The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has advised schools to deal only with established IT suppliers and shun leasing deals that seem too good to be true.
The mis-selling of leased IT equipment has hit the headlines this week after a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation into the practice aired at the weekend.
The investigation found UK schools are being charged up to 10 times too much for laptops and other IT equipment through mis-sold lease agreements.
In one extreme case, Glemsford Primary School in Suffolk unwittingly signed up to a lease agreement and now owes £500,000 after its supplier, Direct Technology Solutions Ltd, went into administration.
Trade body BESA has more than 300 members, including ICT hardware suppliers such as RM, Steljes and HP.
BESA director general Dominic Savage said the mis-selling of leased IT is probably a "relatively small problem", but still urged schools to be vigilant.
"Our main message is if someone comes along with an offer that seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true," he told ChannelWeb.
"Schools ought to be dealing with someone they either know or who is a well-known name, particularly if they are a BESA member as we have a code of practice. If not, they should get advice if it is not a straight purchase, for instance from a local solicitor."
In the case of the school in Glemsford, the leasing agreement it unwittingly signed valued the laptops at £3,000 each. "This falls into the category of not being credible," Savage said. "It is appalling that Glemsford Primary School is faced with this but there has to be an onus on schools to be reasonable in the approach they are taking."
Colin Capewell, group sales director at educational supplier Stone Group, joined BESA in urging schools to shun suppliers that have not built up a list of references.
"There are some extremely good suppliers in the education sector that have been around for a long time and are here to stay, such as RM, Ergo, us and Viglen," he said.
Capewell said Stone wrote three times more leasing business last year than in 2010.
"We set up Stone Financial Services in 2009 as we were uncomfortable that our customers were being guided by financial institutions that were only thinking about themselves," he said. "We wanted to provide a duty of care to customers and ensure they know what they are signing up to when they take out a leasing agreement."
The BBC report hinted that the practice was not confined to just one rogue supplier and Savage also had his doubts.
"We do not know how widespread it is," he said. "Some schools may have been caught out at a level that makes them uncomfortable but not to Glemsford's level, and I suspect they would keep quiet about that."
Martin Tucker, a partner of the Leasing Advisory Service, agreed that just a few bad apples are giving reputable leasing providers a bad name.
"Leasing is the way forward for schools. Unfortunately it is always the minority who try and spoil it for the majority, and hopefully by these issues being aired, the majority of good suppliers can continue to provide an invaluable service."
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