Service and Support

The below measures are in place to ensure that the school is able to focus on delivering first-class education, which includes using up-to-date technology to its best advantage and streamlining processes to keep the costs as low as possible.

It is policy that every student has a prescribed machine purchased from the prescribed supplier.

The school prefers that the machines are warrantied for the full duration of each student's time at Bishops, as that is the only way that the school can ensure that every student has a working laptop in every class.

The Dell machine(s) includes an international, five-year factory warranty, five year accident care and extended battery warranty.

Apple machine(s) extended warranty includes a 1 Year International Hardware Warranty, plus 4 Year Local Hardware Warranty along with an extended battery warranty. A total of 5 Years.

Not having a fully functional machine impacts severely on a student’s ability to participate properly in class and jeopardises his education. This puts a real premium on servicing faulty machines.

Help Desk (Outsourced)

Help Desk support is limited to 'walk-in' support only and excludes telephonic support. Laptop support is currently a hybrid of walk-in and appointment support. To make an appointment, students are required to submit a remote laptop support call using this link , also provided under IT support on the Intranet, in order to make the necessary arrangements with the Help Desk support staff.

School technical support is positioned to help the students and staff with their use of technology in the classroom, but the school is not geared to manage a big repair centre. The decision was taken to outsource technical repairs via a Help Desk centre on campus. Outsourcing allows us to have the full weight of an industry respected support organisation prioritising any problems that we might have. In addition, outsourcing protects the Bishops/parent relationship. The overhead cost of the Help Desk (partly funded by the once-off support cost) is kept low by (a) the machine warranty and  (b) the economies of scale when supporting just a few recommended models. Because of this, we are able to demand an affordable solution and satisfactory turnaround on support from the company that operates the Help Desk.

The Help Desk assists with school software for all machines. The machines are initially configured by the prescribed supplier and thereafter can be supported on-site by the outsourced technicians. The only hardware that can be supported on site by the outsourced technicians is warrantied, Dell prescribed machines. Apple hardware support relies on the parent/guardian physically taking the machine to the Digicape repair centre.

The Help Desk is available to the students at break times and after school. During holidays Help Desk hours are advertised on the Bishops website. We encourage students to help each other and to use the self-help features on our HelpMeOnline portal on the Intranet. A student is able to talk to his tutor if he needs additional help and his tutor will liaise with the technical team to see how it is possible to best assist.

Students know that they are responsible for bringing a working laptop to school every day and that it is their responsibility to install the service patches and look after their machine responsibly.

Laptop service and support process at Bishops

All students are charged a once-off technology levy, billed in the first term of their Grade 8 year and their future laptop support is also covered by this. This levy covers:

  • configuration of machines (after initial set up by prescribed supplier)
  • deployment of software updates
  • software support on software required by the school for their school career
  • support for learning and teaching
  • on-line documentation and self-help portal
  • classroom audio visual and technical support
  • anti-virus support
  • network connectivity
  • printing connectivity
  • managed Internet access
  • managed Teams support
  • access to loan units, available as back-up machines for students whose machines are in for software repair, regardless of warranty
  • access to loan units, available as back-up machines for students whose machines are in for hardware repair and that are covered by warranty (hardware warranty or accident warranty). This is possible because of Dell’s next business day resolution warranty and Digicape's willingness to loan units for the duration of the repair. Please note that the outsourced Help Desk is unable to work on hardware (machines) that fall outside warranty conditions.
  • access to loan units, available as back-up machines for students whose machines are in for hardware repairs that fall outside of warranty once the parent has paid for the necessary spare part (labour is included in once off levy). Please note that situation can only arise if the accident warranty has been used or the machine did not have a warranty for the full 3 or 5 years
  • maintenance of 'set-up' configuration of machines so that turnaround time is efficient (uniformity of machines makes this possible)

Every machine is initially configured by the recommended supplier and thereafter is supported via the outsourced Help Desk. The machine is given to students and staff with their particular software, network, Cloud account and Internet access and printing preferences pre-installed (by the recommended supplier). It is important that we comply with software license regulations and that we ensure that every machine is adequately firewalled, configured for automatic software updates and is protected from viruses. Failing to do the above would jeopardise both the individual and other technology users and could compromise the academic programme and school.

Your choice of prescribed device does not exclude you from the once-off technology charge or the annual software license fee. It is important to note that it is only possible to offer seamless support to machines that are warrantied and covered by accident cover.

Loan Units and Back up

There is no reason for a student to be without a working laptop in class. The loan unit policy is dependent upon the type of machine that has been purchased.

The Help Desk has a number of loan units available which are pre-configured with the school software. These loan units are only available for students who own a recommended, warrantied machine purchased from the recommended supplier.

In the event that a parent needs to pay for a non-warranty repair/replacement, we ask that this is done as speedily as possible so that a loan laptop can be allocated.

All students are allocated Cloud space where they are trained and encouraged to save their work. Therefore, students are usually able to collect a loan machine and continue working immediately.

Students are encouraged to save/backup all their work regularly to their Cloud space. Anything that is saved on his local hard drive is vulnerable should a machine fail.

Loan units for warrantied prescribed Dell machines

The Help Desk has a number of loan units available which are pre-configured with the school software. Loan units are issued free of charge for the few days in which it takes to repair the machine. The stock of loan units is geared to Dell’s turnaround time of next-business-day. A student who has a recommended Dell will keep the loan unit until his machine is ready for collection.

Loan units for Digicape Apple machines with hardware issues

Broken Apple machines are not left at the on-site Help Desk. A student who has a recommended Apple brought through Digicape will be given a Dell loan immediately, to be used for a maximum of two days. His parents/guardian will take the faulty Mac to the Digicape repair centre. Should Digicape not repair the machine within the 48 hour period, Digicape will issue one of their loan units to the student until they finalise the repair.

The Digicape support solution runs parallel with the Bishops HelpMeOffline Dell loan laptop solution. Digicape's extended warranty includes a loan machine that can be collected from Digicape once you have informed them of the need. Digicape will arrange a loan unit, preconfigured with the school software, to be ready for collection when you take your damaged MacBook in for repairs. Please contact Digicape immediately by emailing them at There is no charge for this, provided the Bishops loan unit is returned within a period not exceeding two business days.

Please read the Digicape Support for more information.

Loan units for existing non-Digicape Apple machines bought into the school pre-2017

It is your responsibility to take your machine to your supplier for repair and to provide an alternate machine for you son to use in the interim. Digicape may be able to offer a rental service so that if you choose to take your machine to Digicape for repair, they could issue your son with a pre-configured loan unit.

Please read the Digicape Support for more information.

Help with Apple Machines purchased through Digicape pre-2022

Should a student experience Windows software difficulties with his Apple computer he is able to bring his computer to the Help Desk. They will assist with Windows software difficulties and will issue a Dell loan unit at no cost. Should there be a hardware fault it is your son's responsibility to ask his parents/guardian to notify Digicape and take the machine there for repair. To do this please email This automatically contacts Digicape support. Kindly include all contact details and serial number of the machine in that email. Please note that the onus is on the parent to deliver the faulty machine to Digicape. In special circumstances Digicape can arrange collection and delivery directly with the parent, outside the school. The Help Desk is unable to facilitate this on the parent's behalf due to the administrative overheads involved.

Should the faulty machine not be fixed within a three business day period, Digicape will provide their own pre-configured Windows loan unit for your son to use until his machine is repaired. He will be required to hand in the school loan laptop before he collects the Digicape loan.

Please refer to the Digicape Support for more information.

Help with existing Apple machines purchased overseas

International Apple Care warranties bought overseas are not upheld in South Africa. There is a premium on servicing Apple machines if not accompanied by legitimate paper work and this causes delays which are disruptive to the academic programme. Digicape is able to offer educational pricing and are fully positioned to support the students at Bishops. Only Apple machines purchased through Digicape are acceptable.