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BSF Thread, BSF Handbook in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; BSF is unfortuatly about standising ICT provision across LA's so that they can meet the "Every Child Matters" agenda a ...
  1. #16
    Face-Man's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Handbook

    BSF is unfortuatly about standising ICT provision across LA's so that they can meet the "Every Child Matters" agenda a nobble goal and the theory is that all school get better ICT provision. Unfortuatly because so much time effort and money is being spent on getting everyone to agree (pfs advisers are currently being advertised at 45k + 25% bonus). I feel a fudge will occur and schools will have some good things ie only one support number but some difficult things like lack of flexibility and higher costs. For the four years after the BSF contract is awarded there are no capital grants from the DFES so no money for new computers (or furniture etc). The only way around it is to write into the contract a replacements budget but that has to go via the managed service.

    Gommit to answers some of your concerns.

    The roles when working for big companies will lead to conflicts of interest issues for tech staff on site. You (and for that matter me) will have managers that understand IT but not schools so they will expect locked down systems so no more doing favours for teachers because it's in the best interest of the school also all the network/server side operations will be done remotely. This will me anyone on site will have very limited rights to do anything and thouse off site will have no understanding of what the teachers and students really need. In short ICT technical support is being changed from a lean flexible approach to a fat slow changing mega corperation.

    How can we make things better ?

    Get involved with the process. Each LA has to produce a vision as to where they see their ICT education service going. So get a copy and point out to your head all the things that are missing/wrong/unrealistic (and nick the good ideas). The Heads have all the power before the contract is agreed make sure they really understand what they are letting themselves in for. I think the idea behind a lot of BSF is good the problem is with how it is being implemented.

  2. #17

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Each LA has to produce a vision as to where they see their ICT education service going.
    Would that be this sort of document?

    http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/educati...ntwentyten.pdf

  3. #18
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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Thats the public facing front but I'm told a more detailed pre-tender document has to be produced to show PSF a the LA thinking

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Ok, so what do I need to ask for then? Does the documentation have a specific name?

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    If the LA are difficult about disclosing pre-tender documentation you can request these documents under Freedom of Information act, unless they are commercially sensitive - in which case they can be obtained by an employee representative under the information and consultation act:
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2004/20043426.htm

  6. #21

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Ok, so what do I need to ask for then? Does the documentation have a specific name?
    I have seen two of these detailed specification documents, one for my LA where I work and one for the LA where I used to be Chair of Governors at a school in wave 1 BSF. They were referred to as 'Draft output specifications' and must be signed off by P4S before becoming part of the initial discussions with prospective suppliers. I believe there is a P4S template as there were significant similarities between the docs in terms of content/layout. What was missing in both cases was any details about support, it seemed like the prospective suppliers would be expected to decide what was to be delivered.

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    ..... and every school should have its own ICT vision document, or at least an educational vision in which ICT is clearly embedded throughout. That must be then compared with the LA vision which should reflect the school's vision.

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Sorry for the delay and thanks for asking the $64K question! The first BSF schools are in Bristol where Northgate are the ICT provider and we should be watching very very carefully. There are issues of school autonomy, but often that means the autonomy of a network manager to be run ragged by under-trained teachers on inadequate equipment purchased from who knows where. That autonomy we can all live without. The real autonomy if working on a well and appropriately specified network with staff who really understand what ICT can do, and working with these folk to push the boundaries of teaching and learning. Hey, I just saw a pink fluffy thing fly by my window. But it's a good vision nonetheless

  9. #24
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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by peterc
    Sorry for the delay and thanks for asking the $64K question! The first BSF schools are in Bristol where Northgate are the ICT provider and we should be watching very very carefully. There are issues of school autonomy, but often that means the autonomy of a network manager to be run ragged by under-trained teachers on inadequate equipment purchased from who knows where. That autonomy we can all live without. The real autonomy if working on a well and appropriately specified network with staff who really understand what ICT can do, and working with these folk to push the boundaries of teaching and learning. Hey, I just saw a pink fluffy thing fly by my window. But it's a good vision nonetheless
    So somebody needs to phone up all the secondary schools in Bristol and find out what the Senior Teachers think of the ICT now it is a full Managed Service..

  10. #25

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Wouldn't bother, they've probably been made so sign an NDA 8)

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Wouldn't bother, they've probably been made so sign an NDA 8)
    Bugger!.... next plan...

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Don't curl up and die like that. They're probably out there now registering for EduGeek with aliases. As it happens, the info about the status of Bristol network guys is probably public domain as the various unions were/are involved, there wouldn't be any NDAs, and the transfer to Northgate probably hasn't impacted yet. Watch this space. What has Becta got to say on this, after all, they promote FITS with vigor and are always organising training sessions?

  13. #28

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by peterc
    ..... and every school should have its own ICT vision document, or at least an educational vision in which ICT is clearly embedded throughout. That must be then compared with the LA vision which should reflect the school's vision.
    In our LA that doc's called BSF Key Mi;lestones, and there's a section, "School BSF Vision Statements" with 9 bullet points, such as
    • Personalised learning
    • Curriculum access
    • KS3 and 14-19 strategies
    • Approaches to learning
    • More flexible learning environment
    • Improving attendance/behaviour
    • How ICT supports vision
    The idea is that each head takes on responsibility for one point and develops it as a bedrock for all the schools in the LA. This has got to be done by 6th July 2007.
    I see further down that it also mentions TUPE transfer of staff, which has to be agreed by 6th July.

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    Could be tempted to say that this approach sidesteps the need for each school to develop its own distinctive response to the role of ICT, unless what is described is over and above a school-based response. Additionally, many heads have serious concerns about their capacity to manage the BSF process within their school once the buldozers and builders move in --- whether its a a rebuild or refurb. How much support does each school get, for example, money to second and train a senior manager to act as a Project Manager for the school?

  15. #30

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    Re: BSF Handbook

    We have a very good Business Manager at my school, a fellow Asst Head, and she project manages our builds ... of which we have 2 blocks being done as 2 seperate phases ... and when I have described to her some of the BSF proccess she shudders at the idea of someo of it being trusted to fellow Business Managers / Bursars who may be vastly inexperienced to deal with this level of project.

    She would not touch it with a barge pole herself and I can't blame her.

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