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BSF Thread, Managed Service and BSF in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Quick question to help with a "discussion" going on here at the moment. There is so much misinformation, part information ...
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    Jake's Avatar
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    Managed Service and BSF

    Quick question to help with a "discussion" going on here at the moment.

    There is so much misinformation, part information and lack of information around that there is a topic of argument here at the moment.

    Can someone clarify a situation for me, with official statements/links if possible.

    In regards to the Managed Service and BSF...Do we as a school HAVE to have the managed service, or can we opt not to have the managed service.

    I have seen some say you have to have it, and some say you can opt out of it but you lose a chunk of money. Anyone know what the actual situation is?

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    The way i understand it is if you want the BSF Money for your school you HAVE to have a managed service.

    My head has been a meeting today with other heads, and she is very strong that she does not want a managed service and she wants it to remain in house. She will do everything she can to keep it that way.

    With the school not wanting this, what i do not get is whats stopping us letting the managed service install all this nice new shiney computer equipment then wiping the servers and workstation and putting our own setup on again? My line manager says if thats what it takes that is what they will do.

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    Jake's Avatar
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    That is indeed how I believe it to be too.

    Although we were recently told by a BSF representative that there was no choice in the matter and that we HAD to have the managed service.

    Now I guess the question is whether or not our head will say no to the managed service and "lose" the money. The head is adamant that she doesnt want a managed service, but shes equally adamant that she wants the stuff from the money.

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    Diello's Avatar
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    The money comes from the winning contractor, on the proviso that they can then make money from the school for service/additional services offered.

    They're not going to donate the money to the school just for the heck of it.

    You have the managed service with money, or you don't have the money, and don't have a managed service. Leaving the school with no way to fund ICT as all other avenues of ICT funding is cut by the Gov - effectively blackmailing Head's into accepting a managed service.

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    I was told by my Head today that it also depends whether you have PFI funding and if we took BSF money we wouldn't be subject to the conditions if it wasn't PFI money..........I'm now more confused.
    Our school has had lots of buildings rebuilt over the last 5 years so we actually don't require a full re-build just some touches here and there which BSF will apparently cover. Just to make things more confusing, the land that our school is built on is owned by an educational charity which also has implications and just to make it more confusing our Junior school is owned by the LEA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    The way i understand it is if you want the BSF Money for your school you HAVE to have a managed service.

    My head has been a meeting today with other heads, and she is very strong that she does not want a managed service and she wants it to remain in house. She will do everything she can to keep it that way.

    With the school not wanting this, what i do not get is whats stopping us letting the managed service install all this nice new shiney computer equipment then wiping the servers and workstation and putting our own setup on again? My line manager says if thats what it takes that is what they will do.
    I don't think you will get away with hijacking the kit

    I was chair of governors at a wave 1 school and have been through the process. Individual schools are powerless to change the way BSF works.

    My governing body and the school leadership team spent a lot of time discussing the managed service issue and concluded we had little or no choice but to accept it otherwise the school would lose out on £1m+ capital investment, something we could not afford to sacrifice on what was to many a point of principle.
    Early during the procurement process our head teacher and governors were asked to confirm in writing that we agreed in 'principle' to the managed service. The funding for ICT investment was conditional upon this agreement, we were told if we don't sign, we won't get any equipment. At one point we were even told if we delayed signing we would be holding up the entire BSF process for the LA & delaying the benefits of BSF for other schools.

    Once BSF contracts are awarded the LA and schools have to enter into legally binding contracts with the managed service provider for the duration of the contract (typically 5-10 years) and I would imagine that the schools annual budget will then be 'top-sliced' removing the managed service charge, (typically £120+ per student per year of the contract.) before it hits your school.

    It was made pretty clear that individual schools will not be permitted to pull out of the contract early, only the LA will be able to terminate the contract & that would be subject to a long drawn out legal battle with the service provider.

    The business processes LAs are expected to follow for BSF are all documented on the PfS and Teachernet websites.
    Interestingly, I have not seen anything written down that suggests schools can even opt out; the assumption in the BSF documentation is that LAs going down the BSF route WILL embrace managed services and schools WILL have managed services. There is also an assumption that school-based ICT staff will TUPE to the managed service provider.

    So, assuming that the school budget is top sliced to fund the managed service and all of the school based staff are now working for the managed service provider, who is going to be left to hijack the equipment and re-image it, even assuming it is all still on-site? (A number of BSF solutions are based upon having offsite server farms in datacentres run by the service providers).

  7. Thanks to broc from:

    Jake (19th June 2008)

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    Friez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    With the school not wanting this, what i do not get is whats stopping us letting the managed service install all this nice new shiney computer equipment then wiping the servers and workstation and putting our own setup on again? My line manager says if thats what it takes that is what they will do.
    Finances.

    I mean yes, this is possible. Your current employer (the school) can quite happily keep you on for whatever reason AND take the managed service (afterall, if they can hire someone with a job title of 'chief of paperclips' they can hire you for whatever capacity they wish, provided it fits in the budget).

    But then the school still have to pay for the managed service (that they won't use) AND you. This is quite a lot of wasted cash, it makes far better financial sense to TUPE you over to the managed service (i.e. letting you go) and just take the blasted thing.

    Or, the school could simply not go over with BSF full stop, which means they get no rebuild and whatever additional lures they may be offering to head teachers are forefit too.

    Even if the school could afford you and the crappy managed service, you will also get additional pressure from annoying things like council job evaluations in the future, since technically your job shouldn't exist within schools (in their mind) any more, or if it does, then they could evaluate your job to be entirely worthless in a bid to try and pressure you out due to lack of pay (not sure if they can legally do this, but the thoughts crossed my mind!) and try and force BSF Managed Service in that way.

    Myself, I think pretty much most of us are on a sinking ship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake View Post
    That is indeed how I believe it to be too.

    Although we were recently told by a BSF representative that there was no choice in the matter and that we HAD to have the managed service.

    Now I guess the question is whether or not our head will say no to the managed service and "lose" the money. The head is adamant that she doesnt want a managed service, but shes equally adamant that she wants the stuff from the money.
    RM and other Big players are trying to take the server hardware off site so you'll have nothing new to flatten

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    Our LEA are interested in the Newcastle setup so this could be interesting in our view also as the school and site is owned by a trust I don't believe some of the things the PFI will normally do will be allowed here (Owning the buildings and site for instance). Could be interesting I'm not too concerned about losing my job, I would not be TUPED over either.


    Wes

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    Friez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit View Post
    RM and other Big players are trying to take the server hardware off site so you'll have nothing new to flatten
    You'dd effectively have to re-build a network to run alongside their managed service network crap. Not an easy task let alone a financially sound one. While the situation is possible it's really unlikely and having all this extra network manager/it team and equipment to pay for as well as the managed service makes it realistically unfeasable.

    This also screws up schools vastly in the future. Because, if the managed service contract ends and they get the option to drop it they will have to effectively start from ground-up again. Wasted money all around!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Friez View Post
    You'dd effectively have to re-build a network to run alongside their managed service network crap. Not an easy task let alone a financially sound one. While the situation is possible it's really unlikely and having all this extra network manager/it team and equipment to pay for as well as the managed service makes it realistically unfeasable.

    I agree, it's going to be difficult and expensive to get out of a managed service system if it isn't on site - probably not something an individual school could afford. Lock-in on a new level for us.

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    TUPING...

    I know TUPING is OK for permenant Staff but what about long term contractor Network Managers... ones that have been running the school for over 4 years ?

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    OK, erm, what if the school did not tupe the technician for example. They take the old servers and hide them, and keep them to one side. Who owns the new equipment from the managed service? The school or the company with the contract?

    If its the school then there is nothing stopping using old servers and the new equipment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Friez View Post
    Finances.

    I mean yes, this is possible. Your current employer (the school) can quite happily keep you on for whatever reason AND take the managed service (afterall, if they can hire someone with a job title of 'chief of paperclips' they can hire you for whatever capacity they wish, provided it fits in the budget).

    But then the school still have to pay for the managed service (that they won't use) AND you. This is quite a lot of wasted cash, it makes far better financial sense to TUPE you over to the managed service (i.e. letting you go) and just take the blasted thing.
    Some managed service providers won't let you replace an unplugged data cable if you're still employed by the school, and not Tuped over to the managed service company. Of course it would be easier to have the teacher look the other way while you replace the cable, however, the service provider's helpdesk won't know this is going on and so will have unreliable data about the number of problems they actually deal with. My suggestion is that all problems are logged with the helpdesk so they have a true picture of what they have to deal with.

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    Myself and Webman have been told that our Governors have had the initial meeting to allow the BSF process to move forward and in his address to the staff I was amazed at the fact no-one from our IT dept had been to any meetings about how managed services would effect all staff within the T&L framework.

    We have been told who our contractors are but I am not at liberty to divulge any info apart from the fact it is going ahead and we have no say in the matter.

    As my age is a big factor in this I am now looking at ways in which to last to 60 whereupon I will take early retirement and then take up a part time job at B&Q stacking shelves for 4 hours a day or a petrol attendant (at least I will get to press a few buttons and have a screen) hehe!

    My main concern is for Webman who I feel has made a fantastic transition into the IT support world from being a student with the school. He has developed his skills accordingly and just when he is to take over the network what happens, taken away by a
    government incentive, driven by greedy consultants and businesses in a government bid to save money just like the NHS incentive which has ended up costing us the taxpayer billions and the project is far from finished.

    Our Headteacher will be retiring soon so it matters not to him but he has let us know that he will give us backing on any TUPE matters and if we have any problems that his door is always open. It will be a good way to end his career by knowing our school is to be rebuilt as it will be his lasting legacy I feel and all me and webman can do is follow it thorugh to the end and see what becomes of IT (forgive the pun).

    What I can tell you is that apparently Gordon Brown and David Cameron have agreed that up to wave 6 will still go ahead even if there is political change.



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