Braintree: Four in ten iPads given to schoolchildren broken

Simon Mason

Simon Mason

First published in News

A school which spent half a million pounds on iPads for pupils has admitted almost 500 of the devices have been broken after a year.

Honywood Community Science School, in Westfield Drive, Coggeshall, gave out the £400 gadget to each of its 1,200 pupils in October 2011.

But four in ten iPads have had to be replaced after they were damaged beyond repair.

The iPads were given out to pupils free of charge, but parents were asked to donate £50 to insure the device.

The school has blamed inadequate protection cases for the high breakage rate, and has claimed the amount of broken iPads has reduced significantly since the cases were replaced.

Headteacher Simon Mason said: “Honywood made significant investments to their infrastructure to ensure smooth implementation of the tablets across the school.

“Once in place however they have not had any problems with this. They have also not had any issues with security or theft, but do have problems with breakages."

Full story in today's Times.

Comments (4)

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9:18pm Wed 2 Jan 13

OMPITA [UK] says...

Surely there was a Project Manager responsible for the procurement of these items?

The PM should have ensured that Technical and Financial Risk Assessments encompassed such things as susceptibility to damage when used within the anticipated working and quiescent environments - and weighed these probabilities against the ruggedness of the chosen item and the all-important lifetime cost of support. Were there any intensive trials carried out that should have highlighted such weaknesses? If not, why not?

What was the original requirement vis-à-vis availability after one year of service? More than 60% I would like to think!

If there was not a competent manager engaged to properly take on the procurement of this project it is a damning indictment on the authority responsible for releasing this significant chunk of public money.

It has all the makings of a scandal!
Surely there was a Project Manager responsible [and accountable] for the procurement of these items? The PM should have ensured that Technical and Financial Risk Assessments encompassed such things as susceptibility to damage when used within the anticipated working and quiescent environments - and weighed these probabilities against the ruggedness of the chosen item and the all-important lifetime cost of support. Were there any intensive trials carried out that should have highlighted such weaknesses? If not, why not? What was the original requirement vis-à-vis availability after one year of service? More than 60% I would like to think! If there was not a competent manager engaged to properly take on the procurement of this project it is a damning indictment on the authority responsible for releasing this significant chunk of public money. It has all the makings of a scandal! OMPITA [UK]
  • Score: 0

2:53am Thu 3 Jan 13

Boris says...

The school comes (came?) under Essex County Council, the organisation which decided not to pursue the shameful saga of Lord Hanningfield's expense-claim depredations over many years.
You are right to be disgusted, but you surely cannot be serious in expecting any accountability in this instance.
The school comes (came?) under Essex County Council, the organisation which decided not to pursue the shameful saga of Lord Hanningfield's expense-claim depredations over many years. You are right to be disgusted, but you surely cannot be serious in expecting any accountability in this instance. Boris
  • Score: 0

9:50am Thu 3 Jan 13

OMPITA [UK] says...

Accountability? Indeed yes!

When I was a Project Manager I lived and breathed accountability 24/7.

Accountability has to go with the responsibility. It is a fundamental issue that should come as second nature to the person concerned. It is no problem whatsoever to anyone who conscientiously fulfils their responsibility.

The problem with some public sector employees is that they spend far too much time and effort on protecting their jobs instead of damned well getting on and doing them properly in the first instance.

It is the responsibility of high level executive staff to ensure that those filling project management posts are competent to produce the required results. Sadly this is something that is so often not rigidly pursued for fear of what might happen if they ‘rock the boat’.

Customers have a right to expect ‘goods fit for purpose’.

If the staff who - despite their inevitable protestations - are paid quite handsomely and work in relatively luxurious environments are not prepared provide a reasonable service then they should be dealt with accordingly.

What a shame we don’t have a bit more of a ‘Hiring & Firing’ culture embedded in our Public Sector employment philosophy. If we did it might make one two recalcitrant individuals wake and smell the coffee.

It’s time we got tough!
Accountability? Indeed yes! When I was a Project Manager I lived and breathed accountability 24/7. Accountability has to go with the responsibility. It is a fundamental issue that should come as second nature to the person concerned. It is no problem whatsoever to anyone who conscientiously fulfils their responsibility. The problem with some [not all, I hasten to add!] public sector employees is that they spend far too much time and effort on protecting their jobs instead of damned well getting on and doing them properly in the first instance. It is the responsibility of high level executive staff to ensure that those filling project management posts are competent to produce the required results. Sadly this is something that is so often not rigidly pursued for fear of what might happen if they ‘rock the boat’. Customers [and that is ‘Joe Public’ in this instance] have a right to expect ‘goods fit for purpose’. If the staff [at all levels!] who - despite their inevitable protestations - are paid quite handsomely and work in relatively luxurious environments are not prepared provide a reasonable service then they should be dealt with accordingly. What a shame we don’t have a bit more of a ‘Hiring & Firing’ culture embedded in our Public Sector employment philosophy. If we did it might make one two recalcitrant individuals wake and smell the coffee. It’s time we got tough! OMPITA [UK]
  • Score: 0

9:57am Thu 3 Jan 13

OMPITA [UK] says...

I resubmit my previous comment above because I forgot that comments in parenthesis do get published. B&W editor – can’t you fix this little glitch?

Accountability? Indeed yes!

When I was a Project Manager I lived and breathed accountability 24/7.

Accountability has to go with the responsibility. It is a fundamental issue that should come as second nature to the person concerned. It is no problem whatsoever to anyone who conscientiously fulfils their responsibility.

The problem with some -not all, I hasten to add! - public sector employees is that they spend far too much time and effort on protecting their jobs instead of damned well getting on and doing them properly in the first instance.

It is the responsibility of high level executive staff to ensure that those filling project management posts are competent to produce the required results. Sadly this is something that is so often not rigidly pursued for fear of what might happen if they ‘rock the boat’.

Customers - and that is ‘Joe Public’ in this instance - have a right to expect ‘goods fit for purpose’.

If the staff - at all levels! - who - despite their inevitable protestations - are paid quite handsomely and work in relatively luxurious environments are not prepared provide a reasonable service then they should be dealt with accordingly.

What a shame we don’t have a bit more of a ‘Hiring & Firing’ culture embedded in our Public Sector employment philosophy. If we did it might make one two recalcitrant individuals wake and smell the coffee.

It’s time we got tough!
I resubmit my previous comment above because I forgot that comments in parenthesis do get published. B&W editor – can’t you fix this little glitch? Accountability? Indeed yes! When I was a Project Manager I lived and breathed accountability 24/7. Accountability has to go with the responsibility. It is a fundamental issue that should come as second nature to the person concerned. It is no problem whatsoever to anyone who conscientiously fulfils their responsibility. The problem with some -not all, I hasten to add! - public sector employees is that they spend far too much time and effort on protecting their jobs instead of damned well getting on and doing them properly in the first instance. It is the responsibility of high level executive staff to ensure that those filling project management posts are competent to produce the required results. Sadly this is something that is so often not rigidly pursued for fear of what might happen if they ‘rock the boat’. Customers - and that is ‘Joe Public’ in this instance - have a right to expect ‘goods fit for purpose’. If the staff - at all levels! - who - despite their inevitable protestations - are paid quite handsomely and work in relatively luxurious environments are not prepared provide a reasonable service then they should be dealt with accordingly. What a shame we don’t have a bit more of a ‘Hiring & Firing’ culture embedded in our Public Sector employment philosophy. If we did it might make one two recalcitrant individuals wake and smell the coffee. It’s time we got tough! OMPITA [UK]
  • Score: 0

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