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BSF Thread, Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; My way of ICT in schools would be... Each LEA employ uber Education Consultants that liase with the School Network ...
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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    My way of ICT in schools would be...

    Each LEA employ uber Education Consultants that liase with the School Network Managers giving them advice, encouragement and assistance if needed..

    These Uber Consultants will also make sure the schools are kept up to Government specs...

    Yet the ICT remains in house and under the control of the Head and the ICT Manager, but monitored by the uber LEA consultants who will also audit the ICT manager to see what training they need to run the School Network... so we have In house ICT and Investors in People...

    Not just a big massive cold company

    So

    I believe that we are approaching this from the wrong angle is we go only to the Managed Service Companies.....

    RM will try to pacify you because they don't want Edugeek / Network Managers trying to disrupting their BSF ICT steamroller..

    so they feed you what you want to hear and you feel pacified.. (ahhh they presented their happy RM technician... ahhh sweet he's happy and life is beautiful...) well they ain't going to show you the ones that are pissed off are they ??

    The Angle could be.....

    I think that someone should contact simon.caulkin@observer.co.uk who did this story on the massive costs of outsourcing...

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/busin...ticle_continue

    And you can use the massive costs that is involved in the BSF managed services model.... against the In House option ....it is a massive waste of money a humongous waste of money like the NHS..

    maybe this is the angle you could take with him ...

    http://www.edugeek.net/index.php?nam...ewtopic&t=8528

    You also said that the only way is getting the Government to step in..

    well the government is concerned and if newspapers start speaking about the massive cost wastage in the ICT part.. then maybe people will start to take notice.. and give the schools more options..

    Like this Article on how the BSF is mucking up..

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/scho...991243,00.html

    Or this Damning report.. by the Commons Education Committee

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ed...935505.stm

    where the Commons Education Committee says there are risks ... and the schools are paying for ICT services they are tied into and cannot get out of...


    Maybe going to the Press and speaking to simon.caulkin@observer.co.uk might open other avenues.... instead of trusting a big corporation

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    Yet the ICT remains in house and under the control of the Head and the ICT Manager, but monitored by the uber LEA consultants who will also audit the ICT manager to see what training they need to run the School Network... so we have In house ICT and Investors in People...
    This can already happen if the LA make an in-house bid (I know pfs don't like this but it can happen - eg newcastle)
    and what if the NM and head decide to ignore the uberconsultants, what if the uberconsultants are simply employed by means of nepotism and are muppets (it happens, esp in county!). And what controls that schools are using appropriate standards (defined in Bectas technical specification)? the accountability issue needs to be solved first - and I'm sure HT unions would oppose anything that made them more accountable!

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    That "Uber Mensch"... err "Uber Consultant" sounds a sensible idea.

    We have a LEA employed ICT "Super Teacher", and DT "Super Teacher".. actually I'm not sure what they're called. But they are a teacher, or rather not currently employed to teach, but has been a teacher. Who goes around the LEA and advises/helps the teachers in "new" ways.

    Dunno how popular she is.... telling teachers what to do ?

    To do the same thing, or similar would be good, it also makes sense for this person to arrange for LEA technicians / managers meetings so that they can "share".

    Maybe staff in LEAs that are due for BSF, should start getting together to discuss thing now. I have been tempted to contact the Pathfinder school that is local to me, and there is also an LEA quite close that is going through BSF now(ish).

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    Quote Originally Posted by User3204
    That "Uber Mensch"... err "Uber Consultant" sounds a sensible idea.

    We have a LEA employed ICT "Super Teacher", and DT "Super Teacher".. actually I'm not sure what they're called. But they are a teacher, or rather not currently employed to teach, but has been a teacher. Who goes around the LEA and advises/helps the teachers in "new" ways.

    Dunno how popular she is.... telling teachers what to do ?

    To do the same thing, or similar would be good, it also makes sense for this person to arrange for LEA technicians / managers meetings so that they can "share".

    Maybe staff in LEAs that are due for BSF, should start getting together to discuss thing now. I have been tempted to contact the Pathfinder school that is local to me, and there is also an LEA quite close that is going through BSF now(ish).
    We used to have multi school ICT Managers meetings... and when the BSF came up we were told adapt or move on..... as our positions would become redundant under the BSF rules..

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    This can already happen if the LA make an in-house bid (I know pfs don't like this but it can happen - eg newcastle)
    and what if the NM and head decide to ignore the uberconsultants, what if the uberconsultants are simply employed by means of nepotism and are muppets (it happens, esp in county!). And what controls that schools are using appropriate standards (defined in Bectas technical specification)? the accountability issue needs to be solved first - and I'm sure HT unions would oppose anything that made them more accountable!
    I am not talking about the Newcastle In-House bid as that is basically RM under a different name.. all the staff were TUPED to Newcastle.....

    What I am suggesting is that each school keep it's own structure..

    I suggest that there be a BSF template that the ICT must conform to and all the schools in the LA agree to this set of standards..

    But the bottom line is that the Schools run themselves and buy thier own equiptment..this will save millions on the BSF model

    Take for instance the Computers for Pupils Scheme...

    We were forced to buy from the LA "chosen" Company who where more expensive then my supplier.. I raised that we could by 10 more laptops of the same specs from my supplier at the same price from the chosen one .. I was told you have to buy from the chosen one....

    this is gross misapproation of Public funds and the chosen one must have been laughing all the way to the bank...

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    @Grommit, I agree that this could be a positive way forward, but somehow suspect that there are a significant number of schools that wouldn't be up to taking that level of responsibility, the management in schools simply isn't good enough -we are rated by ofsted as having 'outstanding' management - yet IMO they'd have trouble organising a filetransfer at a lanparty, and I don't think my LA support team is much better.
    I suggest that there be a BSF template that the ICT must conform to and all the schools in the LA agree to this set of standards..
    they already exist and are published by becta/pfs - so wouldn't be that hard !

    It's all about passing responsibility - with BSF the government is paying extra so that the local councils/schools have someone to blame if it all goes bad . It's the same in local government, they don't have the staff with the calibre to make responsible decisions so they 'pay' a company to do it. eventually these things get taken back in-house when the infrastructure is in place. The best we can hope for is that some of the early wave schools will start taking things back in house at the end of their contract and govt/LA's will learn from those mistakes and make managed ICT a non-essential part of BSF.

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    @Grommit

    Like idea yes I know it is shock I agree with you but problem is the time when we could of made that argument has gone edugeek didn't exist back then.
    Also this is like lea educational advisers model but they are being laid off ten to dozen.

    Also would like to know in this model what happens when a head decides to ignore advice of lea consultant and creates a bad under developed network.

    Better question to ask is when bsf was thought was there any ict support staff consultation.


    As for computer for pupil scheme I have to say I don't agree with it as such it is good idea but doesn't solve issue of digital divide due to students having lack of net access at home due to parents choosing that student can't access the internet.

    Russell

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    Problem is - the same conversations seem to keep being had about BSF, but nothing much changes.

    LEA "uber consultants" tend to be ex. teachers, and, generally speaking (there are exceptions), as such, have absolutely no clue about running school ICT provision. Worse, the majority of them have the attitude that they know everything, and if you don't do it their way, you're making a huge mistake. If they were good, experienced, ICT/Network Managers, who listened to other people, then maybe we'd have a cat's hope in hell.

    As for the bad management of the school leading to bad ICT - shouldn't this be handled just like any simular problem? We have OFSTED etc., if a school's failing in providing something for it's students, then it's pulled up on it. If it's really bad, it would be put under special measures, with the management taken up by an external team.

    BSF is floored for the simple reason that it's trying to take a one-size-fits-all approach, and that's just not how the world works. School's should be audited on ICT in a similar way to OFTED. Yes, if a school has cr*p ICT, if student's education is suffering for it, then it should be brought under the control of LEA/PFI, etc. Then the ICT provision gets better, and that's a good thing. If a school already has great ICT, brilliant facilities, network, staff, why decide to basically scrap those staff, scrap those systems, and stick in a vanilla setup that actually degrades the ICT services the students are getting? Why should good schools, our students, loose out simply because of other bad schools?

    There wasn't any ICT Support consultation when BSF was thought of, because they knew what would be said, because they're just taking the easy route, and not actually thinking about real life. It's quite noticeable when my Head (whose very into ICT, & has a good grasp of it's educational use), talks to other Heads, who don't really care about the ICT the school has, but just wants some bog standard system in that does just what is needed & they don't have to think about advancing it to improve their students education. My Head hates BSF, the one's who don't care about ICT, love it.

    It's just a cop-out, same as the anti-Grammar school campaign. Let's not try to cater for the diversity of our youth, our country, and our future, let's just lump everyone in the middle ground, we'll drag up the few stragglers, and drag down the successful to our level, so the not so good one's feel better. It's an epidemic - look at politics in general... practically everyone is just moving to the centre ground.

    Sorry, rant over...!

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    Re: Another Idea on how to Challange the BSF ICT Policy

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    Quote Originally Posted by User3204
    That "Uber Mensch"... err "Uber Consultant" sounds a sensible idea.

    We have a LEA employed ICT "Super Teacher", and DT "Super Teacher".. actually I'm not sure what they're called. But they are a teacher, or rather not currently employed to teach, but has been a teacher. Who goes around the LEA and advises/helps the teachers in "new" ways.

    Dunno how popular she is.... telling teachers what to do ?

    To do the same thing, or similar would be good, it also makes sense for this person to arrange for LEA technicians / managers meetings so that they can "share".

    Maybe staff in LEAs that are due for BSF, should start getting together to discuss thing now. I have been tempted to contact the Pathfinder school that is local to me, and there is also an LEA quite close that is going through BSF now(ish).
    We used to have multi school ICT Managers meetings... and when the BSF came up we were told adapt or move on..... as our positions would become redundant under the BSF rules..

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    This can already happen if the LA make an in-house bid (I know pfs don't like this but it can happen - eg newcastle)
    and what if the NM and head decide to ignore the uberconsultants, what if the uberconsultants are simply employed by means of nepotism and are muppets (it happens, esp in county!). And what controls that schools are using appropriate standards (defined in Bectas technical specification)? the accountability issue needs to be solved first - and I'm sure HT unions would oppose anything that made them more accountable!
    I am not talking about the Newcastle In-House bid as that is basically RM under a different name.. all the staff were TUPED to Newcastle.....

    What I am suggesting is that each school keep it's own structure..

    I suggest that there be a BSF template that the ICT must conform to and all the schools in the LA agree to this set of standards..

    But the bottom line is that the Schools run themselves and buy thier own equiptment..this will save millions on the BSF model

    Take for instance the Computers for Pupils Scheme...

    We were forced to buy from the LA "chosen" Company who where more expensive then my supplier.. I raised that we could by 10 more laptops of the same specs from my supplier at the same price from the chosen one .. I was told you have to buy from the chosen one....

    this is gross misapproation of Public funds and the chosen one must have been laughing all the way to the bank...
    You obviously enjoy your job, do a valuable job for your school and are highly regarded..and there's nothing wrong with you working hard to safeguard your position and prevent any chance of you being shafted by the bsf ict policy - or your job duties and reponsibilities form being curtailed.

    But you haven't convinced me that you need anything other than a basic ICT department in schools - and that jobs like yours can and should remain under bsf at anything other than significantly reduced pay. It's up to the LEA to ensure they get a nailed down agreement from the service provider so that there is no disruption and the standards of ICT support in school doesn't deteriorate. Most schools aren't a 24/7 operation - barely even a 9-5 operation as far as ICT is concerned. So the service provider shouldn't have problems in providing sufficient response for ICT issues.

    There are companies out there who get great value for money, have specialisms in all the main areas - microsoft, cisco etc. and have experienced and savvy techs and managers. Is RM one of those ? Or redstone ? I don't know. I know Fujistu-siemens are and so are unisys - but are they bidding ?. So long as the right comapnies are involved it should work well having this centralized approach.

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