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BSF Thread, BSF Employment in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; When BSF starts rolling out across all schools up and down the country, have people been faced with redundancies or ...
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    Unhappy BSF Employment

    When BSF starts rolling out across all schools up and down the country, have people been faced with redundancies or have they been given the opportunity to rise up the ranks within the managed service provider?

    Or, were you tasked with obstacles along the way so that you fail at the first hurdle and give reasons to the managed service provider to let you go?

    BSF is kicking in this summer for me, or next, and I'm wondering what my options are. Funny thing is, I haven't even had any negotiations with the company that has taken over my contract, let alone have someone inform me and the NM of the dealings that's going on.

    I've checked the BSF thread but a lot of it is opinionated and accusing companies of things without some form of solid proof to backup the accusations.

    Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated.

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    I'll be going through the TUPE process myself this summer, we've had several meetings with the company that are taking over the employment of the technical team but as of yet only have a few clear facts.

    The contract protects all of your current T's & C's so salary, working hours, holiday time etc will all be the same.

    The only time a redundancy could occur is if the contract ends between the school and the service provider. (Although this topic was quite quickly skipped over by our new 'bosses' in the meeting we had.)

    There is room for growth and opportunity in the new company depending on what your career path is.

    I don't know whether these only apply to the company im being transfered to but I get the impression this is accross the board.

    Thanks

    Phil

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    broc's Avatar
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    The BSF situation is likely to be different for each local authority, and may depend upon the status of your school. Academies & Trust schools can be part of BSF but need not be. You cannot rely upon what has gone before to determine what happens.....

    LAs with schools in more than one wave of BSF are not obliged to use the same LEP or MSP partner for each wave, although it is likely they will to achieve economies of scale. Poor performance by the MSP is one reason why an LA might choose to award subsequent contracts to another MSP. Cost will be another.

    Schools will be looking at reducing their ICT costs amongst many other things .... managed service providers will be looking to maximise profit..... bear in mind staffing costs are a significant part of delivering a managed service....

    Partnership for Schools have said in public that they do not anticipate schools will need onsite network managers when they are supported by a BSF managed service. They believe a significant level of ICT support to BSF schools will be delivered by means of helpdesk/telephone support.

    Draw your own conclusions.

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    I dont know whether this will be the case in your LA, but have your managed service discussed an onsite technician aswell as a roaming technician to add to remote support?

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    I think it is generally accepted that most schools are likely to have some level of onsite technical support; the number of technicians, their responsibilities & their skill levels will be determined during contract negotiation; the more schools are prepared to pay the more support they can have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    I think it is generally accepted that most schools are likely to have some level of onsite technical support; the number of technicians, their responsibilities & their skill levels will be determined during contract negotiation; the more schools are prepared to pay the more support they can have.
    Our BSF "fee" is per pupil per year, and is the same for all across the borough. I know some schools have lass on site than us, and some more, but we all pay the same per pupil fee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    The BSF situation is likely to be different for each local authority, and may depend upon the status of your school. Academies & Trust schools can be part of BSF but need not be. You cannot rely upon what has gone before to determine what happens.....

    LAs with schools in more than one wave of BSF are not obliged to use the same LEP or MSP partner for each wave, although it is likely they will to achieve economies of scale. Poor performance by the MSP is one reason why an LA might choose to award subsequent contracts to another MSP. Cost will be another.

    Schools will be looking at reducing their ICT costs amongst many other things .... managed service providers will be looking to maximise profit..... bear in mind staffing costs are a significant part of delivering a managed service....

    Partnership for Schools have said in public that they do not anticipate schools will need onsite network managers when they are supported by a BSF managed service. They believe a significant level of ICT support to BSF schools will be delivered by means of helpdesk/telephone support.

    Draw your own conclusions.
    Who things up this rubbish! havent got a clue these people who think there is no need for a Network Manager on site, makes my blood boil

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    Have companies actually thought about the impact it will have on teaching staff and on them delivering their lessons whilst a problem occurs?

    You cannot expect a teacher to call up the company's support line and sit there whilst troubleshooting the problem in a middle of a lesson. This is why schools have NMs and technicians on site to resolve issues like these and to give back teaching staff their time so that it can be effectively redirected back into the classroom. I suppose they're banking on teaching assistants do the troubleshooting, eh.

    I understand there's a lot of investment being poured into this but already a large number of LAs provide a good level of service to schools in terms of their IT provisions, so why bother?!

    I'm in the dark as much as the rest of the other IT clan in the borough, I think. Then again, I've never spoken to or seen any of them. My HT doesn't say anything about it and I've not had any consultations or had anyone mention anything about this BSF nonsense. I don't like the uncertainty and I wish somebody would just own up and tell us what's what.

    I know which company that has won the bid and so far not a single pip has been heard from them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Andycat View Post
    Our BSF "fee" is per pupil per year, and is the same for all across the borough. I know some schools have lass on site than us, and some more, but we all pay the same per pupil fee.
    That is true for most BSF schools, the flat rate pays for a 'baseline' level of service. The rate is negotiated by the schools with the MSP via the LEP.

    As with any outsourcing contract, schools can choose to pay more & get more, whether it be hardware, software or support. They may also asked to make additional payments to build up funds to 'refresh' their equipment during the lifetime of the managed service contract.

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    As part of the Liverpool BSF our managed service will be provided by computacentre who have only ever dealt with buisness clients. I don't know how well they will cope with a school. The first of our BSF schools is going to go live in 3 months and the SLA's aren't even written yet so I'm fairly sceptical.

    Phil

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    @Chuckster

    The lack of information or discussion is just one aspect of BSF which can be very frustrating; there are legal & contractual conditions which can limit discussion with affected employees until contracts are signed & key milestones are reached. Often it is a case of no news because there is nothing to tell rather than because it is bad news that is being kept from us .....

    Your points about the merits of onsite vs offsite support are well made and have been voiced many times in the BSF forum. Unfortunately (for whatever reason) there isn't a huge amount of feedback from staff at schools who have completed the transition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil-Dyer View Post
    As part of the Liverpool BSF our managed service will be provided by computacentre who have only ever dealt with buisness clients. I don't know how well they will cope with a school. The first of our BSF schools is going to go live in 3 months and the SLA's aren't even written yet so I'm fairly sceptical.

    Phil
    Unless the MSP turns out to be supremely arrogant in thinking school ICT support is no different from business clients, they will need people with the knowledge to run & support school ICT as they won't have the skills themselves..... so they should be keen to TUPE the skills across.....

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    The thing to remember with this is they do not neccessarily have to Tupe you over to anyone. They can avoid transferring certain members of staff and choose to make them redundant on economic, technical or organisational grounds.

    This basically means that if any staffing is re-structured (and with a managed service coming in they will be) or if they can prove that its not financially feasbile to keep you on, you might not even get as far as Tupe.

    Generally speaking most peopel will be safe and conditions/pay will remain the same however you have to qualify for Tupe first and based on most peoples experiences a lot of times you don't get that far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahunter View Post
    The thing to remember with this is they do not neccessarily have to Tupe you over to anyone. They can avoid transferring certain members of staff and choose to make them redundant on economic, technical or organisational grounds.

    This basically means that if any staffing is re-structured (and with a managed service coming in they will be) or if they can prove that its not financially feasbile to keep you on, you might not even get as far as Tupe.

    Generally speaking most peopel will be safe and conditions/pay will remain the same however you have to qualify for Tupe first and based on most peoples experiences a lot of times you don't get that far.
    If over 50% of your job is move to the new service they do have to offer you TUPE. If you refuse to move to effectively resign. They can not restructure before the contract is entered into and so can not fire you while you work for the school. They can negotiate with you a different roll with different terms before TUPE takes place and can restructure after TUPE but would have consult correctly with you and pay redundancy under you current terms if your job is not required.

    More details http://www.laws.sandwell.gov.uk/ccm/...ked-questions/

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    Sorry Faceman but Ahunter is right.

    There is no reason why bidders have to replicate the Authorities staffing stuctures in theire bids - in fact it is unlikely they would win bids if they did as they need to demonstate cost savings and one way is to reduce staff costs (and as TUPE means they can'r reduce T&Cs the only way is to reduce numbers).

    If the Authority accepts a bid which has a reduced staffing level then only those people whose jobs (or a close match) remain within the private sector partners new structure are eligible for TUPE and the others will be either redeployed by the Authority into some other role or more likely made redundant.

    Equally after TUPE the ICT supplier can have a re-org at ant time for economical, technical or organisational reasons and those staff affected can be made redundant be they TUPE or not - usually the contract has a clause to say they can be offered back to the Authority but they are under no obligation to accept them.

    Please be careful about posting on issues such as this if you are not 100% an expert on employment law, TUPE and standard form PFI or BSF project agreements as people could end up wrongly believing they have rights or entitlements when in fact they do not. Even unions generally are pretty ignorant of the law and contractual position regarding employment within BSF and you should seek advice from your Authorities specialist BSF legal advisors, usually a company such as Eversheds or Dickinson Dees, Todds Murray etc.



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