Microsoft 365 in Education – Built for Productivity, Security and Manageability

Educators face unique challenges accommodating the myriad of devices used by students and staff while also ensuring adequate protection from data loss, viruses and other malicious attacks. Microsoft 365 offers educational institutions a way to respond to these challenges while giving students and staff the tools they need to be more productive – without breaking their tight budgets.

Microsoft 365 is a unified IT solution, built to give educators the productivity power of Office 365 with the device management and security solutions of Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft 365 gives you the tools you need to keep up with the growing needs of students in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Microsoft 365 Education subscriptions come with Minecraft Education Edition plus Server and CAL benefits. There are two Microsoft 365 Education offerings, where you can add the security and device management features of Windows 10 Education and Enterprise Mobility + Security to the productivity and collaboration tools you enjoy as part of an Office 365 A3 or Office 365 A5 Subscription.

Over and above the technical challenges met by M365 Education, the plans also provide a range of benefits for the organisation, its staff and its students:

Unlock creativity in each student

  • Spark creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving with immersive and engaging apps.
  • Enhance independence for students of all abilities with intelligent tools.
  • Bring ideas to life in 3D and data visualization tools.

Promote teamwork

  • Collaborate and save educators time with a single hub for classes and teams.
  • Easily connect with others and co-author in real time.
  • Meet the needs of individual students with a universal toolkit to connect, share and communicate in class and out.

Provide a simple and safe experience

  • Manage users, data, and devices with a single dashboard.
  • Protect identity, apps, data, and devices with intelligent security enhanced by machine learning.
  • Manage data archiving, governance, and discovery.

There is also a fundamental change to counting staff.  FTEs are no longer counted/taken into consideration.  The number of hours a person works is no longer taken into consideration.  The new licensing measurement for the M365 plans are Education Qualified Users (EQUs).

An Education Qualified User is:

Education Qualified User means an employee or contractor (except Students) who accesses or uses an Education Platform Product for the benefit of the Institution

Education Platform Product = Office 365 Pro Plus/A3/A5 and/or Windows A3/A5 and/or EM&S E3/E5 or M365 A3/A5

Components of Office 365 A3/A5 or EM&S E3/E5 are not Education Platform Products (except Office 365 Pro Plus)

What is the definition of ‘Qualified Device’ in the agreement?

A ‘Qualified Device’ is defined as:

“Any device that is used by or for the benefit of the organisation or by or for the benefit of students enrolled in the organisation and is:

  • A personal desktop computer, portable computer, workstation or similar device capable of running Windows Pro locally (in a physical or virtual operating system environment)


  • A device used to access a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)”

What about customers with part-time or full-time employees who don’t use a computer every day and/or only use it for short tasks like sharing files or checking email; do they have to be covered as a full user now?

These users who do not qualify as Education Qualified Users (EQUs) may utilise a £0 SKU that provides access to Office 365 A1, which includes Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote), OneDrive storage, Yammer, and SharePoint sites, plus additional classroom tools. These users can also use Outlook Web Access to check email from any device with internet access:

Office 365 A1

  • Office Online
  • Exchange online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Skype for Business Online
  • Office 365 apps: Sways, Forms, Teams etc
  • Azure Active Directory Basic for Education
Important Note – the licence above does not allow for the user to utilise any on-premise software i.e. Office Professional Plus, to connect to a Windows Server

What products/services come with each M365 Plan?

Microsoft 365 A3

Office 365 A3

  • Office 365 A1 +
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Skype Meeting Broadcast
  • Advanced security Management

Window 10 Education A3


  • Intune/Intune for Education
  • Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1
  • Azure Information Protection Premium Plan 1
  • Advanced Threat Analytics

Minecraft: Education Edition

Microsoft 365 A5

Office 365 A5

  • Office 365 A3 +
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Threat Intelligence
  • Advanced Compliance
  • MyAnalytics
  • Power BI Pro
  • PSTN Conferencing
  • Cloud PBX

Windows 10 Education A5

  • Windows 10 Education A3 +
  • Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection


  • EMS E3 +
  • Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 2
  • Azure Information Protection Premium Plan 2
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security

Minecraft: Education Edition

When purchasing the M365 Plans under CSP you also get a number of Special Use Rights:


  • Window Server and Windows Server ADRMS CALs
  • Advanced Threat Analytics CML
  • System Center Configuration Manager CML
  • System Center Endpoint Protection SL

Office 365 A3/A5

Standard and Enterprise CALs for

  • Exchange Server
  • SharePoint server
  • Skype for Business Server

Microsoft 365 Education A3/A5

  • Rights as individual suites
  • No rights to install productivity server products
  • No rights to install Office Professional Plus instead of Office 365 ProPlus, or any downgrade rights
  • No rights to downgrade Windows 10

So, what is CSP?

CSP is a simple licence model that allows customers to transact and deploy without upfront commitment and be able to scale up and down flexibly based on needs. CSP is ideal for customers who are looking to use a partner to help with buying, managing, and supporting their cloud needs. CSP is best suited for customers who:

  • Want to outsource the procurement, provisioning, and management of Cloud services to a trusted partner who can oversee their solution from end-to-end
  • Don’t have complex hybrid needs and can treat their software and services purchases as independent events without the need for complicated transitions

Cloud licences can be purchased under CSP even where customer has existing EES or OVS-ES agreement and wishes to keep its cloud purchases separate/managed by a partner.

To participate in CSP, a customer needs to sign up to the Phoenix Solutions Platform.

The Phoenix Solutions Platform (PSP) is our online marketplace, bringing you all our key vendor offerings available as Software-as-a-Service, cloud-subscription or on-premise solutions.

Initially building out from our participation in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme, the Phoenix Solutions Platform enables us easily to manage, support and bill for Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft EMS subscriptions. As a result, we will provide you with a more personalised Microsoft Cloud offering, tightly coupled with our own cloud and professional services and as a result simplify cloud adoption, management and governance.

Ready to Learn more?

To learn more about how Phoenix can help you with the Microsoft 365 Education offerings please contact a member of our Education Team on 01904 562200, email [email protected] or complete the form below:

Although every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above article, Phoenix Software Ltd cannot be held responsible for any opinions or information provided therein and as such is not liable for any damages caused by a customer’s reliance upon this information.