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BSF Thread, Continuity of Service before/during BSF in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by tsky I was told "oh yes, we want wireless, yeah everything wireless" to which I replied "you ...
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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsky View Post
    I was told "oh yes, we want wireless, yeah everything wireless" to which I replied "you can have wireless zones but your computers will be WIRED so get that out of your head right now. Just because it 'works at home' doesn't mean you can hang labs of desktop PC's that do video editing with remote storage (based on your plans) off it.
    There are actually two bandwidth issues. The first is that in order to get anything like LAN speeds with wireless you'd be exposing anyone to far more EM radiation than people are currently making a fuss about. 802.11g&a are actually up to 28M in each direction 802.11b being 5.5M. Since it's also a shared medium akin to classic ethernet (or ALOHAnet) the actual usable bandwidth is rather less. Even 10M switched ethernet can in some cases offer more usable bandwidth.
    The other bandwidth issue comes with the remote hosting. Whereas with onsite servers you can easily get 1G (full duplex) per server, even 10G.

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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    They may have presumed that the IT lot would be sorting it and the IT lot presumed the buildings lot would do it (as it is the 5th service after gas, electric, water, telecoms ...) It also partly depends on whether the school has their own ISP or if they are using the LA's ISP / RBC.

    Basically ... it is poor project management. No other way to describe it really ... and could have been picked up by quite a number of people before you spotted it.
    Or it may be as simple as there isn't anyone looking at the whole project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpe View Post
    Or it may be as simple as there isn't anyone looking at the whole project.
    why would anyone look at the whole project? Then there would be someone to BLAME!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    why would anyone look at the whole project? Then there would be someone to BLAME!
    ...and this comes back to the fact that modern life has no accountability.
    Politicians and their pay, kids with their behaviour, parents with their parental responsibilty, schools and their BSF project...

    I have to get millions of quotes for any devolved capital budgets for scrutiny by the SMT and governors and say why I spend X amount on Y product... I'm responsible and accountable for my budgets. Yet with the BSF projects, it seems that you have little accountability from the contractors side - unless it implicitly says in the contract they're accountable, they can take the cash and run and shrug off the blame on their slopey slopey shoulders of responsibility.

    Just WHO is in charge, just WHO cares about these things ? Ask anyone and they'll all point fingers at each other so noone gets the blame.

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    I might not be the most popular person with some of my views on BSF and I admit that for some schools you are talking about 'damage limitation' now ... certainly a conversation last week did centre around that aspect of it.

    And yes ... there has to be one person with ultimate responsibility. That is one of the criteria ... however, the success / failure criteria can often be just a tad vague ... as with any Govt project. PfS give guidance and instruction, but if an LA goes down a particular route ...

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    Don't get me wrong, it's not the concept I disagree with, it's the idiocy of the systems and procedures in place..

    The idea of building a school that is relevant and usable and forward-thinking is fantastic.

    I REALLY want things to work here - our school is in desperate need of an update and investment in a lot of areas being a co-funded aided school...

    my concern is that BSF has become yet another "one size fits all" approach where nothing is about education and improving standards and everything (just like they did with the CLC's) becomes about money money money and the appearance of doing something good rather than actually DOING it.

    ho hum.
    It's Friday... I need another black coffee laced with prozac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    Why are they still putting in computer rooms? - you want a couple at most but the subject IT should go and all classrooms should have a class worth of computers round the edge so you can just go and use computers when required and no worry about booking IT rooms and stuff - you could also have computers designed to work with the subjects that use the rooms (ie english would only need an eeeBox but media would require Core i7's for video editing and stuff)
    The 'blues-sky' vision for BSF starts with exactly this concept in many schools, but then realism kicks in as planning & consultancy costs start to bite huge huge holes in the budget .

    The footprint of each school is determined by a formula, driven by the number of students planned to be attending when it opens. This formula generally results in smaller classrooms, lack of office space, lack of circulation space, lack of storage space... smaller labs, smaller prep rooms, smaller workshops, no staffroom ... get the picture? You even get less car parking space, as the planners believe we should all be using public transport or car sharing.

    So having every classroom that were big enough to accomodate a typical class size of students all with computers (even small form factor/thin client) ends up being a total non-starter, as there would be no space for anything else.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpe View Post
    The last thing they want to be told is that the plans are fundermentally flawed. Especially by someone who is most likely paid a lot less, is outside of their "social circle" and dosn't have to waste vast sums of money on "consultants" and "reports" to come to a conclusion.
    This probably isn't anything especially new, considering what a well known Danish author wrote in 1837.
    You have hit the nail on the head here. At my wife's school (she is a science technician), she, the HOD Science & Deputy HoD Science had a meeting to discuss the layout of their new dept with the architects. When things were not going well, the HoD suggested they go down to the science dept & look for themselves & see how things were functioning; the response from the architect was he knew all about how science depts ran, and was perfectly capable of designing their new one without their help!

    The design he came up with managed to leave out fume cupboards in labs, provide no ventilation in the prep rooms where chemicals were stored/prepared, and he even designed a prep room with so many doors there was no space to install wall racking to store anything.

    At my school, the design does not provide any accomodation for any ICT technicians....... or a NM
    Last edited by broc; 5th June 2009 at 01:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    The 'blues-sky' vision for BSF starts with exactly this concept in many schools, but then realism kicks in as planning & consultancy costs start to bite huge huge holes in the budget .

    The footprint of each school is determined by a formula, driven by the number of students planned to be attending when it opens. This formula generally results in smaller classrooms, lack of office space, lack of circulation space, lack of storage space... smaller labs, smaller prep rooms, smaller workshops, no staffroom ... get the picture? You even get less car parking space, as the planners believe we should all be using public transport or car sharing.

    So having every classroom that were big enough to accomodate a typical class size of students all with computers (even small form factor/thin client) ends up being a total non-starter, as there would be no space for anything else.
    I quite like the idea of cutting out parking spaces and getting people walking/using public transport (if they are willing to improve public transport to the areas)

    as this is Building Schools for the Future should they not look at what requirements are likely to be 5-10 years down the line not what they expect in the first year of opening?

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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    BSF started out as a concept ideal of replacing the old decrepit 60s buildings throughout the whole of the country and it seemed like a damn fine idea to those people running the country as it focused on our youth and how fine an investment it would be.

    Then the private industry consultants got on the "gravy train"
    Those "running" the country being incapable of recognising this as a potential problem. Given that that appears to be what they spend most of their effort on.
    and sat next to the "Architects" who in turn rubbed their little hands with glee at being given free license to design new conceptual buildings which had no real purpose but to visually look good.
    There appear to be far too many Architects who appear to be frustrated arists. Thus appearing more concerned with the outside looks of a building than anything inside them. Personally I like the approach of a Moscow judge for sentenced an architect to live in the apartment building he had designed. (The Russians have a rather practical approach to bad buildings...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    At my school, the design does not provide any accomodation for any ICT technicians....... or a NM
    The poor sods who are going to work here get a 2m x 4m box to work in.

    And I thought our office was bad enough at the moment!
    (Reprographics gets 40m2 in comparison for 2 large photocopiers)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAckroyd View Post
    I quite like the idea of cutting out parking spaces and getting people walking/using public transport (if they are willing to improve public transport to the areas)

    as this is Building Schools for the Future should they not look at what requirements are likely to be 5-10 years down the line not what they expect in the first year of opening?
    The problem with forcing people to use public transport/car sharing is that it often only works in inner cities. In rural areas, where staff may have to travel up to 30 miles to get to work public transport is quite often not up to it; my own 15 mile journey to work takes me around 20 mins by car , it would take me two hours by public transport, involving at least two buses.

    As far as planning for the future, it could make matters worse. In areas with falling rolls, the schools would be even smaller

    Bottom line, it's all about cost..... who cares about the vision?
    Last edited by broc; 5th June 2009 at 02:00 PM.

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    mpe
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    [QUOTE=DAckroyd;339983]Why are they still putting in computer rooms? - you want a couple at most but the subject IT should go and all classrooms should have a class worth of computers round the edge so you can just go and use computers when required/QUOTE]
    You'd need some huge rooms to make this possible. Especially once you account for things like corners, doors, etc. Then you need to have sufficent space left to accomodate a room which is now going to be at least 2m "shorter" and 4m "narrower".

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    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsky View Post
    The poor sods who are going to work here get a 2m x 4m box to work in.

    And I thought our office was bad enough at the moment!
    (Reprographics gets 40m2 in comparison for 2 large photocopiers)
    Given that they are often only concerned with area it's quite possible to end up with a space which is of little practical use, even though it might have the right floor area.

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    why would anyone look at the whole project? Then there would be someone to BLAME!
    Blame avoidance and *ability* i.e. they know they couldn't do it. Public sector pay isn't much of an incentive for talent, nor is the depreciated kind of time-serving career politics that's still alive and well in the public sector (any Western Euripean country). And are there any career progression paths in these places besides the one to Bureacrat[tm]?

    There appear to be far too many Architects who appear to be frustrated arists. Thus appearing more concerned with the outside looks of a building than anything inside them
    I've had a fair amount of contact with this world via t'other half whose first career as an "Interior Architect" was to try and make innovative artistic statements usable by real people. Thing is, although most architects get sentenced to a life of loft-conversions, a large part of it simply *is* about the art and artistic statements are what they are essentially trained to do.



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