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BSF Thread, BSF - Email from Steve Moss in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by broc We have discussed the possibility of opting out at the school were I chair the governing ...
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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    We have discussed the possibility of opting out at the school were I chair the governing body. The HT quite rightly says that the parents of the children at school are not going to understand or accept the idea that the school is turning down a £1m+ investment at their school because 'we' don't like the strings that are attached to it; all the parents want is a bright new shiny school, full of bright new shiny equipment because that will make it a 'better' school for their children to learn in.

    This is a hard argument to counter for any school.
    How about the agrument that for example the school i work in, gets shiney new PC's every 3 years as it is. God knows how BSF would effect our computer ratio, as we currently have 280 PC's/Laptops for kids usage only and only 493 students, i doubt we would have this level of ICT equipment under BSF proposals.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by alexknight
    Personally and as a taxpayer I am in favour of investment into childrens education. So yes shiney new things are seen as a positive thing. BUT, what we are talking about here is, in my opnion, an expensive and convoluted way of producing excellent ICT 'support' services. That is to say that the same goal could be achived without any major changes.
    I think most schools that have invested in & care about their ICT infrastructure would agree with you. The trouble is they are not in a position to argue. If a school wants the investment, it comes with strings, one of which mandates a managed ICT service. Not many schools can afford to turn down this level of investment, even though SMT, ICT support staff, and many teachers involved in teaching ICT would agree with the point you are making.

    We are stuck with BSF, at least for the first few 'waves'. There is too much at stake politically and economically now for it to founder, even though many of us would wish that it would.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    ...Headteachers are always well informed...
    Oh yes? lol.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers
    How about the agrument that for example the school i work in, gets shiney new PC's every 3 years as it is. God knows how BSF would effect our computer ratio, as we currently have 280 PC's/Laptops for kids usage only and only 493 students, i doubt we would have this level of ICT equipment under BSF proposals.
    Because BSF ICT funding is not just about PCs. It covers security & access control systems, phone systems, admin systems, VLE, videoconferencing, multimedia, interactive whiteboards & projectors, cashless vending equipment and a host of other technologies too. If you don't sign up for the managed service your BSF school does not get any of these paid for. If it were just PCs then my school could manage a refresh program out of its existing budget too.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Bossman:

    I think you will find that Grumbledook knows so much because he is a member of his schools SMT as well as keeping his finger on the educational pulse.

    One of the good things about these threads is that they are a way of informing ourselves on whats happening when quite a few people are 'out of the loop' so to speak.

    For warned is for armed as they say.

    Its only doom and gloom if we let it happen without becoeming involved at school/lea level.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    GrumbleDook: you seem pretty pro bsf and i wonder if you yourself have some vested interest, perhaps some political agenda maybe? you seem to be very well informed.
    Neither pro or anti ... I know it will improve things for some schools, make no change in others and be diabolical in others. I am fairly well informed because I have spoken with quite a number of people off the record. I have been involved with some things already and if it gets to the point that I cannot pass on any more information I will openly mention that.

    I tend to be involved around the periphary ... and it is more a case of I know those involved ... on both sides of the agenda - those for and against!

    Politics? Nah ... it doesn't matter who you vote for .. the Govt (ie the civil service) are always there ... whereas governments change all the time! I know too many Sir Humphries for me not to be cynical, but I also know too many people in quangos that are actually working hard, trying to make a difference.

    Headteachers are always well informed and it doesn't have to be about the political agenda as with most politics it usually screws up the very foundations of our society with their ever increasing invasion into our lives. I know changes have to be made but i feel strongly that it is always the political agenda that takes presidence and not the real issue and that is the people who care and matter.
    Politics in schools vary in their forms ... sometimes it is about being left / right / centre in your views ... but mostly it is about power .. and who has it. This can be within yout town / city ... it can be within your LA ... it can be a nationwide battle. Power crops up every time there is a new (or rebadged) initiative.

    If a decision gets made and it is a political decision (ie one based on the opinions of a single person who has power or is based on a compromise or deal that is not of benefit to anyone but the person doing the deal) then I ask people to be open about that and not try and blag about figures and independence ... it annoys me.

    BSF is a political decision ... but we can do damage limitation ...

    I have been very open that BSF will have very little impact on me. If anything it means I get to go to more meetings and take the mickey out of people trying to present politics as carefully considered opinions. Most companies I have spoken with (again ... off the record so I will only say 'companies') are open that they want to make money but it is a long term thing ... why cock it up now and turn people away from using them when the Managed Services come up for renewal ... they want to do good deals but will work to contract ... like most companies in any industry would do (don't get me started on builders working to the letter of the contract!).

    If at any point you do think I am getting to political please tell me ... I will try and explain what info I have and how it can be used by others to keep schools informed.

    If I cannot answer enquiries at any point due to confidentiality I will say so ...

    I hope this explains things a bit more.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    There is another factor in this equation, and that is government borrowing. Funding the regeneration of schools through BSF and PFI doesn't show up as government spending, and so Mr. Brown's management of the country's finances looks prudent. Only if the government itself went to the markets to raise the capital would it show on the books. The fact that the government of this country could go to the markets and raise the needed funds at a much more favourable rate than the usurous prices we're having to pay through "renting" these facilities, comes a distant second to looking prudent.
    On another note, I believe that some of the companies who have successfully bid for BSF contracts have already sold these on to third parties for a tidy profit. It's all perfectly legal.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    could be wrong but i beleive that is the case in Manchester with Ramsys after a conversation i had with a supplier yesterday.

    Hold my hands up though, i could be very very wrong!

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax
    There is another factor in this equation, and that is government borrowing. Funding the regeneration of schools through BSF and PFI doesn't show up as government spending, and so Mr. Brown's management of the country's finances looks prudent. Only if the government itself went to the markets to raise the capital would it show on the books. The fact that the government of this country could go to the markets and raise the needed funds at a much more favourable rate than the usurous prices we're having to pay through "renting" these facilities, comes a distant second to looking prudent.
    On another note, I believe that some of the companies who have successfully bid for BSF contracts have already sold these on to third parties for a tidy profit. It's all perfectly legal.
    You can also factor in Academies too. In some cases LAs have been 'persuaded' to adopt Academies as a means of covering a shortfall in BSF funding as the Academy funds come from Central Govt, the alternative being to seek many more £millions from their Council tax payers.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    I refer the honourable members to the comments I made earlier about politics !

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Beeswax: forgot about the Lancastrian Headteachers association Doh!

    joking apart usually due to the legal and political agenda most headteachers have a good understanding of events within the education debate. Your Headteacher probably does know but is trying to stick his head in the sand as he probably doesn't want to get involved with you at the moment.

    He will be looking at the larger picture and if it will give him more power or in retrospect he may be looking at early retirement on final salary which again the taxpayer has to fund.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    GrumbleDook: you seem pretty pro bsf and i wonder if you yourself have some vested interest, perhaps some political agenda maybe? you seem to be very well informed.
    I think GrumbleDook has re positioned himself and is not a real ICT Manager or Technician any more...

    Thats what I think

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    it was only becaus of the juxtaposition of the two posts and not intended as anything offensive.
    I do know that this particular head had a lot on his plate, and it was the end of a very long day for him, with meetings for staff, parents and governors and the council regarding BSF

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    GrumbleDook: you seem pretty pro bsf and i wonder if you yourself have some vested interest, perhaps some political agenda maybe? you seem to be very well informed.
    I think GrumbleDook has re positioned himself and is not a real ICT Manager or Technician any more...

    Thats what I think
    I'll take that comment in a light-hearted manner ... even though it could be mistaken for otherwise ...

    You are quite right ... I am not an ICT Manager / Network Manager / Technician anymore ... I regularily get told off by the Head for doing tech support ... I am a DIrector of IT ... and an Assistant Head and therefore a member of the senior leadership of the school ... I am Manglement / PHB / a meeting junkie / a biscuit robber

    I deal with strategies, national agendas, working with groups like SSAT and working with other schools. It means I come into contact with people that others might not and I am able to gain information others might not unless they are directly involved. You are involved so have information which is why I keep asking you stuff ... the same with Broc. I also work on certain things that I have to mention as 'off the record' ... there are also certain things that I can't talk about due to NDA or matters that are commercial in confidence. I say these things not to sound grand but as a rebuttal to your comment. I no longer work towards Becta Technical Competencies Level D ... I work to the theoretical Level E (not published .. never likely to be as it varies so much between school and school, LA to LA).

    As I have mentioned a few times BSF will not affect me ... and should not affect the support team at my school due to the way I am preparing things here ... but since I am not in the middle of a BSF wave, or even have it in the near future I am limited to talking with others on boths sides of the fence and putting forward solutions that others have found to be viable.

    Yes, I can understand that a lot of people don't want to change their jobs and take on a more educational role and so it will be difficult to stop you from being transferred to the contract winner.

    Yes, there are schools wanting to opt out but fully understanding the impact that will have on funding.

    Yes, there are thos that will form consortia to ensure things are delivered in -house (a strange phrase that I will challenge in a bit) and so protect their jobs ...

    But all of this is done on the understand that people are fully informed. If you do not like the information I am passing on then there is little I can do ... as I have mentioned before, if you want to fight this you have to come up with alternatives or compromises ... and make sure they are water-tight.

    Until then I will continue to pass on information to anyone willing to read / listen.

    And as for a real ICT Manager ... nope ... I struggle to understand the subtleties of OSes, marvel at the ability of the multitudes who mangle SIF files, ponder at the possibilities of PHP, startled at the stress of shifting code and cower or cringe at the complexities of co-ordinating online CATS.

    I am a mere member of manglement and I become as mesmorised as the masses upon meeting EduGeek members.

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    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Damn ... forgot the ;-)

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