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Budgets and Expenditure Thread, My Budget this year. in School Administration; Hi everyone. I think this is going to be a topic close to eveyones hearts. My personal view is that ...
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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    My Budget this year.

    Hi everyone.

    I think this is going to be a topic close to eveyones hearts.

    My personal view is that there is never enough money to buy ICT related bits, you could go on forever and continuosly upgrade / improve / replace and add equipment and software but I think there is very little chance of that happening.

    Anyway, my budget this year was £2600 (Two Thousand Six Hundred). From this budget I have to purchase :-

    1:. Paper for printing on. £500
    2:. Toner / Ink for all IT Suites and my Office £2250
    3:. 150 new Optical Mice to replace all the IT Suites £330
    4:. PDA x 2 for myself and my Technician £440
    5:. Spare Parts £500ish
    6:. Floppy Discs and Blank CD's £100ish

    I've already "borrowed" £1250 from the Technology College fund to purchase the other half of the inks / toners.

    As you can see I'm well over budget. I'm also not allowed to spend more than 70% of the budget before September this year. I'm well and truly fed up and totally screwed.

    :cry:

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Do you have another pot for the big stuff then Ninja?

    ...and what size is your school/Technology College?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: My Budget this year.

    1:. Paper for printing on. £500
    2:. Toner / Ink for all IT Suites and my Office £2250
    There's a fairly solid arguement that can be used that these items can and should come out of the general 'stationary' budget thats not tied to the IT budget. After all other people use the printers other than IT staff do they not?

    Alternatively, you can invest in some printer quota/control software.

    The third option would be to ask individual departments to buy their own toner/paper/etc for their own printers.

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    here we have about 600 budgets...

    ngfl for major upgrades and now that county decided that they are going to take our broadband cost before giving us ngfl money..

    elc for software....

    a budget for teaching it

    a budget for ictac... which toners and and papaer comes out off..

    Russ

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    I agree with Geoff.

    Its a difficult point to get across to those that be but you need to draw a line between IT infrastructure and IT consumables. Pushing the ownership of consumables back to a departmental budget instead of IT budget certainly makes people think twice about pushing 600 page pdf's through a deskjet. It is also a fairer way of doing it as some people do take the pee if they know they aren't paying for it.

    The other thing that really does work is spending more money on larger printers (get a decent 3 year warranty while you are at it, makes your job sooooo much easier) as you get a much better scale of economies in printing costs.

    As an example, we ripped over 40 deskjets out of a primary who had a consumables bill of nearly £2k per term, MADE them buy 4 large B&W and 2 Colour lasers. Their consumables bill dropped to just over £1k per annum saving nearly £7k. The printers paid for themselves in the second year. Do the business case and put it in front of them!

    Another thing Geoff mentioned was the quota s/ware which is a great way of taking their usage info and handing it back to their line management. It does make people uncomfortable but if your pitch is saving money then there shouldnt be much of an argument.

    Ninjabeaver, dont know how many boxes you have but it sounds like ur getting screwed over cos ur management aren't 'IT' facing yet. Be interested in knowing more about your setup.

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    Re: My Budget this year.

    What do you need to know?

    I'll post what I can.

    I'm alrready using Printer Management / Quota system in school and it's cut paper usage dramatically.

    My IT Budget is made up of about £500 out of the main pot, and then 5% of each departments budget to 'cover' their toner and paper usage. I'm just getting peeved that there are more pressing things to spend the budget on like replacing a vandalised IT Suite (which is 6 years old already!!), improving IT Suite security (IP Cameras) etc etc.

    And whoever said the school is not IT facing hit the nail on the head. The headship team consist of people, bar one person, who rarely use the technology, but have to becasue they are forced into it.

    Mark, no there is no other Big Pot. I have to go on my hands and knees with a case to get extra bits. The school is a Secondary School with about 900+ pupils.

    All I seem to be doing lately is cobbling stuff together to get it working again, but all that is is a short term solution.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Feel for ya there dude! The effectiveness of IT provision is dependant on management support - something should be done about that.

    As a colleuage of mine says - prepare an open and shut case - emphasising the benefits to the school. It's a major waste of your time propping up dud stock - the school needs to have a plan of rolling replacement in place - allowed for in the budget - so that they can meet the need responsibly.

    The welsh assembly [bless 'em ] quoted a standard of 1 PC for every 5 pupils in a school - which is what we're always quoting.

    How are your central support guys? Lancashire sound like they've got this part sorted - it really helps to have a good team at the helm.

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Well my budget this year was about £23K (that's the one I can spend willy-nilly) plus there are the grant 31 budgets which have wiered and wonderful things done with them.

    IT doesn't seem to have been the focus for some time here and some fool got the school tied into RM and we are still suffering (RM Connect 2.4 - yes, NT4 & 98 ).

    Luckily, I should be getting up to £90K to buy 10 servers, a SAN and assorted gubbins to implement a thin client solution using Citrix. We WILL drag the place kicking and screaming into the 21st century if we have to!!!

    (Oh yeah - I intend to use Print Manager Plus to charge all the departments for stuff).

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    I might of got the wrong impression but it seems its all going downhill fast. Let me guess. Your basically under funded and under staffed? Unfortunatly thats a common problem in educational IT support.

    If it was me, I'd put into writing the increasing insurmountable problems your facing and why they can't be permenantly solved. I'd expect this mostly revolves around lack of money to buy the equipment you need and lack of time to implement a full and proper solution.

    I also think what you need to do is step back and look at the big picture. Rather than asking for extra money every little thing that comes up, take the IT infrastructure as a whole and work out what it would cost in both time and money to put right. You should compromise somewhere between what you want and what you need.

    Ultimately, if after all that, management does not respond and you feel you aren't making progress then I believe you should resign your position. It sends a very clear message there's a massive problem.

    There's plenty of other schools out there that need your skills where ICT is well funded. I see no point in wasting your time in a school that does not value its IT infrastructure.

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Don't all schools get the ngfl funding?

    On top of the ngfl grant which is used for primarily for cross curricular ICT development I also get around £22k to cover repairs, upgrades, new PC's etc. We don't have any PC's in ICT rooms over 3 years old.

    The bleedin' kids still smash em to pieces though! which is an entirely diferent issue! costs us a fortune in mice and keyboards! guess its a good job we're well funded!

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Can I ask all you guys to post your IT Budgets in total you have to spend and where in the country you are? Just so I can get a country wide idea.

    I'm shocked at how little I have to work with. I was an IT Technician for over 6 years, but got tired of the travelling so I wanted to settle down, and when this came up I was off like a shot.

    I'm going to sound like boasting now, but I have single handedly turned this school's IT system around in three years starting off with the worlds oldest NT4 server and 70 PC's. I'm now managing an IT Technician (who is only with me 50% of the timetable!!) and seven servers, plus all the Bromcom and Admin software. The school has nearly 350 PC's of varyin ages and 60 Laptops.

    Perhaps it is time to wake up senior management. I'll get the same reply though. NO MONEY!!

    I've got 3 PC's on my desk I can't repair because of lack of funds, perhaps I should not have purchased the two PDA's for myself and my tech and saved £440 but we need them for taking down all the requests people ask us as we travel around the school.

    FFS, my Techie has had to bring in an old PC from his house so that he has got something to work on in the office. I was without a decent machine for three years before they eventually stumped up the cash to get me a laptop.

    Perhaps it is time to start looking around.... Anyone want a Network Manager in the Norfolk area? lol

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    I work at a secondry school and also I work at nine primary schools. I do not know the budget of the secondry school as it isn't relevant to my job.

    The amount of money avalible in the primary schools depends on how many children go to the school. On average its around about two to three thousand. Around half of this money comes from LancsNGFL.

    If more money is required its usually possible to shuffle things round in the budgets. I recently paid for a laser printer out of the furniture budget for example.

    If all else fails, or there's a purchase for over three thousand it has to go to the governers for approval. Combined with this its usually possible to extract money from the PTFA for the school. That also has to go past the school governers.

    There are also seperate subsidised schemes run by LancsNGFL. For example the laptops for teachers and the whiteboards schemes which have been touched on in other conversations.

    Its also possible to take a 'loan' out from LancsNGFL to otherwise pay for equipment and work that otherwise wouldn't be affordable and repay the 'loan' over several years. This has been done in several primaries to pay for their ICT suite.

    I'm in West Lancashire.

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Hey there Geoff! You're right, if the budget hat doesn't fit, and no-one is listening, then move... But! I must admit that it hurts to leave a school where ICT is such a dirty word and where, ultimately, the students suffer. At the end of the day, I make it my prinicpal to try my darndest to improve the ICT lot of the students - and stuff Senior Management!

    It appears that the perception of the majority of school staff is that supporting the ICT resources (and quite often any other electrical equipment going, plus ICT furniture) is equivalent to cleaning floors - and that's not such a simple task! We are assumed to have respective fingers on ALL of the buttons ALL of the time, AND to have a deep technical knowledge of ALL software AND hardware... Phew! And then to have to beg for financial resources...

    Why, oh why do we do it!

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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Don't forget that there is also the usual 'need' to increase the number of machines. This never seems to be a problem and money tends to appear. However, how often does the maintenance budget increase to compensate for the addition of more computers? Sounds like ninjabeaver has the same budget now as when the school bought its first suite!

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: My Budget this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    Luckily, I should be getting up to £90K to buy 10 servers, a SAN and assorted gubbins to implement a thin client solution using Citrix. We WILL drag the place kicking and screaming into the 21st century if we have to!!!
    Don't get me going on Citrix! - When I started here 4/5 years ago the school had just bought into Citrix. They presumed it'd do multimedia including audio and video [LOL], entirely over the thin clients [ROTFL], 90 of which were 5yr old + rubbish, 25 new Wyse terminals. Don't get me wrong - Citrix is a wonderful thing - and fantastically good at what it was designed for - text editing and low screen demanding stuff. And administration is a breeze. But a student can take down an application server by holding the down key in excel [you need a memory limiting app to throttle sessions], and anything animated is never smooth but a slow flick book - also a server killer.

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