Microsoft Licensing: Subscription Enrollment for Schools

Microsoft have today launched a new licensing program specifically for education-Subscription Enrollment for Schools AKA SESP (for those wondering, the “P” stands for “Pilot”). This is response to comments made by Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) on Microsoft’s current licensing offerings; specifically the need to licence ALL machines even if the licences won’t be used on them all.

SESP Overview:

You can use SESP to licence a singel school, multiple schools or an entire school system and it includes all the usual benefits:

  • Assessment of software needs once per year
  • One annual payment for all software at academic prices
  • Access to the most current version of licensed software
  • Ability to downgrade to an earlier version of software
  • Broad product selection available in all languages
  • Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh platform
  • Options for student licensing at home
  • Automatic media fulfilment

The entry requirements are consistent with the current Schools Agreement program so:

50 Unit minimum entry point

Level A = 50 Units

LEvel B = 2500 PCs

SESP Benefits:

The 2 big new benefits here are:

  • User & Device based pricing
  • No Institution wide commitment required.

User/Device Pricing: This allows schools to choose the licensing model that is most beneficial to their set-up. The ability to licence by device can show a significant saving, for example:

If there are 50 machines in an IT suite that are used by 150 different people (different classes etc) then you can, under SESP, purchase just 50 Device CALS while previously the only option would have been 150 user CALs.

No Institution wide commitment required: Under a Schools Agreement, the customer must licence ALL eligible machines even if the software will be used on just a sub-set of those. For example,

You need Office on 150 of your 400 machines-you are required to buy 400 licences.

However with SESP, you can buy just the licences you need, so in the above example-150. This again will make Microsoft licensing more cost effective and easier to manage for schools and their administrators.

Licensing Options:

SESP brings with it a few new ways that schools can licence their Microsoft software:


Of course the big addition is the Non-Institution wide offering, allowing you to licence just specific Users or Devices, such as “The Science Dept.”, “Year 11” etc.


What is a Qualified Desktop PC? 

Qualified Desktop PC means any personal desktop computer, portable computer, workstation, or similar device that the institution uses for educational purposes that meets the minimum requirements for running any of the enterprise products.
What is an eligible user?

  1. Eligible users include all full- or part-time students enrolled at the institution.



  3. Eligible users include the full time equivalent (FTE) faculty and staff members categorized as ―employed more than 200 hours per annum.



Can I have a subscription for servers only?

Yes, if your order meets the server 300-unit minimum requirement.


The full Microsoft SESP page can be found here.

One thing to note is that SESP can only be sold via EdLARs (Educational Large Account Resellers).

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