I think any major IT company like RM and others are going to suffer todays announcement as well as builders. It's the builder I feel sorry for, most schools probably have an adequate IT infrastructure, but a lot of schools don't have good buildings. Why on earth lump in IT with a building contractor is beyond me.
lumpeh (5th July 2010)
True, pretty much anyone involved in BSF would have known long ago that the next government, would have been forced to scale it back after the last election. Even if the Labour party had stayed in power they would have eventually been forced to postpone large chunks of it.
As such, I highly doubt RM would have banked the entire company on it continuing as that would have been downright incompetent of the management team. But it will still affect their shareprice in the short/medium term as they stand to lose a lot of money over this, both in planned income from future projects and income from contracts they had recently signed that have now been suspended.
All our county BSF is scrapped, yay
I must admit for my personal situation this feels like the best news I've heard in a long time.
I just wish some comments on the Internet and other media outlets would reflect the poor decisions so the average person can see how much money was been wasted and how many people were effected in a negative way.
I've got to say that this is one bad decision being made to fund another bad decision. BSF was the right idea poorly implemented. The Tories version of BSF is the 'Free Schools', which are a bad idea - building new schools in direct competition with and draining funds from existing schools.
I agree with what others have already said, cost could have easily been reduced by have a handful of basic template designs rather than paying new architectes to come up with over priced 'radical' designs for each new build.
BSF's biggest problem in my view was always the managed ICT services. I've never subscribed to the view that 1 sizes ICT fits all schools in that way. That said, I can see it as being a potential big cost saver and may just rear it's ugly head again outside of BSF. I don't think that because BSF itself has gone that our public sector jobs are now save. Far from it, I expect the axe to full at anytime with some cost saving annoucement leading to our mass tuping to RM or Capita, etc.
Outsourcing is used by pretty much every successful (and many unsuccessful!) companies in order to save costs - there's no reason why it can't be used successfully in school IT.
Why do we have (say) a network manager and 1 or 2 IT technicians in every school? Why not 1 network/IT manager per group of (say) 10-20 schools, with a few people doing 3rd line, a few more on 2nd line (perhaps based in schools - makes sense to keep them close to end users) and then people to take phone calls/answer emails (who could be in a call centre anywhere)
It's not what we're used to but there's no reason it can't work well. The benefit to education is that you save money and (ideally) good ideas get spread across all schools. The benefit to IT support staff is that there's no a decent career structure without necessarily having to move employer. Add in some proper training to that and it looks like a winner (and we'd hopefully have fewer posts on Edugeek from people who appear to be running a school network without the slightest clue about what they're doing!)
Jiser (9th July 2010)
I would say this would be a very overworked network manager. Usually the NM is the person responsible for the more technical issues in a network like getting dodgy msi's to graft, or software installs at the drop of a hat. To stretch as far as 20 schools is a bit much, 5 maybe.Why not 1 network/IT manager per group of (say) 10-20 schools
We've been informed officially this morning that BSF in our borough has been scrapped. So that was all a waste of time then.
Done right, the managed services component could work very well. Many schools leaders are clueless about running IT and would be much better off with it managed by someone knowledgeable. The problem is that the execution of managed services in BSF is/was fundamentally flawed in ways that have been discussed over and over here.
But then, as most schools only end up with a single person doing it all, it is easy to see how the lines blur.
Last edited by Dos_Box; 6th July 2010 at 11:21 AM.
webman (6th July 2010)
So managed IT services = communism, a good theory, but would never work in practise, yet you're forced to join
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