is printing kept to a minimum ...
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    Your Technology dept.'s printing

    I was simply wondering how much printing is done by your schools' technology department. Is printing kept to a minimum to save cost, or do the kids print out everything they do?

    We're having to make some decisions here based on how much the department prints (costing us a small fortune), so I was wondering what other schools do.

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    Our technology department are very restrictive about what they print, even to the point where teachers are the only ones allowed to print to their departmental printers! I have tried for years to put in place a printing quota to cover whole school, but I keep getting told that we can't disadvantage students who cannot afford to pay for more printing credits.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    It's not really about making them pay real hard cash for credits but about making them think about what they print.

    Ben

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    There's a requirement that the school provide sufficient printing to cover necessary work (i.e if doing GCSE Textiles and printed coursework is needed, the school needs to cover the cost). If (say) the average GCSE kid can fulfill their class, course and homework requirements with a quota of $foo and you can back that up, there's no reason not to impose a quota since printing above and beyond that isn't school-related.

    We do get quite a lot of volume at coursework time, but it's pre-agreed at the start of the year and isn't a surprise. Depts with high printing requirements (Engineering, Food Tech, Textiles, certain ICT modules) pre-agree extra quota for kids taking their subjects. It's up to the teacher to ensure we know Johnny Briggs is doing Food Tech and will need extra credit to cover his sausage cake project.

    Some teachers batch the printing and do it themselves, others let the kids print once it's been approved.

    edit: Yeah - the quota is a brake on daft printing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    It's not really about making them pay real hard cash for credits but about making them think about what they print.

    Ben
    I know that and you know that, but the SLT don't seem to take that onboard.

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    My advice is just do it.

    When I started here I threw up the idea of monitoring printing and quotas. The SLT did not take to it - all staff are too used to being able to print unlimited colour, and our students need to be able to print bright colourful work.

    I set up a trial of Print Manager Plus and set it to monitor all network printer jobs and put some very soft limits on staff (no more than 10 copies and 50 pages) and a bit harder on kids.

    At the end of month I told SLT that I'd just been monitoring the situation and that we'd effectively spent £800 that month on printing alone. Students were randomly bashing out 20 pages at a go and then binning them, and that staff were being very wasteful and printing a lot of personal stuff and not paying for it as they should.

    I was then told to buy the software immeadiatly and report back to the Head each month. The software paid for it's self within weeks and I've knocked 75% of our consumables bill.

    Whether it was just the fact that they didn't realise how much was being wasted and the stats shocked them, or it just timed well with the budget being released I don't know. But it works. One of the deputy heads a few weeks ago actually came to me and requested, without any prompting, that I should cap her account at 5 copies as she kept making mistakes.
    Last edited by Trapper; 22nd June 2011 at 04:40 PM.

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    I knocked our toner bill down from around £15k a year to around £5k a year in the first year of having papercut.

    Students have a personal quota, staff print to a department shared account except admin staff who have unlimited printing for obvious reasons. No more than 3 copies, no duplicate documents within 2 minutes, student printing requires staff authorisation using a release queue. Same policy runs school wide, except in the art department who fund their own printer and chose for it not to be restricted. Colour print costs 2 credits per page, except our nice solid ink xerox printer which is 3 credits as it costs slightly more to run. B/W print is 1 credit per page with a 25% discount for using duplex mode. Students get initial allocation of 100 credits a term, plus 20 credits per week upto a maximum of 200 credits. Departments get 500 credits per term per member of FT teaching staff. Simples!

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
    I set up a trial of Print Manager Plus and set it to monitor all network printer jobs and put some very soft limits on staff (no more than 10 copies and 50 pages) and a bit harder on kids.
    Even with PMP, our SLT still dont see it. They see it as puting an uneccessary restriction on the poorer students. PMP is used to restrict the waste issue, preventing documents larger than 10 pages etc, we're just not allowed to implement quotas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riffleman View Post
    Even with PMP, our SLT still dont see it. They see it as puting an uneccessary restriction on the poorer students. PMP is used to restrict the waste issue, preventing documents larger than 10 pages etc, we're just not allowed to implement quotas.
    Why are you charging students. AFAIK schools can't charge them for curriculum use - or are you private? The most I've ever done is bill departments for all their printing from their budgets, but for the kids as long as they aren't messing around the school takes the hit.

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    We charge back consumables to the departments, it's up to them if they want to waste all their budget on printing.

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    No-one has actually said they charge kids money for credits just that they implement credits to restrict printing.

    Ben

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    We bought print manager some time ago but after a while I was told to take the restrictions off as the staff didnt like them! I managed to keep the restrictions on repeat printing for students and printing web pages but that was all. We have recently set all the printers to default to black and white to try to restrict the toner useage

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    we've just had a meeting about this with regards our new system for september. we will be giving kids a half termly quota and if they run out, they must write a letter explaining what they need more for, which will be kept for evidence should they run out again. we won't be charging them but as @plexer said, it's making them think about what they are printing....do i need 15 full colour copies or would one do?

    staff will be monitored this year but should it be abused they will have unlimited prints but be set up in departmental groups so when they print it will ask which group to charge to. at the end of the year, those over x amount will have their budget docked the relevant amount. again its not to disrupt the day to day running, its to make them think more of what they are printing.

    i think SMT and staff backing is important though. if the staff feel that restricting printing is hindering their lessons, they will kick up a fuss, and SMT will probably join them. If however you get SMT on your side it makes it easier.
    how about setting up monitoring for the kids only, so they dont even get informed. that way at the end of the term you can say child x printed 10,000 pages where as child y printed 500. things like papercut also show the carbon cost and cost of the prints, so you could say child x has cost the school £400 in toner and £50 in electricity which should be cut down.

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    We use the print quota as a throttling mechanism; when a students quota runs out, before we will give them any more they know we will examine their print history & discuss any 'anomolies'. The quota is reset every week, we will allow extra quota for certain subjects (Technology, Art) on request. The intention is never to stop them printing essential work. Staff printing costs are charged to deparmental budgets.
    Last edited by broc; 23rd June 2011 at 10:18 AM.

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    We are in the middle of an 'experiment' here; we've just put 1 multi-function printer in every classroom, and with very few exceptions, only the class teacher is able to print to their printer.

    The printers are owned by the school, but we took out a maintenance contract on them so we pay-per-print and get the toner cartridges for 'free'.
    No limits on printing or photocopying.

    At the end of the year, the Head wants to see how much each teacher has printed, and work out what each year group is costing the school in terms of printing.
    After that, if the Head feels too much has been waste, caps will be put on and anything over that mark will be charged to their year group budget.


    Personally, I wanted to take the opposite approach - set up limits now, and see who goes over them first and why.}
    The current set up means that, in theory, the cost of printing at the end of the year could be enormous if everyone has gone over-the-top with printing!

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