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BSF Thread, Petition your MP in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Bear with me, this isn't just OSS evangelism. The schoolforge list have a thread asking members to petition their MP's ...
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    Petition your MP

    Bear with me, this isn't just OSS evangelism. The schoolforge list have a thread asking members to petition their MP's within the next week to sign up for an early day motion which is effectively about giving schools choice in which software they deploy in their school. As we know, BSF managed ICT services by multinational companies will bring an end to local choice of software/hardware whether it OSS or otherwise.
    For this reason I think this is an appropriate cause.

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/sf-...1763c9ea1701c2

    John Pugh MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons
    entitled Software in Education, number 179. Please write to, or email,
    your MP within the next week with a request that he or she add their
    name to this motion.

    "That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools,
    colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to
    deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own
    institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that
    Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of
    outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the
    option of benefiting from both free and open source and the value and
    experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools
    market."

    This is a huge opportunity to put FLOSS on our politicians agenda, and
    the issue is precisely where we want the DfES to take action.

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    alexknight's Avatar
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    Re: Petition your MP

    I got this reply from my MP.

    Shall I tell him to go for it?

    Dear Alex Knight,

    Thanks for your message. Yes I have seen John Pugh's EDM and agree with much
    of its thrust. But I have, I'm afraid, a fundamental objection to
    EDM's.....there is NEVER an "early day" so the only function EDMs perform is
    to garner support and waste Parliamentary paper.

    May I therefore suggest whjat could be a more fruitful approach. You
    obviously feel strongly about this issue. I dare say other educationalists
    do. I would be happy to apply for an Adjournment Debate in either
    Westminster Hall or the main Chamber in order that these matters could be
    debated and a Ministerial reply received. There is no guarantee of obtianing
    such a debate, but I have managed to secure five of them in the past year.

    If you would like me try please let me know.

    With best wishes

    Ian Liddell-Grainger

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Petition your MP

    I would say go for it

    Russell

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    Re: Petition your MP

    I think it would be worth contacting Iain Roberts at the openschools alliance:
    http://www.openschoolsalliance.org/ before taking it any futher, he seems to have organised the site.

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    Re: Petition your MP

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    I think it would be worth contacting Iain Roberts at the openschools alliance:
    http://www.openschoolsalliance.org/ before taking it any futher, he seems to have organised the site.
    Is this about using Linux as an OS or saving our jobs under the BSF steamroller ?

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    Re: Petition your MP

    People are trying to link the two together ... or at least use OSS as an example of how BSF will be a bad move as it will prevent it being introduced into schools or removed from schools already down that path, and that this is another shining example of the tendering structure being 100% focused on money that can be made rather than the impact it will have on the project.

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    Re: Petition your MP

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    People are trying to link the two together ... or at least use OSS as an example of how BSF will be a bad move as it will prevent it being introduced into schools or removed from schools already down that path, and that this is another shining example of the tendering structure being 100% focused on money that can be made rather than the impact it will have on the project.
    I was at a BSF meeting when one of the proposed companies said that their first obligation was to their shareholders... then the school..

    Whereas an In-House ICT Department has no shareholders and is focused on the school

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    Re: Petition your MP

    I was at a BSF meeting when one of the proposed companies said that their first obligation was to their shareholders... then the school..

    Whereas an In-House ICT Department has no shareholders and is focused on the school
    indeed, there are already examples of BSF companies deploying software like OpenOffice rather than MSOffice because it makes commercial sense. However IMO - BSF and OpenSource issues are intrinsically linked - on one hand Becta are saying schools can save upwards of 50% in support and software costs by using OSS and on the other they are precluding projects such as moodle because support can 'only' be obtained from small/medium sized business when the BSF focus is in general towards large business such as ramesys,RM etc who generally exclude OSS (because their functions is to make money selling proprietry software/hardware). whether or not this is in the interst of the school only the school can decide, but it's looking more and more like the school will not get a decision under BSF - hence why IMO the two are linked - All the Becta/DfES proposals are geared towards BSF. The EDM is questioning the procurement framework that Becta/DfES are using (for BSF)

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    Re: Petition your MP

    It looks like BECTA has responded

    "Becta strongly rejects these claims and issued this statement to the media:

    Becta rejects the claims made by John Pugh MP that it is denying schools the opportunity to benefit from free and open source software."

    http://industry.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=26062

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    Re: Petition your MP

    They completely missed the point that it is their BSF procurement framework that is favouring large companies and filtering out smaller local companies that tend to provide oss solutions. Most, but not all, of the larger BSF outsourcing companies that we have seen are MS partners who I believe have MoU's with MS prohibiting them from deploying OSS alternatives to MS. They also say that schools should make an informed choice about the software they use, but clearly BSF will reduce local choice if their service is a managed one - For example, If a school is currently using moodle and all the teachers are trained with it and happy using it I don't see eg. RM being able to continue supporting that, instead they will rip it out in favour of a sharepoint solution. As the local support staff will be downgraded, tupe'd or made redundant the school will loose a working oss solution at a higher cost and increased lock-in. An overall bad situation for the school both short and long-term.

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