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BSF Thread, Building firms 'rigged contracts' in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by cap1601 But if we actually get back to the main point of BSF , what exactly are ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap1601 View Post
    But if we actually get back to the main point of BSF, what exactly are you afraid of? Redundancy? If so then welcome to the real world, it happens in just about every other industry.

    Or is is overcharging by the big companies? Yes they are in the industry to make a profit. Yes they will go over budget, and if you ask why, then probably because LEAs, and Senior management of schools want more than they can afford. Most schools are in a poor state and do not offer the facilities and enviroments which are needed in todays educational environment. We have curriculums to suit todays industry and therefore need appropriate environments to deliver it. Open up your minds. You and your wining friends will not change anything.

    And for our localzuk, I notice you are from Minehead, Somerset..... hehe you're next. BSF Somerset is on its way.
    Well if you take a few minutes and read the dozens of posts about why people don't like BSF and you may know. To summarise:

    1. BSF will destroy innovation within IT and education
    2. BSF will remove control of IT from the school
    3. BSF will cause major problems to T&L within school by removing the ability for onsite staff to fix problems without having to be told what to do by a central office (ok, this isn't the same for every school but so far this is the case).
    4. IT in schools has improved dramatically over the last few years due to an increase in inderstanding by internal IT staff of how IT affects T&L. Removing the staff with this knowledge and replacing them with a company ruins this.
    5. Yes, redundancy is a problem. It is not often that an entire industry is destroyed.
    6. Many fear that profit will come before education. You should too.

    Those schools which don't have the appropriate environments to deliver the curriculum are failing at what they do. The head teacher and SMT should be held to blame for this. Replacing the IT in the school with a managed service won't change the overall quality of education in those schools.

    And yes, I know that BSF is on its way down here, and I truly hope our head doesn't feel drawn to the pile of lead painted gold. I know our assistant head isn't interested in it at all.

    Is your school affected by BSF yet?

    And, your response gives me the impression that you don't like IT people and that you like to get your thrills by going to a place where they gather and taunting them... Not exactly the work of an educated person. Also not exactly professional.
    Last edited by localzuk; 30th April 2008 at 09:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Well if you take a few minutes and read the dozens of posts about why people don't like BSF and you may know. To summarise:

    1. BSF will destroy innovation within IT and education
    2. BSF will remove control of IT from the school
    3. BSF will cause major problems to T&L within school by removing the ability for onsite staff to fix problems without having to be told what to do by a central office (ok, this isn't the same for every school but so far this is the case).
    4. IT in schools has improved dramatically over the last few years due to an increase in inderstanding by internal IT staff of how IT affects T&L. Removing the staff with this knowledge and replacing them with a company ruins this.
    5. Yes, redundancy is a problem. It is not often that an entire industry is destroyed.
    6. Many fear that profit will come before education. You should too.




    Those schools which don't have the appropriate environments to deliver the curriculum are failing at what they do. The head teacher and SMT should be held to blame for this. Replacing the IT in the school with a managed service won't change the overall quality of education in those schools.

    And yes, I know that BSF is on its way down here, and I truly hope our head doesn't feel drawn to the pile of lead painted gold. I know our assistant head isn't interested in it at all.

    Is your school affected by BSF yet?

    And, your response gives me the impression that you don't like IT people and that you like to get your thrills by going to a place where they gather and taunting them... Not exactly the work of an educated person. Also not exactly professional.
    1. where is the evidence of destroying this??? you are full of emotion and have no facts.
    2. Control from school, no, it will bring the IT back up to industry standard.
    3. Point taken, but this can be managed, and as you say every school is different.
    4. It doesnt remove the staff, only some managed services. The teaching remains the same, only the facilities improve and many schools will see no change of IT management.
    5. Entire industry? A slight exaggeration here.
    6. Yes the companies will be here to make a profit, but they do also sign up to KPIs which govern their performance. They are brought in to improve education, and having backward thinking individuals which are constantly negative does not help an educational environment.

    As for not liking IT people, why no, I'm an ICT teacher (secondary). I just get tired of small minded negative individuals such as IT technicians with crusty underpants who sit on their arses all day long whinging and playing on x boxes. I'm lucky enough to have experience of work in the real world outside the classroom door and welcome change and enterprise
    Last edited by cap1601; 30th April 2008 at 09:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap1601 View Post
    "And for our localzuk, I notice you are from Minehead, Somerset..... hehe you're next. BSF Somerset is on its way.
    Childish remark.... uncalled for.

    Believe it or not, many school based ICT support staff work in schools because they choose to do so, not because its the only place they can get a job. If under BSF the ICT support staff are 'absorbed' by profit making private companies through TUPE, it will be the schools that will suffer in the long run.

    One thing is for sure, teachers will have to step up to the challenge of not having ICT support staff running after them all the time......

  5. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap1601 View Post
    1. where is the evidence of destroying this??? you are full of emotion and have no facts.
    My evidence is this: Managed companies introduce managed systems according to the demands of the school *at the time of installation*. If the demands change in 2 years time, there is bugger all the school can do about it. The network manager can't be told 'we have this problem, what can you do about it' and then create a solution. A company will not do this without significant investment, and won't do this if it doesn't fit into their business model. It isn't rocket science - how can a private company make money if the demands of their clients change constantly and they comply?

    2. Control from school, no, it will bring the IT back up to industry standard.
    Schools are part of industry.

    4. It doesnt remove the staff, only some managed services. The teaching remains the same, only the facilities improve and many schools will see no change of IT management.
    So a company will listen to the people the put in the schools if it will help the school but won't increase profits? I don't think so. Many people, such as me, will be leaving the education sector for other areas.

    5. Entire industry? A slight exaggeration here.
    Outsourcing the jobs to private companies which will pigeon hole people into roles. There will no longer be such a job as 'network manager'. Seems like killing an industry to me.

    6. Yes the companies will be here to make a profit, but they do also sign up to KPIs which govern their performance. They are brought in to improve education, and having backward thinking individuals which are constantly negative does not help an educational environment.
    Heh, as a technologist I would say I am pretty damn forward thinking. Introducing new technologies into schools to improve T&L seems pretty forward thinking to me. The very thing that drives my job is improving the school. The thing that drives a company is to make money. The 2 more than often oppose each other. For example a building company that overcharged a primary school by 500k... To think otherwise is simply naive.

    As for not liking IT people, why no, I'm an ICT teacher (secondary). I just get tired of small minded negative individuals such as IT technicians with crusty underpants who sit on their arses all day long winging and playing on x boxes. I'm lucky enough to have experience of work in the real world outside the classroom door and welcome change and enterprise
    I am having to restrain myself a hell of a lot here to not simply shout something abusive at you. You have simply no idea how IT in schools work if that is your attitude. You also don't seem to have much idea of the purpose of a school. Education is to create a wide ranging set of skills - not to train people for industry etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Childish remark.... uncalled for.

    Believe it or not, many school based ICT support staff work in schools because they choose to do so, not because its the only place they can get a job. If under BSF the ICT support staff are 'absorbed' by profit making private companies through TUPE, it will be the schools that will suffer in the long run.

    One thing is for sure, teachers will have to step up to the challenge of not having ICT support staff running after them all the time......
    Yep, I do my job because I enjoy it. I think the pay sucks but I wouldn't like to move unless things change negatively. I could get paid a huge amount more than I do here, but I am dedicated to my job and to the education of the kids.

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    I'm sorry I reacted to this idiot but it's pretty obvious they're nothing but a troll.

    Moving on...

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    Agreed. If not they are a teacher in a school which is sadly lacking in IT resources. Besides the comment about 'bringing schools up to industry standard' just goes to show how little they know. Most schools are way beyond what SMB have installed, and even large companies would struggle to match them. Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from us?

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    6. Yes the companies will be here to make a profit, but they do also sign up to KPIs which govern their performance. They are brought in to improve education, and having backward thinking individuals which are constantly negative does not help an educational environment.
    Neither does going on strike. Something that overworked and underpaid educational techies have never done.


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    1. BSF will destroy innovation within IT and education
    A bit harsh and generic. We are working closely with a supplier delivering a BSF project due for phase 1 opening very soon. The approach we have seen is full of innovation and will provide some fantastic resources for the BSF area concerned. However this may not be tha case across all BSF contracts.

    2. BSF will remove control of IT from the school
    To an extent this is true. The comment about brining it up to industry standard makes me chuckle. What Industry are we talking about ?, and for that matter what standard..........
    Each Industry has widely differing requirements, education is no different.

    3. BSF will cause major problems to T&L within school by removing the ability for onsite staff to fix problems without having to be told what to do by a central office (ok, this isn't the same for every school but so far this is the case).
    There is some truth to this however again maybe a bit harsh. Lots will depend on each area and the agreements/structure being defined.

    4. IT in schools has improved dramatically over the last few years due to an increase in inderstanding by internal IT staff of how IT affects T&L. Removing the staff with this knowledge and replacing them with a company ruins this.
    Agree totally with this. The intimate knowledge of school systems and requirements could well be dilluted and that is a bad thing. I am lucky that all my school customers are very capable and forward thinking teams that work very hard to improve T&L. They have the customer at heart (little Jane and Johny Smith). They are not in it for the money (could get loads more out in the real world), they are in it to provide a quality service because they enjoy it. Putting commercial pressure over and above this is a bad thing.

    5. Yes, redundancy is a problem. It is not often that an entire industry is destroyed.
    I think the main issue here is the uncertainty of positions and roles once BSF kicks in. There seeems to have been very little engagement of the IT staff across a lot of the BSF projects. Natrually they will get jumpy......I would.

    6. Many fear that profit will come before education. You should too.
    Having been close with PFI builds over the last 18 months and seen some of the stuff that has gone on, it has made me sick. I make my living from this industry but could not look myself in the mirror if my company had behaved the way some of the PFI companies have treated a number of the schools involved. It is very worrying

    Anyhow

    These are my words and not that of my employer.......oh bugger I am my employer

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  12. #40

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    Just for cap1601's attitude, I hope the BSF managed service will provide a much degraded IT system than what is already there, and make sure he's put on hold for as long as possible when he needs help.

    cap1601, do you have the facts to prove and back-up your points about BSF and innovation, industry standards, control, T&L impact etc?

  13. #41

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linescanner View Post
    A bit harsh and generic. We are working closely with a supplier delivering a BSF project due for phase 1 opening very soon. The approach we have seen is full of innovation and will provide some fantastic resources for the BSF area concerned. However this may not be tha case across all BSF contracts.
    I don't see it as harsh really. The reason being is that as the network manager in a school I do a lot more than simply maintain a bunch of computers. And much of the other stuff is where the innovation occurs - there is only so much you can do with the client computers themselves, or the servers they are supported by. Sure, the software can be innovative but that is still a minor role.

    Introducing a 5 year contract prevents these other areas from being as accessible to the school as they used to be for those 5 years.


    There is some truth to this however again maybe a bit harsh. Lots will depend on each area and the agreements/structure being defined.
    Which is why it is so annoying that most schools and LEAs barely even talk to their existing IT staff.

    Having been close with PFI builds over the last 18 months and seen some of the stuff that has gone on, it has made me sick. I make my living from this industry but could not look myself in the mirror if my company had behaved the way some of the PFI companies have treated a number of the schools involved. It is very worrying
    I once visited a PFI school up near Leeds. Instead of a reception they had a desk with the name of the company that managed it titled 'helpdesk'. There, all requests to do with the building had to be logged, as did the IT provision problems. I didn't see a single happy teacher or pupil whilst I was there. I don't want our schools ending up that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    Neither does going on strike. Something that overworked and underpaid educational techies have never done.


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    That made me smile.

    This guy has obviously got a techy who doesnt care/cant be assed anymore. Well great, i know plenty of teachers who dont care anymore and a few which i would consider quite detrimental to the kids life and education but i wouldnt brand every teacher like this because of them.

    Im sure there are a good few bad techies who do sit playing xbox all night but did you ever stop to consider the saying "you get what you pay for"?

    I know i can work "in the real world", you know why, because ive done it, and by the fact ive had plenty of job offers from industry thank you very much. But for some daft reason i feel an obligation to the school, a feeling which is quickly fading because of the attitude of people like you and the completely appauling treatment we have had to endure of late.

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    Grommit ... see .. if you wait long enough someone comes along and argues the other side. I now have the chance to talk about it from a different point of view.

    Now ... cap1601 ... if you have a look at previous posts from me you will see that I tend to take a balanced point of view since I can see both sides of things. I do think that you are missing a few key facts and examples. I hope this not so short post will help you understand things from a larger point of view, not just as a teacher, or an ICT Teacher, but as someone who wants to make sure that the best is done for the school and the students.

    Quote Originally Posted by cap1601 View Post
    1. where is the evidence of destroying this??? you are full of emotion and have no facts.
    I will start from the beginning ... in the beginning was the word and the word was God ... let's skip past the bit where he created heaven and earth, put animals on there, the human race and skip past nailing people to trees ... all the way up to the 20th century and the modern bureaucratic model.

    A 'one-size fits all' model does not work for all schools. Hate to say it ... but it is true and if you are looking for evidence then go and have a chat to those schools that have been part of managed services. I have ... a number of members here have also been there too (and still are). You get some schools that it works for and makes a massive difference. These are schools that have had poor leadership of ICT at a strategic level. They probably haven't even heard of SLICT or think it is unimportant. They are not making full use of their MIS to record and analyse data, they are not using ICT as a tool to move on learning ... and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Yo will get some schools that will see improvements in some areas ... and have to make compromises in others ... and then you schools that are above that proposed raised baseline that BSF will give, where the IT provision is innovative and promotes innovation in T&L. This is a fact that it happens and if you want a list of schools in that position I am happy to furnish you with these. To start I would suggest looking at the ICT Register, in particular the Focus Schools for each region. Also look at those that are moving to Academy status and look how much *they* are defining the IT rather than a managed service provider. Ask *them* what difference being given an inflexible service would make to them.

    2. Control from school, no, it will bring the IT back up to industry standard.
    What about those that are already meeting the 'industry standard' as defined in the Technical and Functional Specifications for IT Infrastructure? Or those that are beyond it? And whilst the hardware / design might not be 'industry' standard ... many people who work in industry would probably admit that they don't have over 1000 hot desking users, a number of which are trying to do what they can to bypass your security every way they can. So ... the IT industry arguement? Doesn't wash as long term arguement. The collaboration that goes on via this site is a perfect example.

    3. Point taken, but this can be managed, and as you say every school is different.
    At the moment the T&L should work in partnership with the implementation of IT in a school. Neither should force one or the other to radically change, but challenge is healthy. T&L will *have* to work with what you are given as a BSF school. If that means changing courses then that is a decision senior leaders in schools are having to look at. Again ... I have been out there and this is a valid concern for schools. Again, we are back to the one size fits all problem. With early enough representation a school has a chance (no guarantee) of getting what they need. This is not always the case as many schools are in the dark about the process, staff with the knowledge to ensure the school is on the right track are not involved soon enough or kept out of the dialogue. I can give you at least 20 examples of schools with good IT infrastructure that have had their technical staff kept out of the dialogue until it is too late. Again, the tip of the iceberg.

    4. It doesn't remove the staff, only some managed services. The teaching remains the same, only the facilities improve and many schools will see no change of IT management.
    Perhaps removal of staff is the wrong phrase. Removal of staff from a position where they can use their knowledge and experience to directly affect
    the development of T&L and innovation within a school because they are no longer employed by the school. They are employed by a company the works with the senior leaders to decide things ... They are out of the loop unless they are lucky enough to get one of the 'team leader' style jobs. Some companies want this as it gives them experienced staff who can help across a range of schools, but it means the school they get pulled (and it would be pulled) from loses out. Why should any school lose out after investing to provide a good service to cover for a school that has obviously had no idea?

    5. Entire industry? A slight exaggeration here.
    Is it? The growing role of IT support teams within schools will be, if we are not careful, stopped. It will be in the hands of the companies and the LAs. There will be a few exceptions but within 15 years we can expect all schools to have had some level of impact from BSF. This site may not exist but companies would not want one of their techies helping a techie from another rival company for free (yes ... a quote from one of those companies that bid when I explained what EG was all about ... I went on to point out the usenet, MS groups, the various hardware / software specific boards were also free but that just confused them).

    6. Yes the companies will be here to make a profit, but they do also sign up to KPIs which govern their performance. They are brought in to improve education, and having backward thinking individuals which are constantly negative does not help an educational environment.
    Ah ... but to get rid of a handful of negative people they are also getting rid of a bushel full of positive ones. One member has worked very closely with a supplier as their school moves to BSF, only to find that the goalposts have been moved, much to the distaste of his head, his line manager and many of us who know him. The lack of communication in his wave is dire ... the school is regularly kept out of the loop and agreements are being made before contracts are even signed (or governors agreeing to things). Admittedly I don't blame the supplier in this ... the bureaucracy behind it all is the stifling factor at the moment ... and this is before they even have a managed service. KPIs are soft targets. Should the companies not meet their KPIs then the school does not get the compensation. The students who are affected do not get the compensation. The staff who get stressed out to the teeth do not get compensation ... the LA does. In this early stage the KPIs are not rigorous enough and need to be tightened. It will *have* to be at the behest of schools ... but schools are still not in the know about these things. KPIs ... a poor choice of defense. If you want to raise particular KPIs I will tell you where the strengths and weaknesses are.

    As for not liking IT people, why no, I'm an ICT teacher (secondary). I just get tired of small minded negative individuals such as IT technicians with crusty underpants who sit on their arses all day long whinging and playing on x boxes. I'm lucky enough to have experience of work in the real world outside the classroom door and welcome change and enterprise
    And I hate know-it-all teachers who think in stereotypes. Let's face it ... teachers ... they have 1/4 year off on holiday, they start at 9 and finish at 3 because the first and last 15 minutes are just spent taking coats off and putting coats on again ... nothing to do evenings and weekends as they now get PPA time ... commonly known as extended tee breaks. And this is before we get to the film star wages ... admittedly B movies (or extras in Eastenders) but still a whopping salary. There ... is that enough of a stereotype for you? I can continue about whinging that they still don't get enough time for training or that they want a bigger pay rise than everyone else in the world? Please ... don't start getting personal and calling people negative. In spite of what you may think, majority of the regulars would bend over backwards to ensure that there school gets what it deserves. Those that don't are usually people who have tried but been knocked down by negative teachers for daring to think they might have good ideas.

    Many of us here have experience of the outside world too. We do not work in education for the money, but we work as professionals, trying to do the impossible at times. If you want to talk industry then we have regional BCS reps here, union reps, those who work with (and for) national interest groups, those who are from high performing schools, those who help the Govt set the agenda.

    Conversations in here are read and discussed by people far higher up that an ICT teacher. Yes, some dross occurs ... usually in conversations where people call each other whingers.

    If you have constructive comments about how BSF will have a positive impact in your school then we can perhaps ask why your school is in such a state that it needs BSF to help out. If you want to to just call people negative then you are not adding anything to the discussion. You are the type of person that needs to know what is going to happen. You are the person that needs to ensure that you are not going the affected by the changes. From the way it looks for you, if you don't then no-one will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap1601 View Post
    As for not liking IT people, why no, I'm an ICT teacher (secondary). I just get tired of small minded negative individuals such as IT technicians with crusty underpants who sit on their arses all day long whinging and playing on x boxes. I'm lucky enough to have experience of work in the real world outside the classroom door and welcome change and enterprise
    Perhaps you should volunteer to sit on the interview panel the next time a vacancy arises for an IT technician.
    Can you please clarify just what you mean by small minded negative individuals? In which way are they negative?
    Can I give you an example from ten days ago? A printer had run out of toner and we were asked if we had a replacement. As each department is responsible for its own supplies, such as toner, we said they had to buy their own. Only pausing long enough to raise an encrusted buttock to pass wind, we asked them to buy toner from the manufacturer, as refilling the toner cartridge may cause damage to the printer. Despite this information the toner cartridge was refilled with the wrong toner and a three month old printer now appears to be useless. So we get bombarded with emails and telephone calls to sort out their printer. It's dead, deceased. Why should we waste time on people, who despite the warnings, chose to ignore our advice?
    I don't go into classrooms and tell teachers how to do their job. After all, you've had training in your specialty, but when I'm asked to help with something in Word, Excel, or any other piece of software which is part of the curriculum, I do it because I believe that pupils are our priority. Surprisingly, there are teachers in schools who are swinging the lead. They rely on others to pick up on their mistakes and correct them. I don't mind being called out to classrooms to sort out paper jams in printers, but when teachers send pupils to our office for glue, staples, or scissors, or I get a call from the library that there is an infestation of ants, I tend to draw the line. One job I was interested in, until I saw the job spec, specified that the successful candidate should also maintain the school minibus and see that it was topped up with oil. The post advertised was for an IT technician.
    Your technicians may be as bad as you describe them, but I very much doubt it. However, if they truly are as poor as you say, isn't it your department's responsibility to sort it? Where is the assessment, the target setting? What provision is there for CPD for your technical staff? From my experience my network manager and myself have had to fund our own training. When I approached the member of SMT responsible for providing funding for CPD for help with my degree (Education, Research & Technology) I was turned down. I'm funding it myself. One of the questions he posed was, "Why do you need to learn new technologies?"
    Like a lot of people on these forums, I already have a degree, but as I hope you're beginning to discover, a degree is not necessarily a sign of intelligence.
    Last edited by beeswax; 1st May 2008 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Literary merit

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    I once visited a PFI school up near Leeds. Instead of a reception they had a desk with the name of the company that managed it titled 'helpdesk'. There, all requests to do with the building had to be logged, as did the IT provision problems. I didn't see a single happy teacher or pupil whilst I was there. I don't want our schools ending up that way.
    Heh, they're not pupils or staff but 'clients' or 'customers'

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