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BSF Thread, BSF and special schools... in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; As Tony says, managed ICT services are not mandatory under BSF , but (there is always a but) P4S will ...
  1. #16

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    As Tony says, managed ICT services are not mandatory under BSF, but (there is always a but) P4S will expect to see rock solid evidence that the ICT provisions will be met before it will agree to release the ICT funding direct to a school or LA that is not proposing a managed service. This essentially means that a school wishing to 'go it alone' must be prepared to develop a very detailed business case that covers all aspects of their proposed ICT service under BSF. P4S will pick any such proposal to pieces given the chance as they expect the majority of schools to sign up to managed services. This business case may also have to be developed without the support of the LA, particularly where it is in conflict with what the LA is proposing.

    In my experience (involving Wave 1 and Wave 3 schools) very few schools have got the skills & resources (never mind the willpower) to pursue this so most will take the easy way out & go along with whatever the LA is proposing. We can expect some LAs to sell out to private companies completely while others will go for a partnership and try to retain some control.

    Personally I cannot see many schools or LAs winning the fight to maintain the status quo, however I do think schools can influence the outcome if they get involved. Whatever happens, I seriously doubt many of us will be in the direct employ of our schools post BSF.

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    A helpdesk system??

    Thats plainly a bad idea. When teachers kit does not work the last thing they want to do in the middle of a lesson is spend 10 minutes on hold, read out serial numbers, model numbers and then (I'm sure) be asked to do basic troubleshooting.

    What they do want is a direct line to a tech or IT manager who can be there in 2 minutes to normally fix the problem straight away.

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    I often wonder how it’s going affect IT tech in special schools. Half the stuff I am trained to do most other techs would never need to know let alone do.

    What if it’s the IT Techs jobs to be part of a switch clinic to provide computers access to disabled children? What about all the none standard equipment in special schools like Talkers, Intilkeyboards, pressure pads, switch’s e.c.t to access the computer. Stuff you don’t get in mainstream?

    You also have behaviour problems like children needing to see regular face’s. So no random techs coming in.

    I can see/hope a lot of heads keep the current IT techs but change our job title. Half the stuff we do wouldn’t be covered by a normal IT tech so our job roles shouldn’t need changing too much.

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    Its true, special school have a load of non standard kit that we normally pay through the nose for.

    As I said in a previous post its imperitive we keep this sort of setup because its designed to facilitate the students learning. It's ok for mainstream to have PC's and IWB's dotted around but in specials we probably have about 10-15 non standard bits of kit in each classroom for everyday use.

    If a managed service company has no experience with special needs hardware will they subcontract to a company who does?

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    What companies have experience with special needs? Not aware of any my self. It’s not just the hardware it’s the children. We have had children in the past who get violent when strangers walk in. Most if not all special schools will need a full time on site IT Tech and the same one each day. A, so the children get used to the tech, and B, so the tech can learn the children and what not to do around certain ones.

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    It is true that it would be preferable to have the same personnell on site all the time.

    I know loads of companies locally that have special needs experience, although I do admit that they normally treat us like another school. It's always up to me to remind them of our very specific needs for example when installing stuff. I.E additional Health and safety issues regarding our students that they might neglect in a comphrensive.

  7. #22

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    BSF schools will have full-time ICT technicians, I have no doubts about this. There will always be a need for someone to plug in cables, switch things on, clear printer wrecks, change toner. How many technicians a school has will depend upon how big/wealthy the school is.

    What is looking far more unlikely is the probability of schools having their 'own' dedicated onsite network manager. My guess is the day-to-day server/network management that gets done by the NM onsite will be carried out remotely. The consultancy and development work that NMs do today will probably become part of a chargeable service schools buy into, either by paying for time onsite, or possibly project related.

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    ....

  9. #24
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo
    But there must be a role for an IT Manager, who is going manage the vast amounts of kit onsite and lisase between the school and service provider?
    The new Tech drones that work for the massive company... servers Administered Remotely and a help desk system to manage the site..


    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo
    I have recieved assurances from my head that it is his intention to keep me on the school books and not have me TUPED. Weather or not that happens is another matter because i'm not sure the decision is his to make. I guess it depends on the terms of the service contract.
    Sorry mate.... But I have heard this before from our Schools that are going through the BSF...

    The ICT Manager freaks out at the BSF plan and losing his Network.... goes to the Head... the Head then assures him that he is important to the school and there is no way that they will be TUPED or Retrenched... and the BSF are nuts....

    The BSF rolls on and after a few months after the shock has worn off and the BSF ICT consultants are chatting nicely to the Head and the Head is as happy as Larry with his new ICT Consultants that are offering him lots of new ideas and kit...

    well I have seen 2 Network Managers promised that they would stay on as Network managers..... but after a few months they were then told that they need to accept what was happening be TUPED as a Technician or move on..

    When the School is being offered a million pounds of shiny brand new kit it's hard to back one person who no longer has a role to play..

    This is why we are all up in arms ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey
    What companies have experience with special needs? .
    RM. they build bullet proof Education Kit.. as well as SEN Kit

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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    ......

  11. #26
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    “RM. they build bullet proof Education Kit.. as well as SEN Kit”
    I don’t really agree with that not after using and seeing RM’s in a special needs school. The first problem is they are far too fragile.

    RM have got SEN software side of things right though. Its the hardware that lets them down.

  12. #27
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey
    “RM. they build bullet proof Education Kit.. as well as SEN Kit”
    I don’t really agree with that not after using and seeing RM’s in a special needs school. The first problem is they are far too fragile.

    RM have got SEN software side of things right though. Its the hardware that lets them down.
    The Toughened RM One is Bullet Proof...

  13. #28
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    Cannot seem to find the Toughened RM. Do you have a link? Might have to get some next year if it really is that tough.

  14. #29
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    The New RM One comes with a toughened Screen.. on our open Days I punch a screen a few times to show the parents the toughness of the PC..

  15. #30
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    Re: BSF and special schools...

    What about the power buttons?
    Its not the screen we have problems with its the power button and CD drives which always seem to break on RM’s. It only takes a small amount of force to break the power button clip, as there’s nothing behind it. We often get buttons pushed into the PC.

    None of our RM screens have been damaged yet. We don’t use the extra tough screens.

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