+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 96
BSF Thread, BSF - Email from Steve Moss in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Here is a copy of an email from Steve moss to Naace. The view expresed here are not those of ...
  1. #1
    Face-Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    577
    Thank Post
    11
    Thanked 58 Times in 40 Posts
    Rep Power
    69

    BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Here is a copy of an email from Steve moss to Naace.
    The view expresed here are not those of the poster but it's important to know what the arguements are.

    Here goes at trying to set the record straight. The bulk of this email is based on a recent response I did to queries about BSF from City Learning Centre managers. I think it addresses most - if not all – of the points raised in the thread on BSF and Learning Services over the past few days. I won’t re-iterate the correct information which Andrew Flowerdew (who has direct experience of working client-side in two BSF procurements) has already provided. However, it is worth re-emphasising that individual schools’ experiences of BSF will be a function of the way in which their local authority handles the process. Partnerships for Schools’ role is to advise local authorities, monitor their progress and to challenge them when we feel that their process is inadequate. However, we are not party to or present at most of their interactions with schools – we simply don’t have the resource to do this even when we are aware that the relationship and trust between the LA and the schools is not all it might be. The new Output Spec for ICT is constructed to ensure that individual schools are properly consulted as part of the process. The section from the BSF Project Governance and Management Guide reproduced below indicates the importance we give to the involvement of headteachers.

    “Head teachers are central to a successful BSF procurement. It is now standard practice to have one or a small number of heads involved on the project team, in drafting contract documents, setting standards, and evaluating bids. It is important to use the knowledge and experience that these heads bring …

    Head teachers need to be involved in every aspect of the project, because they will generally experience the operation of the contract at first-hand later on. A thorough understanding of the operation of the payment mechanism, the building specification, and details of the catering management arrangements proposed by the private sector partner, for example, will assist greatly in the smooth running of the contract. However, it is also true that heads and other teachers may not have sufficient time to devote to this. Many authorities provide funding to schools to assist with additional school costs, such as buying in extra supply teacher time to release other members of staff for developmental activities. In addition, 4ps is providing a training course specifically aimed at head teachers and governors who want a deeper appreciation of how the involvement of a private sector partner will impact on their school. “

    I also want to take this opportunity to make clear how the Becta Learning Services Framework relates to BSF. PfS's position is quite straightforward. We believe that the framework sets a helpful and challenging benchmark for such services and that local authorities procuring BSF ICT solutions should check that they are being offered a learning platform solution which has been tested and approved as part of the Becta Framework. If this is not the case, they should take steps to reassure themselves (and us!) that the alternative offered meets or exceeds the current Becta specifications.

    Folks might also want to have look at the joint local authority / ICT partner enhanced podcasts from our BETT stand presentations which will be up on the PfS website in a few days time. These reflect the real partnership working in six of the LAs that have got beyond preferred bidder stage.

    Now for the myth-busting



    I have been told that BSF goes much further than connectivity (FACT)

    It certainly does! The BSF ICT Output Specification Template and Guidance (available in the publications section of the Partnerships for Schools web site www.p4s.org.uk ) sets out the MINIMUM functionality of the ICT service which the Local Education Partnership (LEP) will provide. The local authority and its schools then enhance this basic output specification to meet the needs and aspirations of the locality. In fact, broadband connectivity is one of the few things not directly funded through BSF. The BSF service should build upon the existing broadband infrastructure that has been funded through grant over the past few years. Local authorities should use the remaining broadband grant to ensure that secondary schools’ broadband circuits are at least 10Mb and, ideally, 100Mb or better.



    Schools are directed/given ICT hardware IN their schools (computers/whiteboards etc) by their ‘partner’ (ICT provider) (MYTH)

    No-one directs anybody! Although the schools should get to directly shape the ICT Managed Service by completing their sections of the ICT Output Specification and participating in the clarification and evaluation of bids to run the service (the LA should ensure that this happens and schools should insist if it doesn’t!). The aim of the managed service is to free schools from the burden of procuring and managing their own ICT systems thus allowing them to focus on their core business of teaching, learning and enhancing the life chances of the young people who come through their doors.



    … and have no choice but to take what they’re given. (MYTH)

    They have a huge amount of choice. For example, the recent BSF procurement in Manchester gives schools choice over how 75% of the available funding for hardware and software is spent. In all BSF procurements, between 10% and 20% of the hardware / software funding is allocated to a “local choice fund”. This money is spent by schools on ICT equipment and software of their choice. It is true that for basic hardware – desktops/ laptops etc. – schools will not have a choice of brands. This enables much larger aggregated orders to be placed with consequent reductions in cost.



    They then don’t own their computers and are told when they can change/update them …(MYTH)

    Ownership of the equipment passes to the school. This is not a PFI scheme where the school leases the equipment from the PFI provider. The refresh cycle is partly funded through the initial capital sum and partly through schools’ annual contributions to the managed service. Schools can choose to “overpay” and build up a larger refresh pot which will allow more frequent changes of equipment.



    … and what can be put on them. (MYTH)

    Usually, schools will have to check with the managed service provider that an item of software is approved for use on the network. This is no different from the situation which already pertains in many schools where the network manager does not allow staff to install software that has not been checked for network compliance. Another emerging feature of the BSF solution in some local authorities is that new PCs have a managed and an unmanaged side. The school can install software on the unmanaged side of the machine without reference to the managed service provider. However, they do so entirely at their own risk and the managed service provider will not sort out the mess without additional charge if things go wrong as a result.



    They will no longer ‘own’ their own technicians and with “managed services” they would call upon their partners technicians to sort out in-school problems with kit (remembering that they don’t own the technology anymore). (MYTH)

    As part of the Managed Service, technicians in schools will be given the opportunity to TUPE across to the company running the Managed Service. However, this does not mean that technicians will disappear from schools or that someone will have to be “called in”. The local authority and its schools specify the level of technician support which they expect from their managed Service partner. This might include the retention of one or more full-time technicians on-site in each BSF school. In such circumstances, the technician might be the same person with a different badge on their shirt. They would be working to a clearly defined set of service standards and would be trained to help them achieve those standards. If those standards are not achieved – i.e. the school does not get the level of service for which it has contracted – then the company does not get paid in full.



    We know that many “technicians” actually perform a much more varied role in schools. With the increasing reliability of hardware and software, many schools have developed their technicians so that they provide direct support to learners and teachers in the use of ICT. In early BSF waves, schools are sometimes choosing to re-designate these posts as non-technical so that they can retain these staff under their own control. In such instances, these staff are themselves supported by technicians working for the Managed Service provider.



    And in this, schools have absolutely no choice! (MYTH)

    I hope that what is becoming clear is that schools have lots of choice! This is not a “one size fits all” solution. However, the relationship between local authority and schools is crucial. They need to work together from the outset of the BSF process and to trust one another. Transformation of secondary education through BSF is only possible if schools don’t feel that BSF is something that is being done to them. They must be actively involved from the outset in shaping the local solutions within the broad parameters of the national programme.



    The only stipulations of the national programme with regard to ICT are that the solution should remove from schools the burden of procuring and managing ICT; that an area-wide solution should be procured which recognizes the new dynamics of Every Child Matters and the changes in 14-19 education; and that the ICT solutions procured should meet or exceed the latest Becta functional and technical specifications

    Steve


    Steve Moss

    Strategic Director - ICT

    Partnerships for Schools

  2. #2
    Grommit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Weston-super-Mare
    Posts
    1,335
    Thank Post
    31
    Thanked 54 Times in 31 Posts
    Rep Power
    24

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Wow... they really twist some of these Myths....

    They will no longer ‘own’ their own technicians and with “managed services” they would call upon their partners technicians to sort out in-school problems with kit (remembering that they don’t own the technology anymore). (MYTH)
    reply

    This might include the retention of one or more full-time technicians on-site in each BSF school. In such circumstances, the technician might be the same person with a different badge on their shirt.
    Err... hello... he just contradicted himself... the technicians are not "owned" by the school

  3. #3

    webman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    8,374
    Thank Post
    625
    Thanked 951 Times in 653 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    318

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Interesting. 8O

  4. #4


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    338

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Absolutely FULL of contradictions !

    … and what can be put on them. (MYTH)

    Usually, schools will have to check with the managed service provider that an item of software is approved for use on the network.
    Why is it a myth then ? If schools can only put software on that has been approved then it is a FACT
    edit:
    They then don’t own their computers and are told when they can change/update them …(MYTH)

    Ownership of the equipment passes to the school.
    So the school only own once they paid the lease - by which time the equipment is obsolete - so he means FACT

    … and have no choice but to take what they’re given. (MYTH)
    schools will not have a choice of brands.
    FFS

  5. #5

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    From talking with some sources there are those companies that are winning contracts who only expect half the technical staff to be TUPEd across ... with the others staying on in schools with different titles and concentrating on resources and direct support rather than purely technical support ... and they accept that these people will have full admin access ...

    Then again I have still yet to have any response back to many of my questions ... but I will keep on in the few spots of free time I have.

  6. #6

    broc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,046
    Thank Post
    104
    Thanked 401 Times in 265 Posts
    Rep Power
    149

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Interesting way of putting it :

    "technicians in schools will be given the opportunity to TUPE across to the company running the Managed Service"

    If they don't wish to 'TUPE', what choice have they in maintaining their employment?

    I think I already know the answer......

  7. #7
    wesleyw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kingswinford
    Posts
    2,202
    Thank Post
    223
    Thanked 50 Times in 44 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    29

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    So its time to move away from education lads before our jobs become redundant!

    I think I'll be looking for an industry job this time next year

    Though by that time it will have become such a complete mess that we'll be able to come back to our old jobs to fix the problems BSF and PfS has left them with! Didn't industry try this and failed? Why do these people think that education will be any different?

    Wes

  8. #8

    webman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    8,374
    Thank Post
    625
    Thanked 951 Times in 653 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    318

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Then again I have still yet to have any response back to many of my questions
    Come on Tony, give them a chance to make up some believable (but not necessarrily accurate) answers

  9. #9

    broc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,046
    Thank Post
    104
    Thanked 401 Times in 265 Posts
    Rep Power
    149

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Has anyone else noticed that Partnership for Schools has been very quick to blame everyone else for the problems and delays with BSF? It seems schools & LAs cannot handle the complexity of running the BSF program which is why it is running late...... no mention of all the obstacles they have put in the way of everyone else. Maybe if they stopped interfering and let the schools & LAs get on with it we wouldn't be in such a mess now.

  10. #10

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Then again I have still yet to have any response back to many of my questions
    Come on Tony, give them a chance to make up some believable (but not necessarrily accurate) answers
    THe fact that is taking time is actually slightly reassuring ... the evidence should include schools that already have met the ICT standards before BSF has come in ... and I want to see if they have taken a backwards step or what compromises they have had to make.

  11. #11

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    For those not on the NAACE lists here is my reply to Steve Moss ... just to see what the response is.

    Thank you very much for your comprehensive answers Steve. I was unable to attend your seminar whilst at BETT but have spoken with a few companies who have won contracts and would like the chance to ask you the same questions.

    Whilst the homogenisation of ICT in schools will help raise the bar with schools there are concerns that those schools that have been leading the way may have to take a backwards step. Many schools, including many run by or employing NAACE members, have a strong history of innovation and whilst the LEP is a chance for them to stake their claim on required technology what scope is there for ensuring that the schools can continue to innovate, using cutting-edge technology to bring forward next practice, for allowing changes in pedagogy to change how they use technology and changing the requirements of what the systems need to run and how they run.

    Trying not to make this into buzzword bingo ... but the movement of technical staff towards becoming educationalists is a slow process and so many technicians and network managers are now looking to move on as they now see companies coming in, changing the systems that they have tailored to fit around the school and their school's curriculum, and for a year or two they know that there will be a backwards step in the use of ICT. Whilst NCSL are working on courses to help Heads and other key staff become developed enough in BSF practices so they can prepare the contract that is right for them and their school it is worrying to think that a cohort of staff who have had to overcome very difficult obstacles to provide facilities for schools may be overlooked. Whilst we all know of horror stories of Network Managers having all the power in a school and refusing to compromise this is rarely the case, and we risk excluding proficient and maturely skilled professionals that can, for small cost of training and education, become a vital role within the development of ICT within schools.

    Many schools have been forced to look at Learning Platforms already, indeed there are those who have mature VLEs which require minimal adaptation to provide almost perfect facilities for staff, students, parents and the local community. Whilst it is expected that the contract winners are likely to put forward their own solution (providing it has met with criteria of the Learning Services Framework) some schools are looking for clarification that time and expertise already used will not be in vain, that the platforms they have worked on and developed will still be viable as these have been developed to fit around the curriculum of the school. Whilst I know the answer to a number of these questions will be the Output Spec for ICT it does not quite take into account the desire for homogenisation I mentioned earlier as part of aggregating costs or ensuring common platforms or standards.

    Having spoken with companies that are winning contracts I know they will fulfill their contract professionally, promptly and to the letter ... but I would like to ensure that the letter is not just a single letter that is dominating what happens in schools, but it is a full alphabet, enabling schools to still have the freedom to innovate and stride forward based around the individual needs of students and the school.

    Any thoughts you can add to these comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Tony Sheppard

    Director of IT
    Lodge Park Technology College
    &
    Site Admin (Events / National Agenda)
    EduGeek.net
    Whilst this does not cover everything that people want to answered it will be a start.

  12. #12
    tosca925's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Midlands
    Posts
    1,547
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    21

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    Excellent Tony

  13. #13
    Grommit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Weston-super-Mare
    Posts
    1,335
    Thank Post
    31
    Thanked 54 Times in 31 Posts
    Rep Power
    24

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    They will no longer ‘own’ their own technicians and with “managed services” . (MYTH)

    We know that many “technicians” actually perform a much more varied role in schools. With the increasing reliability of hardware and software, many schools have developed their technicians so that they provide direct support to learners and teachers in the use of ICT. In early BSF waves, schools are sometimes choosing to re-designate these posts as non-technical so that they can retain these staff under their own control. In such instances, these staff are themselves supported by technicians working for the Managed Service provider.
    Ok let me get this straight..

    1/ The Managed services quote we got for our site was nearly DOUBLE the cost of our good in-house flexible accommodating IT Department.

    2/ So if the school wants to keep its ICT Manager they have to pay double the existing Support costs for the Managed Service Contract AND employ the ICT Manager in another role at additional costs...

    So basically the school is paying a lot more for less?

  14. #14

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Gosport, Hampshire
    Posts
    9,881
    Thank Post
    1,316
    Thanked 1,738 Times in 1,087 Posts
    Blog Entries
    19
    Rep Power
    563

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    @Grommit

    Get me facts and figures that can be used as examples ... also evidence that you were to the standards that they have said were required with respect to hardware, infrastructure and functionality ... then we can have a better case to argue ...

    The same way that we keep saying to them "give us evidence that things will not go downhill or waste money" people will turn round to us and say "prove to us that you are doing the job as well as required."

    Harsh ... but if we want to get involved with this arguement we have to play by certain rules until those rules get changed ... (as some MPs are doing at the moment with things like the EDM)

  15. #15


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    338

    Re: BSF - Email from Steve Moss

    I agree that schools can do this far more cheaply and effectively themselves.
    Biggest problem I have here is actually convincing management that things like Naace awards, FITS are actually a good idea. Until I can do this -we'd be scr*wed for BSF.
    What I really think what schools need is not ICT outsourcing just simple *accountability* Most other sectors of government are accountable - Our SLT are just a law unto themselves, and will buy whatever (IT equipment) they see fit without regard for FITS, NAACE, technical specifications etc.
    So I can't really provide hard evidence for these reasons.

    I can say with some certainty that there is some evidence; looking at the limited number of applications that are supplied by the likes of RM - then at some of the software that schools are actually using. By Moss's admission I won't be able to use any of these applications because the suppliers will not SELL them so we won't be able to use them - even though teachers may have lesson plans and experience in many.

    Other Facts come from becta studies - cost savings on using Thin clients, OpenSource etc

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 7 12345 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Email
    By Edu-IT in forum Windows
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29th November 2007, 09:44 AM
  2. SIMs Webparts - MOSS 2007
    By karlieb in forum MIS Systems
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21st September 2007, 12:02 PM
  3. Bill & Steve (Extended Version)
    By Geoff in forum Jokes/Interweb Things
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 8th November 2006, 02:09 PM
  4. email app
    By russdev in forum ICT KS3 SATS Tests
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 3rd July 2006, 04:46 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •