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BSF Thread, The ICT Managed Service in BSF - Video in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by broc Now, exponents of BSF would argue that you can reduce the staffing cost by providing remote ...
  1. #46
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post

    Now, exponents of BSF would argue that you can reduce the staffing cost by providing remote & telephone support, but they miss the point; schools need BODIES onsite, to deal with the problems that cannot be fixed by phone; these problems arrive in waves at the start of lessons, and need to be fixed urgently otherwise staff cannot teach.

    .
    But isn't the point of the BSF service descriptions, there will be IT bodies onsite but they will be dog's bodies...relieved of the burden of designing backup policies or procuring VLE portals or a lot of the other funky stuff that makes the job so varied.

    IF the technicians under BSF onsite at the school are there just to check network cables or make sure a projector has the right video source selected, then teachers may or may not get the service they've long wanted. But it doesn't say much about the opportunities for ICT staff within the school.....unless they fancy 'progression' to a team leader of the call centre back at HQ. And as others have said what it does it say about innovation in ICT.

  2. #47

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    But isn't the point of the BSF service descriptions, there will be IT bodies onsite but they will be dog's bodies...relieved of the burden of designing backup policies or procuring VLE portals or a lot of the other funky stuff that makes the job so varied.
    Correct... but to keep the BSF costs down to an affordable level (but often still more expensive than the status quo) in many cases the number of onsite staff will be reduced... to one or even less. I still recall the conversation I had with a Partnership for Schools consultant in 2004; I was told there was no role for network managers or senior technicians in BSF schools...... she smiled as she said it too!
    Last edited by broc; 11th February 2009 at 01:12 PM.

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    In a conversation with RM not too long ago i was told that should they get the bid for my own area, most likely a few network managers would survive and would have responsibility for a number of schools. On the ground there would be a few technicians scattered here or there.

    Great for the few that get the positions but job losses or demotion for the rest. I know the employment aspect is not the main one for some of the forum posters here but i am happy to admit it is one of the major issues if not the major issue for me. Unless you have not noticed the job front is not looking too rosy at the moment.

    I have been shafted by management here and in other schools for so long that i truly understand the problem with many schools is the poor leadership from the top. Nothing will improve if the leadership are not committed.

    If they barely know anything about BSF as is the case here and yet have signed up for it then god help them as it will be another disaster.

    I wonder how long a managed service is going to put up with 20 keyboards trashed in a week before they start to charge for these and other items at silly prices. It is then that it will dawn on them the mistake they have made.

    At the moment the leadership in many schools are probably too lazy to fully comprehend what is going on. It's little wonder that the majority of us who are not on the SMT have no clue about BSF and are relying on hearsay and forum comments. Like others have said, if we were made a part of the process perhaps we could have had some positive input but unfortunately we are surplus to requirements and it would really only just annoy the companies involved if they had to humour us and our suggestions before shifting us off to the job queue and carrying on regardless.

    My advice to anyone worried about their jobs post BSF is to get your certifications done if you have not already and be ready to move out of education. The ship is sinking. It may take a year or two but it's going to happen.

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    lol! Basically SMT's can just push off the problems, management, I.T. development etc to another company. Not the schools problem any more as such. Easier for them - some of them may see. I was outsourced in a previous job as well. Not a nice feeling.

    About innovation - there is certainly 'innovation' at our school with a technology not many if at all any schools utilise frequently. BSF wont have the resources to deal with it.
    Last edited by Jiser; 11th February 2009 at 01:59 PM.

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    dalsoth you just made my spine shiver.

    I wonder how long a managed service is going to put up with 20 keyboards trashed in a week before they start to charge for these and other items at silly prices. It is then that it will dawn on them the mistake they have made.
    this is true well almost to a degree at our school. we are always on a constent battle with laptops and keyboards and also when they pesky kids think its funny to punch the faces plates through on base units. i mean what are bsf going to do about that how are they going to manage this. i mean its not as if a teacher will open a base unit and try and fix it. i mean kids to wreck computers. they have no morals and value full stop well maybe some but not all. im doing my 70-291 exam at the min which im find a bit hard but that will not stop me

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    MMM just my thoughts here but I imagine RM for example are an excellent company to work for.

    I know people who have gone there previously. Theres alot of pro's and not many con's. However its ok me saying that if your a young guy starting out but not for the older chaps/ladies with familys.

    For example:
    1) Training
    2) Career development
    3) Healthcare
    4) Lots of social pros
    5) Good money
    6) Mentors etc
    7) Share schemes
    8) Flexitime

    etc etc

    Now I am not saying alot of schools dont have the above but I imagine most don't have to an extensive degree.

    Also BTW in a previous I.T. job @ a school I was outsourced (to company who had been coming in now and again for many years). My hours were transferred to anoter school i worked at + had more responsbility but still lost out by a few hours dosh. So I know how it feels after all the hard work/ad hoc goings in driving over an hour to get to work to sort problems out. Alot of the staff didn't like the idea. - But this is just life! Sht happens ;P

    Funny thing is one of the main governors @ the school I was outsourced @ who also interviewed me previously, turned up for an interview for my previous I.T. tech job. It was quite ironic and funny at the time, specially when I was marking tests and asking questions. Needless to say she wasnt very capable and said she wudnt be able to deal with the job if she got it.
    Last edited by Jiser; 11th February 2009 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post

    n all cases though - do you agree that it is actually the SMT of the school that are totally responsible for lack of ICT integration and lack of proper ICT facilities - rather than simply blaming poor ICT Technicians that probably get very little technical training, and also may actually get paid around the same kind of wage as a receptionist?

    Butuz
    I maintain my view here that if I.T. people in education don't like the wage why take the job. Though there are reasons why people take jobs in education, umm if people dont like it then theres plenty of industry jobs out there which pay more + offer training.

    Also I am sure one tech will remain in schools to offer basic support/ toner changer, so these basic problems will still be face to face. Perfect career chances for new I.T. startes not for those in schools allready. Career choices from there I imagine progress 2nd line/3rd line. Team leaders, managers, engineers etc. There are probs numerous roles.
    Last edited by Jiser; 11th February 2009 at 02:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiser View Post
    I maintain my view here that if I.T. people in education don't like the wage why take the job.
    And whats that got to do with the price of bread?

    Pay peanuts you get monkeys. Theres no point blaming the monkey for liking peanuts, nor is there any point blaming him for not being given the resources he needed in order to run his network. The question is why did SMT employ a monkey at all?
    Last edited by j17sparky; 11th February 2009 at 02:41 PM.

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  10. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    And whats that got to do with the price of bread?

    Pay peanuts you get monkeys. We're not trying to blame the monkey for liking peanuts, we are trying to understand why management employed a monkey in the first place.
    Fair comments. Some people might be on peanuts but be fairly decent at their job though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiser View Post
    Fair comments. Some people might be on peanuts but be fairly decent at their job though.
    That they might, but the fact remains that as a general rule you get what you pay for...

    When we all get TUPEd what do you think will happen? All us stupid techs who are the sole reason for bad IT in schools will be taken on by the managed service provider, and put back into schools... 2 things will change; garrentied capital investment, and change in management

    Im off quick

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    That they might, but the fact remains that as a general rule you get what you pay for...

    When we all get TUPEd what do you think will happen? All us stupid techs who are the sole reason for bad IT in schools will be taken on by the managed service provider, and put back into schools... 2 things will change; garrentied capital investment, and change in management

    Im off quick
    ^_^

    TBH people are generally paid bad in schools. I wouldnt say I am an idiot by any means tho neither are the guys I work with. I am capable of getting a well paid job when I am older as others weer who graduated with me who are now working as Oracle consultants who got worse grades than me and had no I.T. experiance. 28k +

    They choose a different way of life as I did. For me theres more to life than going str8 out to a hardcore career str8 of graduating with long hours, away from home alot etc etc.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Jiser; 11th February 2009 at 03:57 PM.

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    Oh im not suggesting anyone is an idiot. Im on crap money so...

    My point was the reason managed services has had to come along is due to management decisions;
    why is the school paying peanuts?
    why is the school not investing in ICT?
    If the problem is infact the NM/techie why hasnt he been shown the door?

    All of these things can only be put down to SMT, yet the thing which isnt changing in this fantastic new model which is BSF, is infact SMT

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    Woohoo ... I get to come off the fence again. (and no ... straight_talk is not a sock puppet)

    Ok, a few answers to some comments and the comments are paraphrased (before anyone gets in a huff about not qouting properly)

    Why isn't the money for BSF bundled up and handed out to schools - Been tried before via a variety of grants and still hasn't made a good enough difference because, even when ring-fenced, school manglement will spend it on what they deem fit. Simple, the Govt takes it out of their control of buggering up and makes it 'managed' instead.

    Apparently it's all the techies who are causing the bad service and problems with IT - No ... there are some out there that aren't up to the job (we have had enough horror stories on here from people working with people senior to then as network managers, etc who are rubbish, egomaniacs and are more of a problem than the worst luser teacher / student / mangler!) but the problem is that, in spite of things like SLICT /TeamSLICT / ICTMark /etc, there are still too many schools that just toddle along, no long term plans, no vision for IT /ICT and how it affects the whole school. *You* might have ... and you might be ignored by the senior manglers at your school. So, the Govt takes the problem away and says to the school that if they can't come up with a vision then one will be set up for them to adapt.

    I'm going to lose my job! - yep ... wow ... happens in other sectors too you know. If that seems harsh, I'm sorry. There are people working in schools now because they were made redundant elsewhere so to have to go through the same again stinks, but if a company takes another one over then yes, it is common for people to lose jobs. In reality there is a lot put in there to protect you as much as is commercially possible (check BSF forums for discussions on how companies use commercials to get rid of staff) and TUPE is the largest of these. If you want to protect your job then make yourself employable and well skilled.

    Nobody consults with us ... we know what is going on and how it makes a difference! - Ok ... if you have this as an issue then have a go at your senior manglers and the LA, not the MSP or the Govt. Those schemes that appear to be going well (or better than others) are those where people have actually started to talk ... and I hate to say it, it tends to be where the MSP and the schools bypass the LA and sort things out. I'm not saying LAs are perfect, but LAs listen to Heads ... they don't exactly listen to you. Is this fair ... heck no, but as mentioned time and time again you need to make sure your head is aware of what is going on. If your head doesn't listen to you now then what makes you think it will make a difference for the BSF talks.

    Chatting with a guy I know who is in a school becoming an Academy later in the year, he is over the moon to have a chance to work under a company / group that actually has an idea about what to do in a school to make sure technology is used and used well, instead of constantly battling to make changes. He has been so disillusioned for so long he was resigned to just dealing with status quo, picking up the pieces after random kit or software is bought, or having to have arguements with various staff because what they want (or has been promised) is usualy not what is possible with the kit he has, or possible due to the setup the school has.

    But we know best ... or at least better than the MSP! - Yep .. some of you do. I wish you all did ... I can pick people out here that I would be happy to say they could do a better job and I am always more than happy to name names ... but if someone says 'we don't have a backup policy' or 'I don't have a maintenance schedule' then I'm sorry ... you don't reach the top of the class! Did I have all of these? no ... happy to hold my hands up to this and explain why (lack of time to write them, things changing too quickly, etc) but they are excuses and there were times you have to fight the battles you can win and I am doing my damnedest to make sure others are not in that position local to me. I have always been happy to carefully chose outsourced companies to work with to get things right. This could be for network infrasture, for thin client solutions, for server implementation. It freed up time to do other things such as working with staff to make more use of IT. Others on here already do that by using middleware and these are some of the people who I would name as in the top 0.1% of 'on the ball' folks too!) The Govt has decided that there is not enough evidence that schools and their staff do know best, so they are taking good practice from places like academies (who have had to have wholesale change to improve the T&L) or leading CTCs (who have become academies too) and get things going. I suppose your heads could say sorry to you, just the way that the former bankers did yesterday.

    Did I find the videos useful ... yeah, partly because I can see the spin (it is promotional material after all) but partly because I could make a few guesses at where the problems where previously that led the school to look on a managed service as a good thing. So, there you are ... another piece of my 'show me that you are any good' quest. Seriously though ... if you want to do a song and dance about how good your school is right now then have a chat with your Head, get a vid camera out and away you go. Youtube is your friend.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    This main video strikes me as nothing more than propoganda. I recall my old place was one of the first to tie in with AAL, and when the 'independant' people came round to interview us all and monitor the progress, they were told point-blank what the good bits were, but also what the bad bits were. They did not publish a single word about the bad bits, and I sense that in this video. Of course it's going to be that way, let's not be naive, but let's not get completely suckered in, either. By the time BSF comes to my area I probably won't care if I'm thrown on the scrapheap, but whilst its intentions are good and there's no doubt that run-down schools and systems will benefit, there are schools with excellent networks who may just rue the day BSF came to town.

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    I'll tell you one thing BSF won't cure: idiot users who report a fault with something only for you to discover that it's either (a) not plugged in, (b) not powered up, (c) cables are loose or missing, or (d) network cable is not plugged in. Most of you will know that many of the people in schools who complain the most and liudest about ICT support are the worst offenders.

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