BSF vs PFi
If a school was to go down the PFI route instead of BSF, what would that mean for IT guys? Does it mean the same or does PFI really mean to IT guys that schools will a get a new building but the IT will remain the same?
Can anyone make this a bit more clearer?
PFI can vary - depending on what the school go for. I personally used to work in a PFI school which had Viglen install there network (which we then rebuilt :D) - although this was a network that was started from scratch as it was a new school and not a school being moved to a new building. Although the project in the area included 2 other schools which where rebuilt with viglen putting the systems in but the school employed its own staff to then manage the day to day side of the network with remote support from viglen.
One thing that i didn't like in a PFI building (not sure if it is the same for all) is that the premises staff where not employed by the school - so anything you wanted doing had to go via the receptionist of the school to the PFI (in this case BAM) providers helpdesk where it got sent back to the Premises staff to be done - even for things as simple as changing a lightbulb!
PFI can also be really painful if you would like extra network sockets put into a room for example (as well as a building can be designed its not always going to work!) this took us over 2 months to get the okay (missing both easter and may half terms) so that the cabling company could then only come in to do the work in the august - 4 months after the initial plan went in!
But then just like BSF this can vary totally from school to school - Lea to Lea.
PFI is an absolute pain in the preverbial. Nuff said!
PFI is a means of funding a new school without significant capital outlay by the Govt. A developer borrows the money to build the school & the LA in effect pays a mortgage on the school. PFI normally includes services such as caretaking, building maintenance, cleaning, sometimes catering.
A local authority (with Govt approval) can seek to rebuild a school via PFI, retaining control of it in the same way as all its other schools with staff continuing to work for the LA. Academies also tend to be PFI funded, but control passes to the sponsors of the academy with staff being employed by the academy
Many new-build BSF schools are being built using PFI.
ICT staff in a local authority PFI school would generally continue to work for the school/LA. In an academy, they work for the academy, with BSF schools the vast majority of ICT staff work for the managed service provider.
Lets hope that if schools go down the PFI route, IT guys can still work for the school, but now Cameron is incharge, it would be interesting to see what actually happens to the building of new schools.
Let's see what agreement the ConDems can come to, they have different views on academies