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BSF Thread, Kent BSF Wave 3: 11 schools and Northgate in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; You'll also have to log support calls through their Assyst system, and they might pair up with RM like they ...
  1. #16
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    You'll also have to log support calls through their Assyst system, and they might pair up with RM like they did with the C2K Project.

  2. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsf-it-man View Post
    Having been involed in several of the Bristol BSF schools I can tell you a little bit about what to expect. For each school you will reciece new servers and networking (wored and wireless) along with some laptops and a large number of desktops. Northgate run a managed service so that will mean that you no longer have complete control over your IT infrastructure, hardware and software. For most schools it is a massive change with the focus being educational delivery using as much as IT has to offer. Interactive white boards, projecters, cashless catering, electronic registration along with a managed portal (MLE, Managed Learning Environment) offer many new ways to get educational content to the students and offer teachers better personal control over the content. As much as this is a new setup for Northagte it will be just as new for the teachers and students alike. There have been some teething problems but they have been ironed out for the most part, so by the time deployment happens for you things should be a lot more robust. However, these new tools can only be as good as the person using them so it will take time for the full benefit to be seen. All it all the general feeling I get from the teaching staff is that it has had a positive effect for all.
    This is one of the most patronising comments I have ever come across with regard to BSF. It shows a total disregard for the many highly skilled (and qualified) IT professionals that already support ICT in schools across the whole of the UK and clearly demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what many schools have already achieved, often with far less resource and funding than is on offer under BSF.

    At the moment, I work for my school; I am part of the school community, I belong to an integrated team of staff that deliver the environment and resources that help our students learn. In the future, as part of a Managed Service, I will not be part of the school team; I will not be motivated by helping students learn, I will be driven by the need to generate profit for the Managed Service Shareholders. Where is the positive benefit to the school in that?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsf-it-man View Post
    Having been involed in several of the Bristol BSF schools I can tell you a little bit about what to expect. For each school you will reciece new servers and networking (wored and wireless) along with some laptops and a large number of desktops. Northgate run a managed service so that will mean that you no longer have complete control over your IT infrastructure, hardware and software. For most schools it is a massive change with the focus being educational delivery using as much as IT has to offer. Interactive white boards, projecters, cashless catering, electronic registration along with a managed portal (MLE, Managed Learning Environment) offer many new ways to get educational content to the students and offer teachers better personal control over the content. As much as this is a new setup for Northagte it will be just as new for the teachers and students alike. There have been some teething problems but they have been ironed out for the most part, so by the time deployment happens for you things should be a lot more robust. However, these new tools can only be as good as the person using them so it will take time for the full benefit to be seen. All it all the general feeling I get from the teaching staff is that it has had a positive effect for all.
    Quote Originally Posted by bsf-it-man View Post
    For most schools it is a massive change with the focus being educational delivery using as much as IT has to offer. .
    This already happens... the Teachers Teach, the SLT Leads and the ICT Dpepartment focuses on educational delivery using as much as IT has to offer

    We have Cashless Catering, Wired and Wireless Network, a Robust Network, A VLE (MLE) is being installed in July, 650 Desktops, 150 Laptops, 85Proemethean Whiteboards, Remote Access for Staff, 9 Servers (some old some new), Every part of the school has IT Infrastructure, CCTV, Access Control, IP Telephony

    Does this all get handed over or does it get pulled out as most of the Pc's are 2.5 years old.. and some servers are 4 years old..

    Quote Originally Posted by bsf-it-man View Post
    Interactive white boards, projecters, cashless catering, electronic registration along with a managed portal (MLE, Managed Learning Environment) offer many new ways to get educational content to the students and offer teachers better personal control over the content. .
    We already have all this and much more.. and as for the MLE/VLE

    ("offer many new ways to get educational content to the students and offer teachers better personal control over the content")

    Well if the Teachers don't load and control the content then who else will ?!? and trust me.. the Teachers are already moaning about the extra IT burden put on them with the MLE/VLE

    When a teacher buys new software that they think will help the T&L we can have it installed and deployed within a couple of days..free..

    Does this happen in Bristol?

    When a Teacher moves offices we move the PC and Printer that day.. FREE

    Does this happen in Bristol?


    What happend to the Network Managers in the Bristol BSF ?
    Last edited by Grommit; 24th February 2008 at 04:23 PM.

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    From a parental perspective BSF/PfS ultimately means removing the very real life career choices that students may consider because of their contact with, or knowledge of what their in house ICT service means & offers.

    I can't seriously believe anyone considering remotely outsourcing any 'how tos' or hand's on facilities from the future workforce and current workforce can think it will be a benefit.

    LEAs and Schools should be recieving the support they need to help them maintain what they have, to build on it and be proud of their provision rather than being asked to look elsewhere for answers they may later have no control over.
    Last edited by Ruthierhyme; 24th February 2008 at 06:52 PM.

  5. Thanks to Ruthierhyme from:

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  6. #20

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    As we seem to be discussing the ethos of working for a particular school and mucking in together, I'd like to mention something which happened a few weeks ago. I was setting up the hall for morning assembly, projector, screen etc, and checking through with the teacher what she wanted from her laptop. It was a powerpoint presentation which contained a link to a website. We ran through it and the site wouldn't load no matter what we tried. The teacher had been up past midnight putting the finishing touches to the presentation, and assured me the link worked. She was getting edgy, and her class, who were doing the assembly were getting restless. I Googled the content, but all the links were dead. Then I had the idea of going to Google's cached pages, and I found it. Assembly went without a hitch, the teacher and her class were praised for the presentation and I got to metaphorically sweep up after the parade.
    At the speed I type, it's probably taken me longer to get this down that it did to sort out the presentation. There are dozens, if not hundreds of incidents like this taking place in schools up and down the country every day. How will a help desk manage that? How will it ensure that not just what happens in classrooms is seen to? How will it cope with the small incidents like the one outlined above which help to build a stronger team spirit and make sure that pupils aren't let down? All the extra work a teacher puts in to ensure that her class show themselves off in the best light would go down the pan. School isn't just about what goes on in the classroom. We all help each other in different ways, such as looking over a CV for a Year 11 pupil applying for his first job in IT as I've done.
    Losing something like this, the ethos which comes from wanting the best for your school, no matter what we may post on here to let off steam, this takes a long time to build up, it doesn't happen overnight. It comes from knowing the people you're serving, who you can have a joke with, and which teachers will not be able to remember their password after a 6 week break.
    Schools are organic beings. However confused and noisy they may seem to the outsider, there is an underlying order to it all. And it's in knowing your way in and around this system that we provide much more than IT support.

  7. 6 Thanks to beeswax:

    broc (25th February 2008), Butuz (25th February 2008), DaveJ2717uk (9th April 2008), georgebush (11th March 2008), linuxgirlie (25th February 2008), MikeW (8th March 2008)

  8. #21
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    The technical staff at the 11 schools in this wave of Kent BSF will finally be having some direct meetings with Northgate in the next couple of weeks.

    There will be two things happening. In the weeks of March 10th to 14th, and March 24th to 28th, there will be a technical visit to the school to "test the interim service audit process" whatever that means. This will involve your senior techie or network manager.

    There will also be a two-hour structured TUPE meeting at each school between the dates of March 3rd and 19th for all staff going to be transferred.

    Part 1 ( 1/2 Hr) - General Introduction and General Information Sharing
    Part 2 ( 1/2 hr) - More info specific to ICT Technicians and Network Managers
    Part 3 ( 1 hr) - 1:1 sessions for all ICT Staff

    Also, a new name that might be useful is Deborah Robson who's title is "BSF Project Officer" for KCC Children, Families and Education at Brenchly House, Maidstone. (01622 221265) Deborah.Robson2@kent.gov.uk

  9. #22
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    Looks like they have been bought out..

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    Recommended acquisition of Northgate Information Solutions plc By NIS Acquisitions Limited a company controlled by certain funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
    21 December 2007

    Summary

    • The Boards of NIS Acquisitions and Northgate Information Solutions plc are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended acquisition of Northgate at a price of 95 pence in cash for each Northgate Share, valuing the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Northgate at approximately 593 million.

    • NIS Acquisitions is a newly incorporated company formed at the direction of funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for the purpose of implementing the Transaction.

    • Northgate is a market leader in providing specialist software, outsourcing and information technology services to the human resources, local government, education and public safety markets. Northgate employs 6,490 staff and operates in 46 countries across five continents. Northgate has approximately 4,500 large/medium customers and approximately 10,500 small to medium enterprise (SME) customers worldwide.

    • The price of 95 pence for each Northgate Share represents:

    - a premium of 40.5 per cent. to the average Closing Price of 67.6 pence per Northgate Share for the month ended 11 December 2007, the Business Day prior to Northgate's announcement that it had received an approach which may or may not lead to an offer for Northgate; and

    - a premium of 60.3 per cent. to the Closing Price of 59.25 pence per Northgate Share on 11 December 2007, the Business Day prior to Northgate's announcement that it had received an approach which may or may not lead to an offer for Northgate.

    • The Directors of Northgate, who have been so advised by Rothschild, consider the terms of the Transaction to be fair and reasonable. In providing its advice, Rothschild has taken into account the commercial assessments of the Directors of Northgate. Accordingly, the Directors of Northgate intend unanimously to recommend that Northgate Shareholders vote in favour of the Transaction at the Meetings (or, in the event that the Transaction is implemented by way of a takeover offer, to accept or procure acceptance of such offer) as

  10. #23
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    Yeah found that in my investigations a few weeks back. That sort of thing happens all the time in business and doesn't automatically mean anything changes.

  11. #24

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    As I'm in the next phase in Kent I'll be very interested to hear what happens in these meetings..

  12. #25
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    Keep an eye on this thread as I'll post as I know more.

  13. #26
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    Hi folks, had a meeting with two guys from Northgate yesterday so here's a bit of an update:

    The situation in this wave of Kent is that Northgate take over the ICT systems from June this year and those of us being Tuped transfer at the same time. The Northgate managed service will not be available until April 2009 so for the next year they are supporting our existing systems.

    The purpose of the meeting yesterday was so that Northgate could get an idea of what we currently have, what we do with it and how we support it, so that they knew what they were taking on. They were following a standard "due diligence" form but dismissing loads of it as not relevent.

    I've got to say that the day was quite a positive experience. They were very careful not to come accross as judging what we're currently doing and seemed to understand how different a school environment is to other large networks. Both of the guys had been working in other Northgate educational projects in the past.

    The TUPE meeting is tomorrow (wednesday) where we'll be able to ask a few more questions.

  14. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    Hi folks, had a meeting with two guys from Northgate yesterday so here's a bit of an update:

    The situation in this wave of Kent is that Northgate take over the ICT systems from June this year and those of us being Tuped transfer at the same time. The Northgate managed service will not be available until April 2009 so for the next year they are supporting our existing systems.

    The purpose of the meeting yesterday was so that Northgate could get an idea of what we currently have, what we do with it and how we support it, so that they knew what they were taking on. They were following a standard "due diligence" form but dismissing loads of it as not relevent.

    I've got to say that the day was quite a positive experience. They were very careful not to come accross as judging what we're currently doing and seemed to understand how different a school environment is to other large networks. Both of the guys had been working in other Northgate educational projects in the past.

    The TUPE meeting is tomorrow (wednesday) where we'll be able to ask a few more questions.
    So basically the school will be paying double to support their existing system until 2009 when the "New" system will be installed..

    Why are you being TUPEd if there is no new ICT Infrastructure to support ?

  15. #28
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    I don't think we start paying the full whack yet as we're still spending our own budget for the next financial year.

    Apparently the various heads involved decided to TUPE their techies now to save us from any "uncertainty" over the next year.

  16. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deaks View Post
    The situation in this wave of Kent is that Northgate take over the ICT systems from June this year and those of us being Tuped transfer at the same time. The Northgate managed service will not be available until April 2009 so for the next year they are supporting our existing systems.

    So if you are part of NIS before their solution is implemented, where do you stand on doing your job? Do you still have full control or will you have to consult with NIS about things from now on?

    I'm guessing we'll be in exactly the same situation as our managed service starts around June, but here nobody tells us anything so we just have to guess if/when TUPE will happen for us

  17. #30
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    Shock and horror! The guys from Northgate do NOT have horns and pitch-forks! lol!

    Ok, just gotten out of a two-hour session with reps from LST (the consortium with the whole BSF contract), Northgate, KCC and those of us TUPEing. There was also the head of IT and the schools business manager.

    There were presentations from and about LST and Northgate, then an open Q&A session for anything we wanted to ask. The situation is that although Northgate will be paying our wages from the middle of June, nothing much will change for the next year. Their system won't be ready until March '09 so for now we will continue to run our own network, supported by RM, and doing whatever we want.

    At this stage they are as much fact-finding as we are. They need to learn about us and our network so they can keep continuety of service until the BSF changes happen later. What those changes will be it's too early to tell as they're still deciding if they'll have a base of operations in Kent, or where it will be, what people they have access to in the school already and who'll be willing to roam more if that's what's needed.

    Generally there were lots of assurances that nothing will be forced upon anyone, but on the other hard there will be oportunities to change what you do and where you do it if that's what you want. They were keen to assure us of the protection afforded us by TUPE and that there was no intention to harmonise us with Northgate T&Cs as there's no such thing, they have basically moved into so many public sector areas and TUPEd so many people that no two contracts are the same.

    I still have my reservations about BSF in principle but I do have to say that from what I've seen so far they are trying to do it all as painlessly and openly as possible.

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