Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Day and boarding school for boys since 1939

Telephone02 6764 8600


Laptop Program

The use of technology has grown in our society and this is reflected in education. It is essential that students have access to technology to allow them to research and learn. Farrer has a number of facilities that encourage the use of technology, including 3 computer rooms and a set of 30 iPads in the library and also in the creative arts faculty. Despite this, demand for individual computer use is still very strong. For this reason Farrer introduced the Laptop Program in 2014 and to date this has proven to be an outstanding success. 460 boys signed up for the program in the first year. Please see the attached information regarding the details of the program.


The program involves parents making payments and a laptop is then hired to your son. The questions and answers at the bottom of the page will hopefully clarify any queries you may have:

Device Details

There are two device options for students in the Farrer laptop program, a High Performance laptop and a standard laptop.

The Standard Laptop is a good general purpose device that will cover the students educational needs as well as their entertainment needs. It is capable of running all the software required for each of the subjects offered at Farrer. This device is also capable of playing a wide variety of games (some more graphically intense games may have difficulty running). Movies and music will play on this device just fine.    

The High-Performance laptop is a more expensive option for students who require a powerful computer for multimedia content creation (video editing, 3D model and animation). It can also be signed up for by students who would simply like a more powerful computer with the added benefit of extended warranty and school-based support.

Q Can it come home on weekends/leave weekends/holidays?

Yes, just like a library book, the laptop can be taken by the student to home, the dorm etc. and can be taken home on holidays.


Q My son already has his own laptop. Does he need to buy another?

No, but your son will need to ensure he has the required software on his personal laptop.


Q If our son has his own laptop, can the school supply and/or install the required software at no cost or a reduced price?

No, the school is only allowed to install software on the computers that it owns.  Students with their own computers would need to purchase, install and maintain their own hardware and software.


Q If our son has his own laptop, will he still be able to receive technical support?

No, the school does not plan to have a separate fee structure for technical support only.  The variety of laptops available today makes it difficult and extremely time consuming for the Technical Support Officer to be able to attend to all problems. The strength in having a large number of only one type of computer is that computers can be fixed quickly or an identical computer loaned while a larger problem is fixed.


Q If our son has his own laptop, will he still be able to use other school computers?

Students who have their own laptops are still, of course, welcome to use the school desktop computers in the library and other classrooms, as well as the IPads in the library.


Q The scheme seems costly, compared to buying a laptop outright.

The cost includes unlimited technical support at school from the onsite technical support team. IT Support can help with installing software, virus removal, warranty claims and free labour for accidental damage repairs. For boarding parents, it takes away the hassle of managing repairs or technical problems from a distance.


Q What if the laptop is lost or stolen?

If your son borrows a library book and it is lost or stolen, it is his responsibility. The laptop will work under the same system – this will encourage boys to take care of their machine.


Q What if the laptop is damaged?

Your son is responsible for the laptop. He should keep it inside its case, and make every effort to keep it safe. He will be responsible for all damage unless he can prove that the damage was caused by another party.


Q What will the level of Internet security be like?

Student laptops function in a very similar manner to a school desktop – it will have the same sites blocked. Laptops will be able to access only those sites that students can in a classroom. When your son uses the internet at home, it will be the parent’s responsibility to monitor access as sites will not be blocked.


Q What will happen to the laptops after 3 years? AND does my son get to keep the laptop when he finishes at Farrer?

The term of this Agreement is three (3) years. On completion of the Agreement, the Student has the option of returning the Laptop and, if desired, commencing a New Agreement for a further three years for a New Laptop, or purchasing the existing Laptop at a small fee specified in the Fee Schedule of the Agreement.


Q What will the cost be?

The cost for the three-year program on a standard model device is $1500. $750 is paid in each of the first two years and there is no payment in the third year. The High-Performance model of laptop is a higher cost, see the fee schedule for more information.