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Blue Skies Thread, How long is a piece of string? or an ICT tech Job in General; How many hours a week should an ICT technician job be ? I few years ago I took on helping ...
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    Triumph's Avatar
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    Post How long is a piece of string? or an ICT tech Job

    How many hours a week should an ICT technician job be ? I few years ago I took on helping local primary with their IT for a few hours a week. From a very simple RM network 20 pcs 8 user accounts and 7 teachers laptops whiteboards and projectors, we now have windows 2008 server, ranger, meru wireless network, 32 wireless netbooks, 15 teachers laptops 10 pcs 10 whiteboards and projectors and 150+ user accounts. I am given 4 hours per week to look after this and feel like I am constantly firefighting. Primary school is 200 pupil size. Can anyone with similar responsibilities advise on what hours I should be working? All ICT Technician jobs I have looked at range between 15 hours term time to 37 hours full time. Previously I did IT support in business IT Departments(Novell Sun Windows) before becoming a mum and needing work in school hours!

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    witch's Avatar
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    One of my jobs is reasonably similar - 3 form entry junior school - 4 year groups in the school - currently 2003 soon to be 2008R2 server, ruckus network, 40 pcs 46 netbooks, 15 teacher laptops, 15 whiteboards etc. I do the newsletter and keep the website up to date
    So maybe yours is a bit smaller but not much. I do 15 hours a week (3 hours a day) and generally it is fine - sometimes I am run off my feet and sometimes I have time spare.
    I think that you would need at least 2 hours a day (as I used to do in a former, smaller school) to keep the school up to scratch, or maybe one day a week with the proviso that any extra work such as commissioning new machines etc would need extra time to do it

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    Triumph (11th February 2012)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Do they have any other support? That is a very typical size and setup for many primary schools, one of my infants is roughly twice the size but make do with 4 hours every 2 weeks; and it's unlikely I use all of that, because everything just ticks over nicely. If you're always firefighting, do they need to organise extra time with you or do they need to get a 3rd party in? Must be worth sitting down for a chat with them to explain your position; you're more than capable of doing the job but in the allocated time? Do you have other responsibilities within the school at other hours?

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    Triumph (11th February 2012)

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    As others have said, if you are firefighting there may be things you need to do to catch up and re-organise.
    Some of it might be tech solutions such as automating some processes which use need checking up on but some of it might be the support processes ... how calls are logged, what self-support options staff might need (i.e. train them how to change toners properly, change passwords, etc) ... all the way through to whether Ranger is the best option and if investing in something else might work out better.

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    No they don't have any other support contracts, I'd love to get to the point where things 'tick over nicely' but my 4 hours get sucked up by staff downloading viruses on their laptops, or squishing memory sticks with all their lesson plans on and no backup, pupils profiles getting corrupted etc etc I don't have any other work in the school but do organise extra hours when they want to get something sorted that I can't get done otherwise. Problem is I'm not always going to be available to do this ad-hoc work when they want me. I have to fill my time with some regularly paid work, so if I get another part-time job i need to make sure they are getting a reasonable amount of Technician time for their setup before I start looking.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Sounds like something that could be sorted out with a week in half term after a sit-down with the powers that be.

    A good week going through things that can stop such infections, calling in laptops and getting them updated, setting GPO's to help against this, writing up documentation etc on backups or where best to store important files, and making that data easily accessible. As Grumbledook said, if the system you have in place isn't doing it's job then it'll either need fixing or replacing, naturally a larger job which will need discussing again with the powers that be.
    Either way, you *need* to have that chat with someone and get some serious planning in. In fact, do a fair bit of planning before the chat and put those ideas and plans to them. It could save them money and time in the long run and make the systems tick over better. You need to aim to get into the school for your 4 hours a week to help move the school's ICT forward, help them improve and add instead of firefighting.
    Go in with a pro-active mind and there should be no reason why between you a solution can be reached. It won't reflect on you badly if you ask for help or time.

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    SneakyBeaky's Avatar
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    My job is similar to yours. Junior school with 230 pupils. Wireless network with 16 pupil laptops. ICT suite with 18 desktops. 8 classrooms with teacher desktops and whiteboards. Hall whiteboard and projector. 14 staff laptops, three admin computers.Microlibrarian. I have 4 hours per week for forty weeks per year (e.g. Term time) Any extra hours I am paid per hour, e.g. Holidays when I update the server, add new intake etc. Seems par for a small school.

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    Mine is a bit weird were all age, but I'd still call us a Primary School.

    However as we're special our budget per student is much larger. We have around 140 on roll, but with a budget of two medium sized primaries. I work full time, my techie works term time only and spends 20% of his time helping in the office. At the moment we're coping just fine, and if I'm honest I could drop my techie down to 50/50 and do a bit more hands on work. However we are planning on moving to a site double the size, so the team is in place for a dramatic up in the work.

    140 kids, 70 staff (20 teaching, rest support/TA), around about 100 devices at present which will at least double within the next year.

    When I was in mainstream secondary we had a team of three, although honestly we could have got by with two - 800 kids, 90 staff, ~500 devices - but importantly much newer. Where I am now 8 year old projectors and 10 year old IWBs take up a lot of time to keep running.

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    I'd also say staff IT skills plays a large part. Last place Computing Spec. Status, where I am now they haven't had IT changes in years. That also takes up a large chunk of my time.

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    Its the planning part that never seems to get any time! Your right I need to put together a plan of what really needs doing and get a good vision of how it can work. I need to make a distinction between the basic system maintenance, fault fixing and commissioning new equipment - for some time now the basics are not getting done. I have to stop seeing the school as a penniless institution I'm helping out and see it as a small business that needs professional direction. Thanks for all your advice.

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    Junior school here (7-11), 360 pupils 12 classes.
    Around 80 laptops/desktops, projectors/boards in each room, wireless network, 2 servers. Designed and maintain the website. Don't manage the IT budget but choose what to buy when we have funds

    I'm employed for 20 hours a week over 4 days, term time only, my official title is an ICT TA, I'm based in the ICT suite and support each lesson as required, with a couple of hours a week officially dedicated to maintenance. As others have said once you get the basics set up how you want it less time is needed to maintain the system. I usually have something on the go whilst a class is in, either setting up a new laptop or updating the website.

    It seems to work well, except when I'm introduced as an ICT TA I feel as though people might think I'm just a bit good at word or messing around on my home computer, rather than having Technician qualifications and being allowed to refer to myself as the Technician!

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    I can see that if everything is running smoothly then you could manage on a few hours a week but I always have a machine to build, a machine to re image and someone always has a problem with their projector or whiteboard or something. Maybe if I wasnt there they would just cope
    I find that when things are running well, 15 hours a week is too much and I do some research or fiddling. BUT when there is a lot on I dont have enough time to get everything done

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    I think it also depends on what your responsibilities are in the four hours. I am asked to spec and get quotes for and buy and install new kit, somethings I really don't know about like audio for the school hall, i had to measure up the hall and start phoning around to get advice. I've been asked to get digital display screen for the front office, after loads of research they decided they were too expensive and I found a 20" photo display screen for them instead! I think the job has 4 functions, 1 basic systems admin-keeping everything ticking over, 2 fault calls - things that used to work but now don't, 3 move and changes - current hardware/software/data moving around, and 4 procurement - research specing quotes buying installing new stuff. I have just realised do all of this in my 4 hours, not all of it is on my job desc! and needless to say lots of things get missed, thus I feel like I'm just fire fighting.

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    We have very similar set ups, Primary school of around 340 students, around 20 PC's, 20 student laptops, 30+ staff laptops, 15 smartboards plus printers, ipads etc. Website to design, develop and manage and new buildings that need sorting out . I order new hardware and software too even though we have an IT coordinator who used to do it but is busy with his teaching work. So not that different and I work 31 hours a week, here everyday and always have something to keep me busy or improve on. The head doesn't have a problem with me fixing home laptops in work hours so if its quiet I always have that as an option too since I don't mind doing it as a favour. The staff are generally very technophobic so really enjoy having support around all the time which is the main reason I don't run out of things to do. The previous technician worked 5 hours every 2 weeks which is ridiculous and the staff didnt know him well enough to ask for help without feeling like they wouldnt be judged for not already knowing.

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    erm. 2 form entry, 460 children, 150 laptops/pc's 15 IWB's, 4 servers, website etc etc
    I do everything IT related and many jobs non IT related...
    Im full time all year round (ie not term time only)
    Last edited by jamin100; 22nd March 2012 at 12:25 PM.

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