Grommit ... see .. if you wait long enough someone comes along and argues the other side. I now have the chance to talk about it from a different point of view.
Now ... cap1601 ... if you have a look at previous posts from me you will see that I tend to take a balanced point of view since I can see both sides of things. I do think that you are missing a few key facts and examples. I hope this not so short post will help you understand things from a larger point of view, not just as a teacher, or an ICT Teacher, but as someone who wants to make sure that the best is done for the school and the students.
I will start from the beginning ... in the beginning was the word and the word was God ... let's skip past the bit where he created heaven and earth, put animals on there, the human race and skip past nailing people to trees ... all the way up to the 20th century and the modern bureaucratic model.
Originally Posted by cap1601
A 'one-size fits all' model does not work for all schools. Hate to say it ... but it is true and if you are looking for evidence then go and have a chat to those schools that have been part of managed services. I have ... a number of members here have also been there too (and still are). You get some schools that it works for and makes a massive difference. These are schools that have had poor leadership of ICT at a strategic level. They probably haven't even heard of SLICT or think it is unimportant. They are not making full use of their MIS to record and analyse data, they are not using ICT as a tool to move on learning ... and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Yo will get some schools that will see improvements in some areas ... and have to make compromises in others ... and then you schools that are above that proposed raised baseline that BSF will give, where the IT provision is innovative and promotes innovation in T&L. This is a fact that it happens and if you want a list of schools in that position I am happy to furnish you with these. To start I would suggest looking at the ICT Register, in particular the Focus Schools for each region. Also look at those that are moving to Academy status and look how much *they* are defining the IT rather than a managed service provider. Ask *them* what difference being given an inflexible service would make to them.
What about those that are already meeting the 'industry standard' as defined in the Technical and Functional Specifications for IT Infrastructure? Or those that are beyond it? And whilst the hardware / design might not be 'industry' standard ... many people who work in industry would probably admit that they don't have over 1000 hot desking users, a number of which are trying to do what they can to bypass your security every way they can. So ... the IT industry arguement? Doesn't wash as long term arguement. The collaboration that goes on via this site is a perfect example.
2. Control from school, no, it will bring the IT back up to industry standard.
At the moment the T&L should work in partnership with the implementation of IT in a school. Neither should force one or the other to radically change, but challenge is healthy. T&L will *have* to work with what you are given as a BSF school. If that means changing courses then that is a decision senior leaders in schools are having to look at. Again ... I have been out there and this is a valid concern for schools. Again, we are back to the one size fits all problem. With early enough representation a school has a chance (no guarantee) of getting what they need. This is not always the case as many schools are in the dark about the process, staff with the knowledge to ensure the school is on the right track are not involved soon enough or kept out of the dialogue. I can give you at least 20 examples of schools with good IT infrastructure that have had their technical staff kept out of the dialogue until it is too late. Again, the tip of the iceberg.
3. Point taken, but this can be managed, and as you say every school is different.
Perhaps removal of staff is the wrong phrase. Removal of staff from a position where they can use their knowledge and experience to directly affect
4. It doesn't remove the staff, only some managed services. The teaching remains the same, only the facilities improve and many schools will see no change of IT management.
the development of T&L and innovation within a school because they are no longer employed by the school. They are employed by a company the works with the senior leaders to decide things ... They are out of the loop unless they are lucky enough to get one of the 'team leader' style jobs. Some companies want this as it gives them experienced staff who can help across a range of schools, but it means the school they get pulled (and it would be pulled) from loses out. Why should any school lose out after investing to provide a good service to cover for a school that has obviously had no idea?
Is it? The growing role of IT support teams within schools will be, if we are not careful, stopped. It will be in the hands of the companies and the LAs. There will be a few exceptions but within 15 years we can expect all schools to have had some level of impact from BSF. This site may not exist but companies would not want one of their techies helping a techie from another rival company for free (yes ... a quote from one of those companies that bid when I explained what EG was all about ... I went on to point out the usenet, MS groups, the various hardware / software specific boards were also free but that just confused them).
5. Entire industry? A slight exaggeration here.
Ah ... but to get rid of a handful of negative people they are also getting rid of a bushel full of positive ones. One member has worked very closely with a supplier as their school moves to BSF, only to find that the goalposts have been moved, much to the distaste of his head, his line manager and many of us who know him. The lack of communication in his wave is dire ... the school is regularly kept out of the loop and agreements are being made before contracts are even signed (or governors agreeing to things). Admittedly I don't blame the supplier in this ... the bureaucracy behind it all is the stifling factor at the moment ... and this is before they even have a managed service. KPIs are soft targets. Should the companies not meet their KPIs then the school does not get the compensation. The students who are affected do not get the compensation. The staff who get stressed out to the teeth do not get compensation ... the LA does. In this early stage the KPIs are not rigorous enough and need to be tightened. It will *have* to be at the behest of schools ... but schools are still not in the know about these things. KPIs ... a poor choice of defense. If you want to raise particular KPIs I will tell you where the strengths and weaknesses are.
6. Yes the companies will be here to make a profit, but they do also sign up to KPIs which govern their performance. They are brought in to improve education, and having backward thinking individuals which are constantly negative does not help an educational environment.
And I hate know-it-all teachers who think in stereotypes. Let's face it ... teachers ... they have 1/4 year off on holiday, they start at 9 and finish at 3 because the first and last 15 minutes are just spent taking coats off and putting coats on again ... nothing to do evenings and weekends as they now get PPA time ... commonly known as extended tee breaks. And this is before we get to the film star wages ... admittedly B movies (or extras in Eastenders) but still a whopping salary. There ... is that enough of a stereotype for you? I can continue about whinging that they still don't get enough time for training or that they want a bigger pay rise than everyone else in the world? Please ... don't start getting personal and calling people negative. In spite of what you may think, majority of the regulars would bend over backwards to ensure that there school gets what it deserves. Those that don't are usually people who have tried but been knocked down by negative teachers for daring to think they might have good ideas.
As for not liking IT people, why no, I'm an ICT teacher (secondary). I just get tired of small minded negative individuals such as IT technicians with crusty underpants who sit on their arses all day long whinging and playing on x boxes. I'm lucky enough to have experience of work in the real world outside the classroom door and welcome change and enterprise
Many of us here have experience of the outside world too. We do not work in education for the money, but we work as professionals, trying to do the impossible at times. If you want to talk industry then we have regional BCS reps here, union reps, those who work with (and for) national interest groups, those who are from high performing schools, those who help the Govt set the agenda.
Conversations in here are read and discussed by people far higher up that an ICT teacher. Yes, some dross occurs ... usually in conversations where people call each other whingers.
If you have constructive comments about how BSF will have a positive impact in your school then we can perhaps ask why your school is in such a state that it needs BSF to help out. If you want to to just call people negative then you are not adding anything to the discussion. You are the type of person that needs to know what is going to happen. You are the person that needs to ensure that you are not going the affected by the changes. From the way it looks for you, if you don't then no-one will.