I believe so... why so ?Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
The figures you are using relates to a single school. In a traditional outsourcing model where for instance a local authority has 'outsourced' it's IT in the name of business transformation the figures will cover all IT staffing and services across all departments - with existing staff under the management of the IT service provider. To calculate correctly 'in-house' vs 'outsourced' costs in a bsf environment you'd need to calculate the costs of IT 'inhouse' across all schools, primaries, clc's etc.Originally Posted by Grommit
within the autohority. Plus you've got a centralised IT policy with authority wide SLA's and consistent standards which just don't exist at the moment.
With an ICT service provider offering many managed services the larger schools may have staff that are surplus to requirements - thus realising cash savings. In particular in the MIS and helpdesk staffing areas if schools have hired staff in the those areas. Also the need for a network manager on 30K+ a year salary is questionable when all infrastructure design, purchasing and strategic decisions can be carried out by the service providers senior technical leads. Obviously for da- to-day maintenance and troubleshooting you could have a good techician(s) on a lower salary scale liasing with the service providers staff and helpdesk when required. Most authorities have already offered a lot of managed services for a number of years to ease the burden on schools. Firewalls, web filtering, hosted email, E1 internet access, vpn's all stuff that the large authorities have provided - BSF ICT service providers are an extension of this managed solution - extending into other areas including hardware and software procurement and real-time monitoring, network design and 24/7 support basically whatever is negotiated in the SLA. I think it's going to be harder for some network managers to justify their large salaries with all these managed services - that tend to work smoothly if developed by a certified and experienced service provider (unisys are one example although not sure if they're bidding for bsf).
I think you need a stripped down in-house school ICT department - but they should be managed by the service provider - whether that be transferred over into the employment of the consortium or not. And do away with expensive school network managers all together. It's what corporations have been doing with very mixed success for several years.
I would agree with some of the facts you are quoting except there are no absolute facts to go off at the moment as BSF is quite a new experience for education so i will abstain from agreeing with you until then.
As for your attempt at putting your point over about overpaid NMs not being needed i think it does not hold water as most NMs do not earn above £20k it is also very unfriendly towards IT professionals i feel.
As you say a centralised external helpdesk from a managed service would appropriate the service better than an in house IT team, well ask the teacher who at 4.30pm realises that he/she needs (not requires) something for first thing in the morning finds that there is no flexibility built in to a managed system and it may take upwards of 2 - 4 day's to actually process her request (it has changed from needs to request via the managed services).
What if the above teacher doesn't realise until the next morning where will your managed service be then.
I ask you would it not be better for all if managed services and NMs worked together for the good of the schools, building in experience and flexibility or is this just another cost cutting exercise for education but which puts money into the coffers of large corporations and also into the pockets of others to which the taxpayer (NMs being some of them) have to fund.
We at this school have everything you have quoted and more about resources and how to access them and i feel most other schools have as well, I find your remarks quite derogatory to NMs as a whole and have no place amongst the IT profession which you obviously believe has no place in schools unless it is disguised as a managed service.
You sound like you are reading from a Partnership for Schools script.....
I would not necessarily disagree with you either, if it related to a Corporate Enterprise motivated by shareholder profit and business efficiency. I have worked for a Global outsourcing company, and I have seen a few really good examples of how outsourcing has worked, but rather more bad examples where it has failed. The irony is many Corporate outsourcing clients are bringing services back in-house, having realised outsourcing has failed.
Don't forget we are dealing with schools here; staff in school rely very heavily upon ICT support staff being available and able to react in a flexible way to issues as they arise; If technology in the classroom is not available, lessons suffer. The time cannot easily be made up, and offering sweeteners to HTs, like managed service cost refunds if service levels are not met is no good to kids who have missed lessons because there is insufficient local support available.
Today, many schools have ICT staff who are seen as being part of a team, they take ownership of the problems that affect other members of their team. Bear in mind that many ICT staff also support primary schools, run clubs, assist in lessons, and a whole range of other activities to support teaching and learning.
A managed service will destroy this relationship and sense of ownership/participation. The schools will be 'serviced' by technicians who no longer feel part of their school, so morale and goodwill will inevitably suffer. Schools will get the level of service they pay for, not what they deserve.
@torledo - rubbish. So rubbish I can't even be bothered to say anymore!
I totally agree with you and you put it so much better as i am just an NM with no idea of what a school needs that is why i have been asked by SLT if i will become the SLICT manager. I think this has something to do with the strategic leadership in ICT and would need special skills to appropriate (ohhh I wonder if I meet the criteria).
Funnily enough we've just got a new person take on the Strategic Leadership of ICT, it's the Director of Sport.
Not sure how that works but there we go, I grow more and more.....something of this place daily.
There's no such thing as 'just an NM' ...... we are a breed apart
FYI I am a Network Manager too, maybe the difference is I have had more years of practice with weasly words while working in industry?
I have worked in industry as well 26 years but not in IT. As you already know we are a breed apart we have to be .
Thanks for the kind words it is well appreciated.
To broc and bossman...
In another bsf thread I mentioned that i felt there was still a need for an ICT department of some sort within schools - to deal with the day-to-day and face to face on-site support.
I know across the country NM salaries differ but in some authorities outside of the south-east a large proportion of NM's are on 30K+ a year even though the schools they work in can take of advantage of a number of the managed services I mentioned.
I don't think it's wrong to be against how outsourcing IT in education has been implemented - but outsourcing has been happening for years in the large authorities - and the noises against have gradually quietened down. Becuase despite the odd tearing your hair out moment it has largely been a success in places like Rochdale and Birmingham. The large authorities have taken control of the procuring of leased lines, WAN access, web filtering, www hosting, firewallls - and this has and continues to extend.
Surely have these centrally hosted services not taken control away from schools ?
I support the BSF IT outsourcing plans with a huge caveat....that schools and providers understand the SLA's and that a A-grade supplier is used.
A supplier who take advantage of econmies of scale - for example if Sun won a contract for your authority hardware wise would that be a bad thing ? Sun Intel and Opteron servers in every air-conditioned, fully facilited server room, sun storage and sun management software (all of which is good) and i don't work for SUN btw - in other areas schools could benefit from standardisation of hardware and software used. Ofcourse this sounds like a one size fits all approach and does it limit choice and flexibility ? Maybe, but then it's up to the SP to make sure it all works and that they can respond to issues.
I don't see schools complaining about Select licensing agreements that allow them to take advantage of preferential licensing and pricing on Microsoft Products - even though this tends to have been negotiated, managed and administered by the local authority because they take advantages of economies of scale. Or other authority wide procurements that have given schools incredible value for money. Sometimes it's advantageous not to go your own way in certain areas and take advantage of what authorities and service providers can offer.
As I said there's plenty of examples where these projects have hindered progress so it's not all a bed of roses. I find it's important to be open minded to the benefits and have your eyes wide open as to the perils.
Apologies if i've appeared disloyal - but i think the changes are inevitable.
I am not anti-outsourcing in principle; it is the way that the decision has been arrived at I object to.
If schools had been invited to give their views about managed ICT services before the decision was made......
If schools had the true cost structure for the service in front of them before they were forced to sign up......
If ongoing funding was assured, for the duration of the service contract......
If support levels were guaranteed to meet or exceed current levels enjoyed by schools.......
If schools were guaranteed 'best value' for equipment procurement.....
I could go on, but I won't.
For years schools have had to put up with mediocre levels of service from their LAs (some would argue they still do). Schools who wanted to be at the sharp edge of technology invested their money in equipment, materials, and skilled staff to move forward at a pace that suited them, rather than be held back by their LAs. BSF managed services is seen to be an attempt to return to the old days, where schools are told what they will get. The only difference now is they are being told by organisations driven largely by the need to pay dividends to their shareholders.
The whole program is a sham. The Government doesn't have the money to pay for the years of neglect in our school buildings, so it has gone down the PFI route. Managed ICT is a 'sweetener' to attract bidders, that's all.
Show me the business case which demonstrates that schools will get a better, more affordable, sustainable ICT service as a result of BSF?
I wonder - if the powers that be decided on a 'standard' whitelist / blacklist for every school that took the flexibility away............
Sure, LA's could do better when it comes to customer service and really understanding the needs of schools.Originally Posted by broc
But in some areas it IS the authorities who are driving change and at the forefront of technology even though some initiatives have never been used to the level that was anticipated.
How could schools have video conferencing and future ip telephony applications with other schools and locations in the authority without the LA's ICT team investing in authority wide infrastrucutre and centrally hosted services ? using their internet connection ? (not ideal is it).
Sure schools could go to a third-party and work together to build those links but it would cost them and they'd really be at the mercy of the 3rd party. No difference there then
Could these schools who want to move at their own pace negotitate significant discounts in areas such as software licensing, leased line procurement (bonded adsl is fine for some schools but sometimes you need that deidcated upstream bandwidth) when dealing with suppliers in isolation ? Sure they can get good value - but the authorities can provide outstanding value (a lot of the time at NO charge to schools). And how much time have we already freed up for overworked NM's with them not even having to think about providing these services for their schools.
How about content delivery networks area wide - sure the schools could work togetethe to do it outside of the LA but again cost, planning, time involved should not be underestimated. Sure schools historically have been great in working in isolation but it is up to the LA's to develop these hosted and wide area communication services.
If as you suggest the LAs are doing such a fine job, why is it then that the Government through Partnership for Schools and BSF is so hell-bent upon abandoning all of this, handing control of schools to the LEP which has a majority stake in the hands of PLCs with shareholders?Originally Posted by torledo
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