Got to say, so what if they want it until the end of their contract? If the norm is that laptops are returned at the end of the term, that is the precedient, and unless somewhere in a contract it says that they will/should have access to school resources for their entire contract, it is the 'norm' and the precident that wins.
Now, here "the norm" allows for "the exception", which can either be granted by my team, or HR/The Head. With the risks being assumed by the person granting the exception. Exceptions are not always granted. The more acremonious the departure the sooner kit is recovered and accounts locked, if the organisation no longer expect the individual to perform any function or role, there is not longer any need for them to have access to resources.
It is a good idea to be able to remotely lock a device, so that in a case where management want you to, you can.
Send a memo round saying that a battery fault has been identified with <insert required brand of laptop here> and all staff must return them as soon as possible.
You could elaborate to highlight that the battery has been found to leak harmful chemicals when it gets hot, and in rare cases may explode.
Should do the trick
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