Schools face big bill for software breach
Schools face big bill for software breach

The Education Department will have to pay thousands of dollars in compensation to a US software supplier after more than 200 public schools were found to be using unlicensed software.

And schools will have to foot some of the bill.

_The West Australian _revealed a year ago the department was auditing schools after an inquiry from a US software firm concerned that many schools used its programs Inspiration and Kidspiration without paying for the required number of licences. A site licence covering software use for a whole school usually starts at about $1300.

The department's deputy director-general for finance and administration, John Leaf, said the audit found 219 WA public schools had the software installed at the time in question.

"All schools involved are now licensed to use the current commercial versions of both Inspiration and Kidspiration on all school-owned computers," Mr Leaf said.

"The terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality clause which precludes disclosure of the amount and other terms and conditions.

"There is no evidence to suggest that any school installed the product without a licence deliberately and in most cases the issue was inadequate control of multiple installations."

WA Primary Principals Association president Stephen Breen said primary and secondary schools identified in the audit were getting letters from the department seeking part payment.

He warned principals they should continue checking they had documented licences for all software in use.

Any software that did not have a licence should be deleted.

Schools could face "expensive consequences" if they did not have the correct licences, or if they were using software that had not been bought.

"This is a timely reminder that school leaders all need to be vigilant with what happens on classroom computers," Mr Breen said.

Mr Leaf said the software audit would go to principals to make it easier for them to monitor software use and reconcile this with licences they held.

The department was looking at frequently used software to establish central agreements.

The West Australian

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