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BSF Thread, Building Schools for the Future plans to be scrapped in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by m25man Anyone know the short code for RM's stock prices? I want to watch them freefall on ...
  1. #31

    russdev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Anyone know the short code for RM's stock prices? I want to watch them freefall on my Iphone in the morning
    Why BSF accounts for small % of their global business. One thing about RM CEO Terry (and tim before that) is they are very smart they planned for "BSF to end" years ago. the whole Computrac buyout was to combat some of the BSF ending...

    Russ

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    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.

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    lumpeh (5th July 2010)

  4. #33
    DrCheese's Avatar
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    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.

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    All our county BSF is scrapped, yay

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    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.

  7. #36

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    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.

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    bandgeekmafia78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    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.
    This is true. My cousin works for a construction company in London (Whitby Bird) and he has been relying on BSF to keep him in his job. They will now be potentially facing massive redundancies. While I've over the moon that BSF has been scrapped, there's always going to be someone else who loses out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    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 its ugly head again outside of BSF. I don't think that because BSF itself has gone that our public sector jobs are now safe. 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.
    I'm sure this will happen. Possibly not for academy schools (which will have less government control) but for other state controlled schools it seems extremely likely.

    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!)

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    Jiser (9th July 2010)

  11. #39
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandgeekmafia78 View Post
    This is true. My cousin works for a construction company in London (Whitby Bird) and he has been relying on BSF to keep him in his job. They will now be potentially facing massive redundancies. While I've over the moon that BSF has been scrapped, there's always going to be someone else who loses out.
    what about the olympics and other capital spending projects ? The budget mentioned something about not cutting capital spending on 'infrastructure'.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Why not 1 network/IT manager per group of (say) 10-20 schools
    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.

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    We've been informed officially this morning that BSF in our borough has been scrapped. So that was all a waste of time then.

  14. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    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.
    Aside from my general opposition to privatisation of state services (given how drastically wrong it's gone in many cases), I've maintained for some time that the overall idea of moving to a more central model is not necessarily a bad idea. The two big problems with the BSF solution are the compulsion to do so, even when schools have a successful system, and that the contracts tend to go to least-cost bidders rather than best-value. Worst of all, some of the providers have a history of providing substandard and inflexible systems that will have those left in schools tearing their hair out for years.

    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.

  15. #43

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    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.
    That's the thing though - the network manager isn't really supposed to be doing technical things IMO. Their role, if you separate it out properly into 3 tier support, is to manage the people, manage the purchasing, and strategy stuff. Technicians are the frontline support staff, senior technicians are the second/third line staff doing server configs and the like, and the network manager manages that lot.

    But then, as most schools only end up with a single person doing it all, it is easy to see how the lines blur.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    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.
    I agree with your comment about buildings and architects. What would have been better would have been for the govt of the time to have contracted one set of architects and had them design a single school type (of a modular build) that met all of the modern schooling needs whilst allowing for future expansion and modification, that could have been built all over the country as had happend in previous school building waves throughout the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. One design, easily modified to meet the requirments for differing sites would have saves an absolute fortunes in architects and building materials. As for free schools though, I am of the opinion that they could work rather well. With the ability to 'hire-and-fire', choose their own curriculum and focus on specilaist subjects that mainstream schools cannot or will not teach. Imagine if a school was setup that concentrated on 'real' IT? Networking, programming being taught alongside maths, and English. Would this be better than current 'specialist' computing colleges which run nothing more than advanced Office courses?
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 6th July 2010 at 10:21 AM.

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    So managed IT services = communism, a good theory, but would never work in practise, yet you're forced to join

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