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School ICT Policies Thread, Policy for dealing with broken/vandalised equipment? in School Administration; We have a big problem at the moment with pupils vandalising or stealing mice and damaging keyboards or taking the ...
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    Policy for dealing with broken/vandalised equipment?

    We have a big problem at the moment with pupils vandalising or stealing mice and damaging keyboards or taking the keys. We then get teachers sending pupils to us to get replacement mice or keyboards, or they sometimes phone us to ask us to bring the equipment.

    At the moment our store room is not in the same place as our office. We have an internal email system in place and staff are supposed to log calls using email. So, I was thinking of having a policy of saying 'We do not keep mice or keyboards in our office, we keep them in the store room. All requests must be e-mailed to us, we will then replace the equipment, we will aim to do this by the next lesson'.

    Does this sound a good idea or not? Anyone got a better idea?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Well if you just want to annoy your teachers into submission, that's a start. However the only way to effectively deal will this is to hit people where it hurts, in their wallet/budget.

    1) Charging the teachers department for replacements. However they get wise to this, so really you should charge the whoever was in room in question prior to the current teacher. The problem will either rapidly resolve itself, or tempers will fray and SMT will have to step in an sort things out.

    2) CCTV. After the resulting arguments and strife caused by #1. Recommend this as the solution. It's kinda hard for kids to argue when you have a movie of them trashing your machines. You can now send your bills to parents. (Optional: Upload your videos to youtube (with suitable blurring) and make some cash off the adverts, thus you profit from vandalism..)

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    Don't know how big your office is, but could you keep some keyboards/mice in the office? Could they be issued from a different location?

    If vandalism has occurred while teacher X was in the room and teacher Y now finds that they can't teach because of that, they're (rightly!) not going to be pleased by what they will see as your obstructive behaviour.

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    Yes, we could keep some here.

    The problems are that if they can just come to the office at any time for replacements, there's no way for us to verify that it's genuine or why the damage occured or who is requesting it, and it just seems that we are giving away a limitless supply of mice out!

    SLT have requested that no pupils go to our office as they want to cut down on pupils wandering the corridor and interrupting the ICT lessons, but some teachers send them anyway.

    There seems to be no incentive to reduce vandalism, and we are handing out up to 5 mice a day!

    If vandalism has occurred while teacher X was in the room and teacher Y now finds that they can't teach because of that, they're (rightly!) not going to be pleased by what they will see as your obstructive behaviour.
    I would hope they wouldn't see it that way.

    Should a broken/damaged mouse jump to the head of the queue and be replaced immediately is a key question I guess. I am not sure what the answer is. If it's "yes" then we could still require notification by email and say we'll respond as soon as we can, and keep supplies in the office to help us do so?

    Another idea is to give a supply of mice for each department and encourage them to take responsibility themselves, and say "here's 10 to last for the year, if you need more they are £x each"?

    At the moment, virtually none of the teachers check equipment is ok as they leave the lesson, and it's not unknown for teachers to get to a room that has suffered bad vandalism, and not tell us because they only need 10 out of 20 PCs themselves. I'd rather they told us there was a problem and that it was not urgent, than leave it until the next teacher turns up needing all 20 and finds the room in a terrible state then asks us to drop everything to get there immediately.

    If anyone has any ideas or experiences that can help that would be appreciated.

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    stratisphere's Avatar
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    We have this exact problem aswell (as im sure many schools might).

    Although the problem is, half the time teachers dont bother to report it. It's common for a machine to be broke/unusable for a week, then a teacher who actually cares comes to use it and then moans because it hasnt been working for so long.

    Silly thing is, I spent alot of money replacing all of our mice last year to use optical ones (got fed up of cleaning the dirt out of tracker ones). Since then, we have had to go back to the tracker mice on about 50% of machines due to mice being nicked/broke/micky moused (the kids found out on some of our mice, the buttons can be bent up... once one was done, they found it funny and did a whole room).

    We never found out who it was as the teacher who had the room that period is certain it wasnt their lot and says it must have happened during lunch. To which I replied well if the room isnt staffed during lunch... lock it. They agreed but it never happened

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    Hi,

    I've been over this hurdle all ready, Unfortunately it is a fairly long road to travel.

    First off, I'm not sure how many of you there are in your department. There myself and my Techie here. We first started by putting all the keyboards and mice up on top of the base units / monitors so the room is tidy at the end of the day. About 5 mins pers room. That way, you know in the morning that the rooms are tidy and nothing is broken / missing.

    After the end of the first lesson, its a wander around all the rooms to do a spot check. Any damage is recorded and the teachers department is billed accordingly. We bill £5 per mouse and £10 per keyboard. Steep I know, but it gets the message across.

    The teaching staff started to get the message eventually and then started reporting the offending child to us. We then take the damaged equipment, plus bill to SMT who call the parents in and / or send a bill home for repairs.

    Vandalism has dropped considerably, but we still do get it. Teachers now report any damage as soon as they can via e-mail or popping their heads into our office and telling us.

    Another good thing to do is permapen on the PC's and Monitors the PC Number and draw some room maps up for yourselves. You can then ask the teacher the Computer Number and locate the offending article quickly. This also allows you to check your logs to see which little darling was using the PC at the time.

    I know it sounds complicated and a lot of time, but it gets easier very quickly.

    Another little trick is to NOT give out replacement keyboards and mice. Saying that the budget is all used up and you have nothing spare. Two weeks of that soon sorts things out as well.

    I've also, for a long while now, made sure that all the mice are optical. The ball mice get choked up with muck and that causes the students to break them as well.

    Tie wrap all the cables together at the back to stop keyboards and mice from walking off as well.

    It may also be worth doing a schedule that each computer room is closed for a lesson per week so you can go around and perform maintenance on it. That way you can find anything the members of staff have missed.

    Hope that helps as little,

    Cheers

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    browolf's Avatar
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    things we do:

    1. cable tie everything
    2. have log-in logs
    3. timetable specific IT teachers to specific it rooms ie to give them ownership
    4. have a sheet attached to desks that keeps a track of existing damage.
    5. put keypad locks on doors so random kids cant get in.
    6. have a booking system

    so the teachers with ownership are responsible for making sure everything is intact and reporting any problems and then between the login logs and the booking system we can reasonably pin any damage on specific teachers/lessons.

    still we find ourselves replacing mice that have "disappeared" but its only certain rooms which have less ownership that have the most problems and since we've made a concerted effort to cable tie everything in sight, even that problem has gone down a lot.
    as far as missing keys go. important keys missing make a computer unusable and most likely the kid sitting at the pc nicked them.with the login logs teachers know which kids are good kids and bad kids and who to interrogate lol. the worst problem now is people vandalising and removing parts of the fronts of fujitsu machines. we've got cad machines in our schools. we've made replacements parts which we superglue in, making them a lot more vandal proof.




    since

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    We have a timetable for the ICT Classrooms, and the teachers know that as soon as they leave the room the kids have to shut down the PC's, and then I will do a visual inspection of the rooms, along with reviewing the video logs of the classrooms, I will inspect each PC to see if the webcams, headphones, mice, keyboards have been damaged. The children who break the offending item immediately come to my office, and explain the situation to me. I have the headteachers authority to do this, and so far I have billed £740 in the past 2 years to parents for equipment that has been broken or gone missing.

    We charge the following:

    £25 per headphone set
    £15 per webcam
    £10 per keyboard
    £5 per mouse

    As such the parents come in when they have to pay the bill and I explain the situation, show the video logs to the parents and show them the damaged equipment. That way the parents know what has happened, the headteacher knows what has happened, and the children get appropriate discipline at school and at home.

    I hope that helps!

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