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BSF Thread, BECTA's View on Network Managing in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Management and support: Users need to be confident that the ICT infrastructure will work reliably and consistently, allowing them to ...
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    Grommit's Avatar
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    BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Management and support: Users need to be confident that the ICT infrastructure
    will work reliably and consistently, allowing them to concentrate on their learning,
    education or administration activities. To help meet and manage ICT requirements,
    Becta advocates a managed service approach to institutional infrastructure.
    Additionally, Becta has carried out a considerable amount of work in the field of
    network management and support by developing and helping institutions to
    implement the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS).
    6
    Familiarisation with
    and adoption of this scheme of work should be considered as a prerequisite to meet
    the requirements outlined in this document.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    its so sad it it's funny..

    How the postive Change will Affect Us

    http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.ph...f_04&rid=12714

    http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.ph...f_04&rid=12711

    I think I am going to beome a Vet...because sticking your arm up a cows arse has to be less stressful than being an ICT Manager with the BSF and BECTA trying to take your job away

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    That's crap.

    New infrastructure services will improve the way an educational institution, its staff and learners use ICT.
    Quite how they got to that conclusion baffles me.

    Technical support staff
    Similarly, once the burden of managing Infrastructure Services has been reduced, support staff will have more time to assist teaching staff embedding the use of ICT in the classroom.
    Erm, technical support = teaching assistants?!

    New services could mean that front-line technical support for ICT is provided by a remote helpdesk which responds to, logs and resolves ICT queries without even visiting the school. Schools can arrange site visits with their supplier where desirable and helpful, but assuming the ICT issues are resolved satisfactorily there may be no need for on-site support.
    Well there goes all of our jobs then. Teachers want things yesterday, now at the most. So how can they claim "Teaching staff should find that their overall ICT experience improves as a result of introducing new services."

    FFS

  4. #4
    richard
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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    To be honest if I wanted to become a TA then I would have become one in the first place. Saying that I do have a lot of respect for TA's and the job they do but its not what I want to do as a career.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Having had heated discussions with a few folks at Becta about this I can understand why you are concerned.

    Reading between the lines (and unofficial comments) Becta supports BSF as it puts schools on a level playing field when it comes down to facilities and what it enables schools to do with ICT ... how it is then used is another matter and the T&L side of it comes to the fore ...

    Notice how they mention that meetin FITS is what should be regarded as the minimum standard in tech support. The same way that OFSTED have criteria for teachers and leaders in schools, FITS should be considered to be the criteria for us lot *purely* on the tech support side of things. Meet these criteria and you have extra ammunition as to why the ICT outsourcing is a waste of time for your school.

    I don't think I would be far wrong if I said the split between those that think FITS is a good thing and those that think it is a bad thing is maybe 25:75 ... which is a shame.

    The idea is not that FITS is a stick to beat us with .. but something that can be used to help people meet a base-line ... and it is just that ... a base-line ... a starting point ... unfortunately it is not always taken that way ... again ... it is a shame.

    If you have issues with FITS then I do know that Becta are happy to have contact with people willing to give input ...

    Also ... if you have other major issues then contact your union, your MP and your MEP. We can discuss the pros and cons of BSF for ever ... but you will only change it if you get serious backing or work from the inside ...

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Time to find a new job I think :/

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    One thing I am going to query is about schools that have ICT Mark ... these are schools that have officialy reached a high standard ... why should these ever be involved in having the ICT sections being outsourced under BSF?

    Perhaps this should be a more appropriate approach to combatting it.

    I'll actually post a little survey about something ...

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    good plan, this is something that I've been trying to encourage here. Its just quite hard implementing something like FITS/NAACE from the technicians level as it needs to be instigated by SMT. I find they quite like ideas if they are their own - but obviously don't like a technician telling them how to run the school, even if it is govt advice that they should be following anyway.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Ok ... fair point ... in that case let us start taking it from the SMT view ...

    They get so much info pushed at them and they receive info on the Self-Review Framework but don't realise how it is linked with FITS. They also have higher priorities ...

    Would it be a good idea to be able to go up to them and say "Hey boss ... there is this badge around to say your schools is good with ICT ... and I have worked out that we already cover a chunk of it ..."

    Perhaps if any members are at schools with ICT Mark they could post here about how they were involved with getting ICT Mark.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Would it be a good idea to be able to go up to them and say "Hey boss ... there is this badge around to say your schools is good with ICT ... and I have worked out that we already cover a chunk of it ..."
    absolutely, I have made some progress with this and we have a partial implementation of FITS.
    I found that the response is along the lines "We can't possibly do this because we'd have to plan more than 2mins in advance, we can't do that because we don't know how much money we will have next year". Clearly this is BS because other schools do manage to come up with 3-5yr plans, but they "never have the time", in any case it would be acceptable to base a strategy on a minimal amount of money using OSS solutions. Given proper backing and relevant financial documentation I could probably implement FITS/NAACEmark myself, but am not about to offer without going up a payscale.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    BECTA said

    "once the burden of managing Infrastructure Services has been reduced"

    Now it's not a burden... it's my job.. It's what I do at the school....if it is reduced I will have no position..

    But.. someone will have the burden making sure that the School gets Value for Money and a good system..

    So the school will still have a burden of making sure that have the best ICT services..

    So the burden moves from the ICT Manager to make sure it all works to some school staff member taking on a massive company......

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Now it's not a burden... it's my job.. It's what I do at the school....if it is reduced I will have no position..

    But.. someone will have the burden making sure that the School gets Value for Money and a good system..
    I think Grumbledooks' earlier comments sum up your concerns

    Meet these criteria and you have extra ammunition as to why the ICT outsourcing is a waste of time for your school.
    I read through the FITS implementation documentation and in general I'm supportive, It would be great if I could spend "more time to assist teaching staff embedding the use of ICT in the classroom." (I take this to mean using my current skills to improve ICT systems rather than being a TA). So far we have only just got past the helpdesk part - but IMO the benefits of change management are significant and should lead to a smoother running department, rather than firefighting.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Now it's not a burden... it's my job.. It's what I do at the school....if it is reduced I will have no position..

    But.. someone will have the burden making sure that the School gets Value for Money and a good system..
    I think Grumbledooks' earlier comments sum up your concerns

    Meet these criteria and you have extra ammunition as to why the ICT outsourcing is a waste of time for your school.
    I read through the FITS implementation documentation and in general I'm supportive, It would be great if I could spend "more time to assist teaching staff embedding the use of ICT in the classroom." (I take this to mean using my current skills to improve ICT systems rather than being a TA). So far we have only just got past the helpdesk part - but IMO the benefits of change management are significant and should lead to a smoother running department, rather than firefighting.
    FITS .. Yea.... Doesn't help you when some teachers storm up to the ICT Office damanding that you fix their DVD player beacuse its not working... ( got damaged period before) and stand there untill you comply.. and when you tell them that its damaged beyond repair and that a new one has to be ordered you get an evil stare amd mutterings that the IT support is shit....

    Or the Senior Teacher that texts that their board isn't working.... then you go down and find that its unplugged at the wall.. (next to the teachers desk)

    Or you get a student that comes to the ICT office because the Deputy Head PC's not working.. you go down and get a lecture that the system is rubbish and has not been working for days.. then you plug in the network cable (by the teachers desk, which had been unplugged by wandering hands) and it works fine ..

    Oh the Joys..

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    yep, we have similar issues. This is why things like FITS must be a policy from SMT with their full backing. The FITS solution to this is that the 'incident' is logged by a 'single point of contact' (not necessarily a technician, but lvl support), a technician is assigned and frequent problems are addressed accordingly (usually by targeting training). Probably whatever you do the teachers will complain that something is sh*t but IMHO they'll do that anyway. Better to have some sort of change/incident management etc on your terms rather than an outsourced company.

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    Re: BECTA's View on Network Managing

    No ... it is there to help you get the backing to things in place to try and stop user stupidity ... it gives you the chance to stick and SLA on paper ... something that has the backing of your SMT, so that when someone comes in and demands the impossible you actually have something that not only tells them to stop ranting at you but they already know beforehand what will happen when they do rant.

    It is not perfect ... and you will always get problems, but even if you are the senior technical director for the uk section of a major car manufacturer or providing volountary advice in an infants school ... you will have to deal with people stamping their feet.

    Let us look for a few minutes at universities ... most university team will have SLAs ... you will even get teams working for individual departments that then have to fit into the general college scheme (ie the same as schools and LAs) ... it is nothing new. What is new for us is that we have not had the benefit of something like JANET and JISC to get things talking together ... and so we have Becta come up with stuff that does not fit (pardon the pun) with all schools ... and there is very little help to try and get things to fit ... and then BSF comes along and people are getting punished or penalised.

    We can all say that we have had to deal with idiots ... FITS does not change that but it can help. Have a look at the Wiki at the sample SLA I put up ... you may find that it helps ...

    Ok .. some trade secrets about managing your manglement.

    Find out which organisations they respect the work of ... ASCL, NAHT, Becta, SSAT, Futurelab ... there are many out there ... and then find out what materials there are out there that back up what you want them to decide to do ... and then order the relevant whitepapers to be delivered / emailed to them. Talk with teachers that are interested in doing something similar to what you want to do (eg you want to get Moodle running as a VLE then you find a course that is available and show it to a teacher looking for free resources) ... it gets used in lessons and is a success ... to expand it you need a better server and time to work on it ... but you show how doing stuff like this can improve results ... dig out the research to back it up ...

    and if you have to get a teacher to push it through the first time then do so ...

    It works ... and others have probably got examples they can show too ... there are methods of managing manglement ... even Dilbert manages it :-)

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