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BSF Thread, You guys won't be happy... this week's BSF letters in Computing in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook So ... if I was to form a qango that inspected your school based on the ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    So ... if I was to form a qango that inspected your school based on the Functional and Technical specifications for IT Infrastructure, measured you on your closeness to the adoption of FITS, examined your schools short and long term plans for sustainability, cross-examined your policies and procedures, and then check that there was a minimum of no negative impact on T&L, Leadership and Management, or Achievement and Attainment, cross-referencing it against your development plan, SEF, and OFSTED inspections you would be happy?
    I think I would like it. Would cack myself probably but it would give targets. I know a lot of us can and do all ready aim for those targets but it is hard putting it across to SLT when they can't see the point of it. Therefore you don't get permission or the funding, leading to disheartening and then malaise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Absolutely, but again this is 99% down to poor leadership. If SLT cannot do the job themselves they must recognise this and get someone who can. If they were inspected they would be forced to do that. Of Course some *steady* funding that was ring-fenced for IT wouldn't go amiss.
    Oh, definitely - there's a school we talk to a fair bit who have a really good IT bloke, but his budget just about covers toner. He does what he can, but it's a really bad setup.

    There's a greater problem in that schools don't interview correctly, dislike having to readvertise/re-interview (despite it being cheaper than employing the wrong person) and use rubbish job descriptions that attract every plonker who once changed a toner and deter anyone capable because the job description is so bizarre (random vaguely technical terms thrown in willy-nilly).
    Last edited by pete; 8th May 2008 at 06:19 PM.

  3. #33


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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    There's a greater problem in that schools don't interview correctly, dislike having to readvertise/re-interview (despite it being cheaper than employing the wrong person) and use rubbish job descriptions that attract every plonker who once changed a toner and deter anyone capable because the job description is so bizarre (random vaguely technical terms thrown in willy-nilly).
    Again, I 100% agree. This isn't something BSF managed solutions will fix though. If school leadership was fixed then the recruitment problems could be fixed too. there is clear guidance on how to recruit which many schools fail to adhere because the SLT are largely unaccountable. Not only would fixing management benefit IT, it would benefit every aspect of the school.

  4. #34
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    [QUOTE=Grommit;189366]
    Quote Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK View Post
    You mean these?

    Letters to the editor - a blog from computing.co.uk


    Dear Colin you are a schmuck..... you rattle on about the 24/7 school as if we ICT Managers know nothing about it....

    Yes Colin... most of us are on the ball and are leading with the new diploma's with the 24/7 access required by students and are installing or subscribing to County controlled VLE's..

    So Colin please go away and not prattle on about what you know nothing about...
    @grommit - i think you've dropped a clanger there by trying to shout down colin small....

    My understanding is he is/was technical manager at South Camden...which i believe is one of the largest CLC's in the country.

    A CLC like camden's remit is to look at ways of using IT in education - and they have the funding and resources to be very innovative, they don't run away form IT like a lot of SLT's and teachers in schools they embrace it. And as he's on the outside looking in on the schools and no doubts work with the schools that use the CLC, i believe he's in the best possible position to tell it how it is. Even not knowing who he is, there's not a lot wrong with what he's said

    Never heard of him before this article, but that is my summation having met one or two former teachers and education pros who now work in and manage the CLC's...

    The CLC's are crucial in 14-19's, BSF and VLE's, so i'm not quite sure why you chose to have a go at him. Sounds like what he said is a pretty accurate understanding of what's going on.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    So ... if I was to form a qango that inspected your school based on the Functional and Technical specifications for IT Infrastructure, measured you on your closeness to the adoption of FITS, examined your schools short and long term plans for sustainability, cross-examined your policies and procedures, and then check that there was a minimum of no negative impact on T&L, Leadership and Management, or Achievement and Attainment, cross-referencing it against your development plan, SEF, and OFSTED inspections you would be happy?
    We recently had our (very good) Ofsted, but as far as the inspectors were concerned the IT techs don't exist (I know it's not in their remit) but with IT provision being such a vital component of education I think it's about time the standard of provision was included in inspections. I don't think any of us here would like it, but when you're in the mix it's sometimes difficult to take an overview of where you're going. It's been tried with the National Curriculum with varying degrees of success; the idea that there's a national standard which all schools must strive to achieve is good. At a local level a very good BSF bid will aim for that across an LEA.
    In a few years time secondary schools in our area (and across the country) will be undertaking the 14-19 Diplomas, and yet I look at the five schools in our group and see that they have four different VLE's between them. The primary feeder schools are going with yet another VLE. The whole thing's an uncoordinated mess in our LEA. I suspect that we're not alone.
    As for FITS Tony, I've still got the booklets from the Easter 2006 Edugeek conference, and I haven't quite given up trying to persuade SMT that we should attempt to negotiate our way to implementing this. However, it's taken thirty months to persuade them that we needed to get going with a VLE. I do sometimes feel that with stuff like this, something like BSF would bring some consistency of approach to the enterprise.

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    Part of the problem right now is that school leadership teams have a tendency to pick & choose what advice they listen to from BECTA & FITS, either because they don't understand, don't want to understand, or don't agree with what is being said. If the advice was to become a 'standard' that schools were measured against then maybe they would take more notice.

    Go no further than the advice regarding computer:technician ratios....

    How many schools 'comply' with the latest BECTA advice I wonder?

    BSF will impose 'standards' on schools. In some LAs, schools & their staff will be involved & have a say in the outcome, in others they may not so we are still likely to see variance between LAs despite the framework laid out by Partnership for Schools.

    Under BSF, my LA & SLT are keen on the idea of every child having their own 'personal' device. In my school this would lead to a 250-300% increase in the number of student devices to be supported so I asked if we would get a similar increase in ICT support staff? (still leaving us undermanned compared to BECTA guidelines). They smiled......

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Small
    While a lot of schools have excellent IT, some have horrendous setups that are under-invested in and not fit for purpose.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jones
    Just talk to the countless teachers who have had their ideas rejected because of endless firewall issues, security risks or apparent incompatibilities.
    I think both of these people sound like they know what they're on about, and they both sound like they get the idea of how to sort stuff out. We here know what we're on about, and also pretty much know how to sort stuff out. The problem is with the large mass of people who are the sort who don't read forums, or Computing - the sort of people who don't really sit down and think of a way around a problem, or discuss such problems with others who can help.

    --
    David Hicks

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    @grommit - i think you've dropped a clanger there by trying to shout down colin small....

    My understanding is he is/was technical manager at South Camden...which i believe is one of the largest CLC's in the country.
    Umm... yer... also considering he's an active member here! Worked with us on this years BETT stand, remember meeting him briefly(I think!).

    Think you also misrepresented what he said - he wasn't singing the praises of BSF "I share a lot of the concerns voiced over the future of IT provision in schools under Building Schools for the Future (BSF), especially the cost and the lack of flexibility that will result" - pretty much something we can all agree on?

    He made two valid points - to which I've commented my thoughts to his letter - as I don't believe they legitimise BSF.

    Lets remember that screaming the equivilent of "you're a t**t" when we hear a view that we don't like is going to get us taken even less seriously than we are already! Take the issues, the comments, that are made that are pro- or semi-pro-BSF, and beat them down with counterarguments.

    It's the only way we have a snowballs chance of being taken seriously.

  9. #39


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    .................
    Last edited by j17sparky; 9th May 2008 at 12:57 AM.

  10. #40

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    Just to let you know what the head's plans were for me when the managed service came in:

    "Help more with the ICT within teaching and learning in the classroom"

    ie/ make me a teaching assisstant and then I wasn't TUPED.

    made me run out of the door faster when I heard that!! So if you all become teaching assisstants... at least you will still have a job

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne View Post
    Just to let you know what the head's plans were for me when the managed service came in:

    "Help more with the ICT within teaching and learning in the classroom"

    ie/ make me a teaching assisstant and then I wasn't TUPED.

    made me run out of the door faster when I heard that!! So if you all become teaching assisstants... at least you will still have a job
    Heh, I doubt our school would want me just as a TA - they pay TA's half what i get... So I'd be a rather expensive TA

  12. #42

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    I saw something a few months ago which suggested that schools were being advised to offer TAs & HLTAs further ICT training, including basic problem determination. I have since wondered if this was recognition by schools that their TAs would have to do basic PD & fault reporting for classroom teachers with ICT problems post-BSF?

  13. #43

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    Well if there is someone there who can fix the basic problems then that'd probably help a lot.

    How many people have been to an issue where nothing has really been wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Part of the problem right now is that school leadership teams have a tendency to pick & choose what advice they listen to from BECTA & FITS, either because they don't understand, don't want to understand, or don't agree with what is being said. If the advice was to become a 'standard' that schools were measured against then maybe they would take more notice.

    Go no further than the advice regarding computer:technician ratios....

    How many schools 'comply' with the latest BECTA advice I wonder?

    BSF will impose 'standards' on schools. In some LAs, schools & their staff will be involved & have a say in the outcome, in others they may not so we are still likely to see variance between LAs despite the framework laid out by Partnership for Schools.

    Under BSF, my LA & SLT are keen on the idea of every child having their own 'personal' device. In my school this would lead to a 250-300% increase in the number of student devices to be supported so I asked if we would get a similar increase in ICT support staff? (still leaving us undermanned compared to BECTA guidelines). They smiled......

    I would absolutely love it (very keegan-esque) if schools had something similar to ofsted, and strict guidelines about what standards they MUST adhere to. One of the biggest issues i have is people either ignoring my advice / suggestions and doing something anyway. Then myself and my department are told to "make it work".

    Ring-fenced funding would also be a good idea. I know schools leadership are reluctant to sign off on expensive items without being sure of value for money so maybe partnerships with other local schools, with peer-assessment / authorisation from other network managers. School's leadership don't often seem to understand what they cant see. e.g. spending £15k on 30 PCs is something tangible, they can see the PCs, they can see the effect it has on the pupil : PC ratio. Spending 10k on manageable gigabit switches is something they can't see the impact of. They dont understand things like network capacity, bandwidth, bottle necks, loopbacks, etc.. Many also bury their heads in the sand when you try and explain as they "don't do technical"!

  15. 2 Thanks to Lee_K_81:

    browolf (9th May 2008), Dos_Box (9th May 2008)

  16. #45
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    if the government wanted more consistency, why didnt they give the CCs money for county-wide software. We get sophos off ours but nothing else, dont see why they couldnt do the same for office, windows, studio8, adobe CS suite etc.

    even if it was only say 10 licenses / school for cs3.

    o maybe partnerships with other local schools, with peer-assessment / authorisation from other network managers
    I had a random idea. who'll be buying new pcs this summer in lancashire? supposing we group our orders together. buy more for less. not that I have the authority to do anything. someone else start it. or the ict centre. wonder how much cheaper 1000 pcs are per unit than say 100 pcs.
    Last edited by browolf; 9th May 2008 at 10:48 AM.



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