I agree with Ric_'s way of thinking, there should be an option to take the managed service or not.
Some school are probably going to benefit from a managed service but there those that will probably lose out, but the option should be there.
If you decide not to take the service, you should have to prove that you are meeting the required standard.
If someone would like to take on the mantle of EG contact with P4S and the various companies I can give you the contact details and introduce you, but be warned that you will get embroiled in politics with your LA (depending on how close you are to BSF) and I would suggest backing from your Head. Remember that impartiality is required to some extent and looking after *all* interests is important.
The whole BSF thing is meant to be about the needs of the school and the LA workign with schools on the strategy for change. If the school is not involved in this then things will get missed and decisions will be made that could have an adverse affect on the future direction of the school, not just for IT. Even if you are involved, if you are one school saying you want something different then it is hard to make that felt. *All* schools need to be represented and to have input ... and this is often where things fall down.
The BSF bidders will only put forward solutions based what has been requested ... what gets requested is sometimes insufficiently specified. Unfortunately, due to the competitive nature of the tenders it is hard to see what other LAs have done and the best you can get out of the bidding companies is that each bid is different and is based around what is put forward.
But of course discussion isn't pointless
"Yes - give us a chance to show we can do it and let us continue innovating!"
Show?? Most of us have been doing it for years. Take a few minutes to think where ICT would be in schools without "us" over the last 10 years?
Of course, some schools (I've been to some and it's not pretty) have suffered with really bad tech support (or none) but lets face it, surely this is actually down to poor decisions by SMT/Govenors is it not? After all, if you employ a totally imcompetant Network Manager (or none) you can expect an incompetant network!
BSF isn't hitting me yet as I am in Wales - but from what I can see I honestly think we could do better than BSF if we were given the same money that BSF is throwing around. If 10% of a BSF spend is ICT - I can only dream of having 10% of our anual turnover to spend on ICT. Instead - this year I have had roughly 0.9% of our anual turnover.
If i had 10% per year over the next 5 years ICT in this school would be a whole different ball game.
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