It may well be possible to buy the device cheaper elsewhere. But – if your school is asking you to make a regular contribution over a period of time then you need to make sure that you are comparing like with like. In addition to the basic cost of the computer you should add in the warranty, insurance, carrying case and technical support.
It will be loaded with all the educational software your child needs and will allow your child to access the school’s online resource centre or learning platform too. All of these additional matters will be included in the cost to you.
Because they are often buying in larger numbers you may well find that the package is cheaper and better than you would be able to find yourself. In some cases, the school will also provide facilities for families to come and brush up on their computing skills or even gain recognised qualifications.