State Schools’ Relief

Laptops changing disadvantaged students’ lives at State Schools’ Relief

State Schools’ Relief and CompNow have combined their expertise to maximise educational outcomes for disadvantaged students across Victoria. The value of precious funding is extended by CompNow’s procurement services to supply laptops, iPads and protective cases.

With their own devices, thousands of Prep to Year 12 students have improved learning opportunities both at school and at home.

State Schools’ Relief (SSR) works closely with government schools across Victoria to assist families who are experiencing financial disadvantage.

SSR began supplying uniforms to underprivileged students in 1930 and, sadly, the need for its services continues to expand.


The Challenge

State Schools’ Relief needed to maximise the spending power of a special grant to purchase laptops for disadvantaged students across Victoria.

The Solution

CompNow’s education expertise and procurement services, as well as generosity in donating protective cases for the devices.

The Benefits
  • 5,000+ disadvantaged students supported over 3 years
  • CompNow’s buying power
  • CompNow’s deep understanding of the education sector
  • Negotiation of warranties and after service beyond the purchase price

To reach as many disadvantaged students as possible with our limited funding, we rely on Compnow to negotiate the best pricing for our device purchasing. Compnow has a deep involvement in the education sector, so understands how important this contribution is.

Sue Karzis Chief Executive Officer
State Schools’ Relief

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The Challenge

For SSR, making school a safe, positive place has moved beyond the supply of uniforms. As technology embeds as an essential element of today’s education, underprivileged students are often further distanced from being able to participate in school, as they don’t have their own devices for class or homework. With Covid lockdowns, thousands of students were at home without access to devices, or internet connections.

Sue Karzis, Chief Executive Officer of State Schools Relief, says: “As a not-for-profit organisation, SSR depends on generous help to enable us to stick to our mission – to make sure young people from all sorts of challenging backgrounds have a chance. School is often the best & safest place for them. If we can get them to the front gate, it makes a difference to their wellbeing and their futures.

“I’m proud of how much we manage to accomplish with only 19 employees. In 2020, we assisted 72,000 disadvantaged students, but it’s tragic that the demand for our services is greater than we’ve ever seen.”

Sue says: “To support as many students as possible with our funding, we reached out to partners who could help negotiate the best pricing for our device purchasing.”



The Solution

When the work of SSR was brought to the attention of CompNow, both organisations saw a perfect opportunity to create a positive link that would help support underprivileged students.

To launch the program, and gauge success, it was decided to provide new rather than refreshed devices. Parents applied for the device through the schools, but the laptops were delivered direct to the students, as their own property. Sue says: “We’ve seen how important it is for our students to have the experience of owning something brand new, to unbox their special laptop.”

CompNow, in conjunction with delivery partner Leader Computers, supplied 2,200 heavily discounted devices in the first four months of the program.

“CompNow wanted us to be as supported as far as possible and Leader was a great recommendation. The after service from both partners is excellent. We have full warranty coverage for collection, break/fix and returns, so the students are not missing out,” she says.

Through this partnership, in 2021/22 SSR supplied over 5,000 laptops and 3,000 internet USBs. This service was particularly vital to student learning remotely during Victoria’s extended Covid lockdowns.

In another initiative, SSR and CompNow supplied iPads to non-verbal children in special schools. The 400 iPads enable students to better participate in their school lives, as well as having new capacities to ‘talk’ to their families and friends. “The NDIS does not fund hardware and only sometimes provides the software. This is so important. Students have a voice for the first time. It gives them agency and independence to communicate with the outside world,” Sue says.


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The Benefits

“Working with CompNow has been fantastic. They are really on board with us. CompNow has a deep involvement in the education sector, so understands how important this contribution is. They’re genuine in wanting to make a difference to kids from challenging backgrounds.

“CompNow has been so supportive of our efforts. They’ve worked hard to get devices at competitive prices, and donate where they can. Our funding was running out, but they continued to source and supply laptops so we could fulfil our order requests. And to protect these valuable devices, CompNow contributed to special pricing for around 1,800 laptop sleeves, as well as donating 100 laptop bags and 160 iPad cases,” she says.

Until new philanthropic contributions can be sourced, SSR’s technology aid is in limbo. A future option is to use quality, repurposed devices which CompNow would take responsibility for sourcing and preparing, prior to dispatch to students.

“Feedback from CompNow, and in fact all our donors, is how rewarding they find their contribution to SSR’s work. Each device CompNow has supplied, every uniform supplied, means another student has a chance to improve their educational outcomes – they can be like everyone else, and not be left out or left behind,” Sue says.


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