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BSF Thread, BSF Meeting in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Our LEA has just started the process of BSF "consultation" for a roll out to the whole LEA by 2011. ...
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    mortstar's Avatar
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    BSF Meeting

    Our LEA has just started the process of BSF "consultation" for a roll out to the whole LEA by 2011.

    The guy who is the ICT Manager for the BSF team at the council is Frank Clune. At a recent (heated) meeting he introduced himself to all the NMs and DH in charge of ICT and said that he was Project Manager for ICT in BSF for the Lancashire pilot. Has anybody had experience with this man? Was this the Preston or Pendle BSF that he was involved in? How did BSF go in these areas? Are there any tales that could be useful for our 'consultation'?

    Frank is wanting to visit all NMs and Bursars in these Summer holidays and then is coming in again to speak with the entire SLT (which I have also been invited to). Any pertinent questions for these meetings that I should be asking?

    Obviously I have plenty of my own but wanted to garner some thoughts from the EduGeek community. I realise that BSF means obsolescence to my current role in school as a Network Manager, but preparing now to re-position myself in school as a "ICT Champion" or some-such like seems like the way to go.

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Good luck mate..

    He will most probally say that these points below are between you and the company selected to do the managed services...

    But you ask him what is the general SLA of the BSF

    The main questions I would raise in the hope of having the Heads back you up is

    1/ Who do the technicians work for

    2/ Who can instruct the technicians

    3/ If there is a job that is not part of the SLA like moving a printer would a PO have to be raised before the job can be done

    4/ If a child has damaged a PC thats needed for a lesson is this covered by the SLA or does a job for additional works have to be raised.

    5/ If a teacher wants a CD put onto the network does an additional order have to be raised.

    6/ What happens to my position will I be retrenched or TUPED as a Technician..

    Some people on this site look at the BSF in a cold clinical light and think that it will help the development of ICT for the Children and have no real concern of the affect it will have on ICT Managers and Senior IT support staff..... .. this is because they are in high curricular positions and are not affected by the BSF steamroller…

    But…. The bottom line is we Network Managers have to look to our future and under the BSF it isn't very good, in fact we are obsolete......

    Yes... Every Child Matters… but so do we, our life and our family's security.. if we can ‘t pay the mortgage, can’t support and feed our own kids because we are unemployed and over 35 and unemployable what then ?!?…..

    Do we sacrifice our careers like dumb martyrs and happily assist the BSF Consultants in taking our livelihood away?

    Yes all this Millions of Pounds being pumped into the schools ICT is fantastic.. but what good is it to us if we are on the dole?

    You hear of hundreds of IT Staff/Managers that are unemployable because they are in the upper 30's and beyond... plus all of our skills are in the Education Sector

    We have to put ourselves first.. and not walk ourselves out of a job...

    management.silicon.com...958,00.htm

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/bu...417325.stm

    psyche.uthct.edu/nes/w...s/120.html

    www.efa.org.uk/age/business.asp

    www.materialstoday.com...torial.pdf

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Hi

    First look out for report from this weeks meeting with rm some very helpful stuff in there.

    Advantage is that they are already talking to you so and your head can influence lot of ict side. Contrary to certain views tuping is not set in stone and lot of flexibility in what schools, lea can do.

    Can I ask what stage are you at as the report will say from the rm meeting getting involved at a very early stage is the key.


    Russell ... one of those going to be effected by bsf

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    Hi

    First look out for report from this weeks meeting with rm some very helpful stuff in there.

    Advantage is that they are already talking to you so and your head can influence lot of ict side. Contrary to certain views tuping is not set in stone and lot of flexibility in what schools, lea can do.

    Can I ask what stage are you at as the report will say from the rm meeting getting involved at a very early stage is the key.


    Russell ... one of those going to be effected by bsf
    Yep... we had two Network Managers at two Shools who were involved with the BSF from the start

    They helped and assisted the BSF Consultants, advised the Head and even developed the specifications and design for the New Network and helped setup tender documents for the ICT Managed services Contract..

    At the Start the Heads said that they wanted to keep their Network Managers and they had worked with them for years and they were an asset to the school..

    At the end the Heads let their Network Managers go because there was no place for them in the new BSF model... and the NM's did not want to become bog standard Technicians

    But all along the heads kept saying to the NM's.. don't worry you are too important to us for us to lose you.....

    but once the ICT went out of the Heads hands, they either had to make a new role onsite for the NM's without them having any involvement in ICT or let them go..

    Well they were let go.. (retrenched as there was no position for them)

    But the bottom line is the money offered by the BSF was too much to lose to keep the ICT In-House

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Ok

    I was going to actually put this all together in a nice little report but here are a few nuggets for the contracts that RM have won or are preferred bidders.

    Fact - When in one area they did not TUPE anyone ... people were left in-house ... completely, in a second they only TUPEd some people ... at those that got left were done at the request of the schools.

    Fact - Those that did get TUPEd across have a secure job for the lifetime of the contract ... if the contract is 5 years then it is 5 years ... if it is 10 years in the contracts then 10 years is what you get. And this is written into the contract before you get moved across.

    It seemed to me that RM get hacked off by Schools that allow the LA to dictate things because that is where the problems occur.

    There will be a lot more in the report ... I won't say that we didn't give RM a tough time on a number of things ... the visible wincing on a number of questions told us we were hitting some sore points.

    I am having a weekend with me wife and mt Wii so please be patient for the report.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    It seemed to me that RM get hacked off by Schools that allow the LA to dictate things because that is where the problems occur.
    Yes, I can see how RM get hacked off with schools who let their LEA dictate things that may conflict with the best interests of RM

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    RM really want the schools input but as people conducting the process are LEA they often get limited access to schools. As RM they want the schools that are doing unique stuff and being different. Common sense really as then it brings something new to RM.

    RM as they conduct bsf now is they start with clean sheet and there is no ideal solution they want. They want best solution for each school hence why part of bid money is assigned local so they can tailor each school.

    As said lot of this will come out in the report from Friday.

    But then some people due to history of rm will always have certain views about RM.

    Russ

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    I look forward to reading the report

    But some of us are naturally cynical about the whole process no matter what company we end up working for due to stories we read and how it's being implemented in other areas already.

    What's stopping them changing the rules once they've got their foot in the door?

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    I look forward to seeing the report - I'm assuming none of it was covered by NDA?

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Nope was open meeting that everybody on here was invited...

    As for changing halfway through well big hefty legal bill as tupe, the whole thing is covered by a contract.

    Also remember stories come from pathfinder projects which is way not way bsf contracts should work now.

    Russ

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    Nope was open meeting that everybody on here was invited...

    As for changing halfway through well big hefty legal bill as tupe, the whole thing is covered by a contract.

    Also remember stories come from pathfinder projects which is way not way bsf contracts should work now.

    Russ
    Some people are so naive and gullible....

    You expect a massive company like RM to be bothered by "Contracts" for every contract there is a way around the contract... that's what Lawyers do mate... find loopholes..

    (i have sacked people myself through loopholes.. find a weak spot in the contract and expose it... ..)

    How many times have you heard of people being laid off AFTER they had been promised secure jobs and such ?!?.. exactly.. hundreds of times..

    And as for BSF.. haven't some contract wins been sub contracted out to 3rd parties ?

    Also didn't the PFI/BSF allow a school to make a business case to keep ICT Support in house.. YET the BSF then closed that loophole ?

    I have stared the BSF Beast in the eyes.. and it turned my hair silver....


    Me... I'm looking for another career... as I can't be arsed with this bloody threat of either TUPING down or retrenchment hanging over my head anymore... it's too stressful....

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    @Grommit: Although some of your points are perfectly valid, I think it is unfair to tar all the contracts with the same brush.

    It is also important to remember that the winning bidder will only stick to the parameters set down by the LA in the first place too... some will do this to the letter and some will be more forgiving. This is why it is important to influence the decisions as early as possible.

    I think you would also have benefited from attending the RM meeting and putting your concerns to them directly (as a preferred bidder in several contacts). I know that you were invited to attend and I'm sure that it would have dispelled some of the myths and assumptions that you have made. You would have also had the opportunity to talk to somebody that has been TUPED and seems very happy a couple of years on.

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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    @Grommit: Although some of your points are perfectly valid, I think it is unfair to tar all the contracts with the same brush.

    It is also important to remember that the winning bidder will only stick to the parameters set down by the LA in the first place too... some will do this to the letter and some will be more forgiving. This is why it is important to influence the decisions as early as possible.

    I think you would also have benefited from attending the RM meeting and putting your concerns to them directly (as a preferred bidder in several contacts). I know that you were invited to attend and I'm sure that it would have dispelled some of the myths and assumptions that you have made. You would have also had the opportunity to talk to somebody that has been TUPED and seems very happy a couple of years on.
    I think some people are starting to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome

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    Re: BSF Meeting

    I have worked for some very large IT outsourcing companies (although not in the education sector).

    It is VERY rare in my personal opnion that when a firm decides to outsource its IT provision that it either saves money or gets a better service! The education sector is normally behind the private IT sector, so at the time the private sector is shying away from outsourcing why is education moving towards it?

    I am working in Education sector right now, as I am enjoying working directly with my employer and my own budget. If we want to apply a service pack, or change the topology to better suite a business need I can just do it.

    Under a managed service even adding service packs can turn into a huge argument about who will pay for testing, rollout etc! Never mind big issues like migrating from XP to Vista,upgrading Severs to new version of OS or changing application services such as email, SQL etc!

    For the technical staff migrated it could well be that they will feel more at home working in an IT organisation rather being bolted on to an a non IT organisation.

    I guess time will show whether BSF provides schools with better IT provision. My personal opinion is that in most cases it probably will not. I will probably look to move on from the education sector when the BSF process catches up with the school where I am working.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: BSF Meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    I think some people are starting to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome
    It is unfair to say that.

    I agree that working under a managed service will inevitably be stifling and the way that they are run reduces the chance to be innovative.

    My point was that you will not necessarily end up as a toner-changer or be sacked after 90 days. What is certain is that the LA who writes the tender documents will decide what they feel you should be doing and that is what the managed service will be contracted to provide.

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