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BSF Thread, Building Schools for the Future plans to be scrapped in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; the network manager isn't really supposed to be doing technical things IMO I have always thought of an NM you ...
  1. #46
    jsnetman's Avatar
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    the network manager isn't really supposed to be doing technical things IMO
    I have always thought of an NM you are a manager of a system not people, but obviously in this capacity you normally manage 1 or 2 techies at least in a school, in industry you would be a sys admin which is looking after the system not people.

  2. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    So managed IT services = communism, a good theory, but would never work in practise, yet you're forced to join
    Sorry, but that's nonsense! Managed IT services are used by very many "capitalist" companies who wouldn't dream of touching anything even vaguely resembling communism and they find it works well.

    It's about trying to work out what needs doing and how best to do it - Microsoft, for example, don't do their own IT - they outsource it and (as I understand it) get it done pretty well.

    It certainly shouldn't be some central diktat saying that "from tomorrow you will do IT like this" but about each school saying "what we have isn't perfect" (however good it is, it won't be perfect) and looking for how it can be done better.

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  4. #49
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    Managed services are viable when they can use economies of scale .i.e they provide infrastructure & common software that is used by a company (Microsoft as has been quoted as an example). The trouble with schools is most use a hotchpotch of software and have different network designs so to support these would be very expensive as they all are, effectively, bespoke. Unless you can group schools together to use common infrastructure, common software etc. ( & will need initial investment) then the economies of scale cannot be achieve, which is where BSF came in......

  5. #50
    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Keep an eye on what happens in the House of Commons today:

    @BBCLauraK Out filming today, not in Wmin but just heard there were mistakes in list of school projects being cancelled yesterday-might be urgent Q

  6. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    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
    Unfortunately it has already had an impact: clicky

  7. #52
    jahbulon's Avatar
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    BSF has died!

    Everything except for one school has been stopped in Kingston. Only those schools at financial close or on the verge of starting building work will be allowed to finish [400-700 approx].

    Very disheartening for schools like our own that was at the stage that the contract was out for bidding.

    For a country riddled with debt, effectively bankrupt, it was a lunatic project.

  8. #53

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    P4S's BSF model was a truly dreadful way to procure buildings and services.
    I've seen consultants consulting on consultants in some cases. Depressingly I even found myself advocating this tactic at one point.

    Models that call for local technicians, an area manager with centralised second or third line support are overly bureaucratic and inflexible making innovation, change and creativity difficult. They encourage stagnation of working practices, ideas and skills within the school.

    The real problem for schools stemmed from P4S's approach to services. Schools outsource to some extent already. Good school have managed services too; though these are not necessarily the same. There is need to maintain control, if the knowledge, skills and the resource all lie with the supplier, and there is a high penalty for contract termination all the power lies with the supplier. Outsourcing is essential, we all buy in resource as needed, however if at some point it becomes cheaper to have a full time post we hire someone. It is far easier to align an individual to an organisation than it is to to align a supplier to your organisation. IT services in schools need to be run by individuals with a thorough understanding of the organisation, its aims, its ethos, and the technology. Services designed for a 'Generic School' may adequate for satisfactory schools, but an outstanding school is by definition not generic. This is where BSF has really failed.

  9. #54

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    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.
    Done right, it could work. As someone said above, 1 NM to 4 or 5 schools. The problem comes when ICT is sold off to large corporation that want to impose their way of doing things on the school. A look around the virtualisation, multiseat computing, and managed wifi threads will show off how unique each school is and the levels of innovation that could be lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    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?
    I can see that, and if there is a real need for a new school then it sounds great. My fear, and it appear to be already appening, is the stripping of funds from estabilished schools to pay for them. Running old state schools into the ground to fund a new bread of private school.

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Many schools leaders are clueless about running IT and would be much better off with it managed by someone knowledgeable.
    An arguement that perhaps Network Managers should be a key part of the schools SLT rather than an arguement for outsourcing? On this I agree with Localzuk:

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    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.
    The problem now, of course, is budget constraints. With budget cuts support staff are going to fill the pinch. I could really do with a senior technician added to my staff to free me up and allow me to focus more on the higher level stuff. I'd be lucky in this day and age not to loose a technician. This is the arguement for managed services and why I think it is probably inevitable.

    Let just hope that when it does happen, it happens right and is not just an wholesale sell off to a large corp.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 6th July 2010 at 01:16 PM.

  10. #55
    DrCheese's Avatar
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    I do hope that they still will invest in the schools that are really falling apart, my area didn't really need BSF as most schools are fairly up to date and most underwent PFI back in the early 00's. But we have one school that is virtually falling apart, old and is oversubscribed. It would be a massive shame if they lost out totally.

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    Any one from a birmingham school? whats going to happen here? only about 9 schools are going through now and 60 are not. what does this actually mean for the staff of the 9 schools and what happens from here?

    I was almost okay with the idea of going to Redstone even tho they are well... hmm... unproductive. There were 69 schools that Redstone would outsource running from their data centre (that cost millions) so the move didn't seem so bad but what happens now there are only 9? Do i want to work this company when my options are just low? Silver lining however is that there are now Birmingham school i can work at as they will not be under Redstone and be inhouse (i assume)

    Someone please relieve my worries

  12. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by jason2234 View Post
    Any one from a birmingham school? whats going to happen here? only about 9 schools are going through now and 60 are not. what does this actually mean for the staff of the 9 schools and what happens from here?

    I was almost okay with the idea of going to Redstone even tho they are well... hmm... unproductive. There were 69 schools that Redstone would outsource running from their data centre (that cost millions) so the move didn't seem so bad but what happens now there are only 9? Do i want to work this company when my options are just low? Silver lining however is that there are now Birmingham school i can work at as they will not be under Redstone and be inhouse (i assume)

    Someone please relieve my worries
    Try here

  13. #58

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    timzim did you read my post i know that most the schools in brum have been stopped i'm trying to find out the news on what then happens to the 9 out of 69 in the region that are going ahead. Do they go ahead with the outsourcing etc.

  14. #59
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    A list of bsf projects stopped

    Found this last night, a complete list of the schools being stopped.

    Enjoy!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  15. #60
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    The PDF is linked to on the BBC article.

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