Acres National School,
Principal: Pat Conaghan

“It’s made life so much easier. The €1 per month was a big selling point for us because it meant we could budget and know exactly where we stand from a cost and a service point of view. Because it’s networked, the engineer can call directly and get any issue sorted. From an ordering point of view, I’m not worrying about toners and inks running low. When the new machine gets to 15% remaining ink capacity, it sends an email to Bytek so they send on the replacement cartridge automatically,” 

Pat Conaghan  

It’s made life so much easier

For Pat Conaghan, Principal of Acres N.S. in Burtonport, getting reliable technical support for his school’s technology equipment can be a challenge. It’s not always possible to have replacement parts delivered to northwest Donegal, 45 minutes’ drive beyond Letterkenny, in a timely fashion. “Everything we do is based around laptops and whiteboards, but it can be such a hassle when machines break down and you’re based in rural Ireland,” he says.

Acres N.S. is a small school, with 93 pupils, six fulltime teaching staff, a part-time teacher and a special needs assistant. Like many schools, it has seen printing and photocopying grow more important in classroom work lately. But when a toner cartridge would run low without warning, the school was left for days with no ability for teachers to print pages. 

Acres N.S used to have a four small printers: a colour machine in the main office, two black and white printers in separate classrooms, with another monochrome unit in the special needs room. Most of the teachers used the photocopier which was located in the main corridor. However costs were increasing year on year, not to mention the unpredictability of needing replacement ink for the various printers. 

As the photocopier lease was coming to an end, Pat saw Bytek MPS’ exclusive schools-only offer of €1 per pupil per month. This let him replace all of the diverse printers and the copier with a single, networked colour printer: Epson’s revolutionary R8590 colour multi-function A4 / A3 printer. 

Bytek MPS despatched an engineer to Donegal to install the printer, connect it to the school network and train the teachers to send pages to print directly from the classroom whiteboard or laptop. As part of the contract, Acres N.S. is entitled to print 75,000 mono pages and 10,000 colour pages every year. 

Teachers can now take photos of school activities such as sport, drama or monthly assemblies and instead of waiting to get the pictures developed in the nearest town, they simply connect their iPads to the network and print the photo instantly on the Epson R8590, to display in the classroom or on noticeboards around the school. “Having colour has made a huge difference,” says Pat. “I see the teachers using it for project work, and it’s nice to have certain photographs in colour, rather than it all being in drab black and white.”  

He estimates the school has saved at least 33% of its printing costs since switching to Bytek MPS and Epson.