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BSF Thread, BSF - The Quetions in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; The biggest problem with the KS3 testing is that it wasn't managed by Software Engineers ... it was managed by ...
  1. #31

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    The biggest problem with the KS3 testing is that it wasn't managed by Software Engineers ... it was managed by politicians and qangos.

    I support teh idea behind the use of the KS3 test as a method of formative assessment throughout KS3, but there are commercial models already in place for doing that ... and that was its downfall.

    It was never going to work whilst it was treated like a typical exam, and it was not (and is not) allowed to seriously compete with commercial products like GOAL.

    The reason it was pulled had bugger all to do with how good or effective it was going to be but because of politics ... and it is a shame that something that could have been (if managed properly) extremely useful is now regarded as a complete failure. If nothing else we should be glad that the format of it tried to be as application neutral as possible. Schools had to start teaching concepts rather than applications.

    The number of companies that wanted to get involved with these tests that have breathed a sigh of relief because they have realised that even if they had gotten the contract it would have been a balls up.

  2. #32

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    As said Tony said had nothing to do with us that I afraid and don't think it has gone away but any means it hasn't.

    Russ

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    What about non ICT roles, ie: we have a tech who just deals with AV. Such as all the IWB and projector problems as well as making sure staff have all the media equipment, cameras,camcorders etc are ready for when class and departments need them. I know this might sound a lot for one member of staff full time....but we have 56 IWB and projectors, 5 mobile projectors (that staff book for certain lesson where there are no IWB ie mobile classrooms) we have several media studies courses running as well has the P.E dept using specialist software such as Dartfish which they need camcorders and cameras set up for the lessons.

    Does this role come under the BSF roles or will this sort of work still need to be done by a employee of the school ?

  4. #34

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by tosca925
    ...
    Does this role come under the BSF roles or will this sort of work still need to be done by a employee of the school ?
    If this does require the school to employ somebody, they won't be allowed to touch the hardware anyway as that might effect any warranties, etc.

  5. #35
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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood

    Being a Senior Systems Manager in a school that is having a new build shortly, and having to project manage the ICT infrastructure and support framework for that new build, I can tell you that the Head's initial idea was to go managed services. It's compelling for Head Teachers. He asked me whether I would be with him on it and I told him I wouldn't become a toner replacement engineer for [insert company here]. I would leave before then if that were to happen.

    Now we are going it alone but with the support of a large company providing specialist network design and implementation services who will provide us with post-support using SLAs and other mechanisms, whilst providing us the freedom to source hardware and software for our particular needs and install and run the thing ourselves. Rather than BSF and total managed services I believe the best way to go is a hybrid- let someone like RM provide specialist services (pretty much as they kind of do now) with attached SLAs, and have the ability to still be flexible with localised ICT support and implementation.

    .
    This is very intresting as it is written in the BSF Rules that if you want the BSF funding you have to be fully manage.. how did you get around this to the "hybrid" system...

    Do you still have the same role of running the Network ?

  6. #36

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    The rebuild at Kingswood is not exactly BSF. BSF does not come into our area for a bit (we got knocked back 2 years ago) but Paul's schools is getting a rebuild courtesy of the LA and Central Govt (jammy git) as it is actually 2 school sites that are now being used by a single school (with a dirty great big field in between which must be lovely to walk across in the grotty winter months!)

    The other schools in the town include a CTC that is becoming an academy, so it already has a relatively new build but is still going to have a bit more done to it. There is also a school that has been made up of 2 failing schools, then became a community college and is now being rebuilt as an Academy, run by the CTC. Again ... lots of money spent but not under BSF.

    Finally ... we have the most succesful out of the proper schools (forget the CTC ... they also take from the next town along and also have a different selection / admission process) ... an aging early 60s building for the main block, with cheap additions over the last 25 years. What has this school managed to get? 1 block being rebuilt from 1 floor to 3 floors (LA funding) and an extension over the staffroom and kitchens (another 2 floors funded by the LSC).

    So when BSF comes into our area we are likely to get ignored and pushed to the bottom of the pile in the county, but the other schools will have had rebuilds but my school won't.

    Also note that all 3 schools (consider the CTC and the new academy to be a sinlge entity!) are likely to be using different companies for a large number of things they do with regards to ICT, but all still manage it in -house ... and actually do it to very similar regimes.

    BSF will have no hold in Corby for secondary schools for political, financial and educational reasons.

    I wouldn't mind but my school needs the new buildings. I'm just glad our staff, students and parents are understanding about the limitations we have.

  7. #37

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood

    Being a Senior Systems Manager in a school that is having a new build shortly, and having to project manage the ICT infrastructure and support framework for that new build, I can tell you that the Head's initial idea was to go managed services. It's compelling for Head Teachers. He asked me whether I would be with him on it and I told him I wouldn't become a toner replacement engineer for [insert company here]. I would leave before then if that were to happen.

    Now we are going it alone but with the support of a large company providing specialist network design and implementation services who will provide us with post-support using SLAs and other mechanisms, whilst providing us the freedom to source hardware and software for our particular needs and install and run the thing ourselves. Rather than BSF and total managed services I believe the best way to go is a hybrid- let someone like RM provide specialist services (pretty much as they kind of do now) with attached SLAs, and have the ability to still be flexible with localised ICT support and implementation.

    .
    This is very intresting as it is written in the BSF Rules that if you want the BSF funding you have to be fully manage.. how did you get around this to the "hybrid" system...

    Do you still have the same role of running the Network ?
    As Tony clarified- and I should have made clearer- we aren't BSF at all. The Head doesn't like the idea of BSF period. And it does seem as Tony also stated that BSF will pass Corby by some. Sorry for the confusion. What I was trying to say was that BSF shouldn't have to mean passing ICT support to some mega corp or bug company that simply will not deliver the goods in as flexible a format as you get when working with a local skilled ICT support team.

    BSf isn't all bad though and I can see the compelling nature of having millions dangled in front of you, in a hypnotic trance-like way, if only you will let all your base belong to us!

    Paul

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    The rebuild at Kingswood is not exactly BSF. BSF does not come into our area for a bit (we got knocked back 2 years ago) but Paul's schools is getting a rebuild courtesy of the LA and Central Govt (jammy git) as it is actually 2 school sites that are now being used by a single school (with a dirty great big field in between which must be lovely to walk across in the grotty winter months!)
    That dirty big field (with attached mole hills a-plenty) will be getting a dirty big school plonked right on it some time soon.

    You are right though, it is a real bugger in the winter....

  9. #39

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Partnership for Schools must be under considerable political pressure right now; many (most?) BSF projects are delayed, very few have delivered anything tangible yet. HM Govt are becoming impatient, and we will have a new leader soon wishing to make their mark. I believe that the over-rigid application of their 'rules' is a major factor in the delays, although Partnership for Schools recently tried to shift blame onto the LAs for not having enough resource/skills to handle projects of this size.

    I would not be surprised if more LAs manage to 'break free' from the model being sought by P4S and hopefully more hybrid solutions will emerge where LAs form partnerships with suppliers in the supply chain but fall short of handing over full control to external companies. If schools work with the LAs, they can set some pretty stiff targets for service providers to achieve, this might put a few off from bidding too, especially if this involves future-proofing, changing needs of the curriculum etc. Outsourcing companies don't like unknowns & too much flexibility, bad for profits!

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    tosca925 wrote:
    What about non ICT roles, ie: we have a tech who just deals with AV. Such as all the IWB and projector problems as well as making sure staff have all the media equipment, cameras,camcorders etc are ready for when class and departments need them
    It all depends on the contract. It's my understanding that a local authority can choose to include in the LEP anybody who core job involves them using a computer for more than 50% of the time. So they could include data managers, office staff etc I don't think that any have gone that far yet but somebody is bond to at some point..

    Russ who are you interviewing for your podcaste ?

    I know Northgate ( responsible for Northern ireland ) is looking to get every authority in London and already has exclusive rights with fronter
    http://www.northgate-is.com/press_ce...hp?item_id=759

    I also know that RM are not bidding for authorities that they don't already have a significant presence in as they realise that they will not be able to manage all the work that will be created

    I would ask them how they plan to include innovation ? or cope if they just win a few small authorities ? Do they see an education system where 3/4 companies do all the ICT managed services in england ? What will they do to support the little companies who drive forward new ideas and products ?

    Away from my own situation my biggest worry is that we end up with a dominant player like Tesco in the food market who can decide what schools need/want and dictate terms becuase nobody else can take over.

  11. #41

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Away from my own situation my biggest worry is that we end up with a dominant player like Tesco in the food market who can decide what schools need/want and dictate terms becuase nobody else can take over.
    You mean a monoculture? Don't we already have that anyway due to the preponderance of Microsoft based software systems?

  12. #42
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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Yes but they don't pay my wages !!! or supply my hardware and google will over come them sooooooooooooon "the king is dead long live web 2.0"

  13. #43

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by Face-Man
    Russ who are you interviewing for your podcaste ?
    While won't mention names yet until we have firm list.

    but we have one major bsf bidder on board whose idea it was in first place and is willing to get some of the other tender companies on board.

    Then there is second one who has has said in principle idea is good and needs to get approval before saying yes.

    Then possible yes for others the iist will grow with help from first company.

    Russ

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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Do you actually believe they will be giving us the truth or just what we want to hear to get us on their side?

  15. #45
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    Re: BSF - The Quetions

    Quote Originally Posted by Face-Man
    I know Northgate ( responsible for Northern ireland ) is looking to get every authority in London and already has exclusive rights with fronter
    http://www.northgate-is.com/press_ce...hp?item_id=759
    I believe that Fronter are going into London by themselves with a Partner of the LGFL.. there is no Northgate involved.. just a couple of Norwiegens and the LGFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Face-Man

    Away from my own situation my biggest worry is that we end up with a dominant player like Tesco in the food market who can decide what schools need/want and dictate terms becuase nobody else can take over.
    .
    This is what I was having a discussion with someone yesterday about RM becoming like Tesco..

    They are getting so big and undercutting everybody just to get the contracts that soon there will be no-one left to compete with them and kill the small businesses........

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