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Courses and Training Thread, Implementing best practice ICT management and support in Training and Courses; Becta have recently launched the FITS expert workshops to help schools with in-house technical support staff understand and implement the ...
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    Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Becta have recently launched the FITS expert workshops to help schools with in-house technical support staff understand and implement the FITS best-practice framework, including processes to control the day-to-day activities of technical support.

    The FITS expert workshops are designed to provide a full explanation of the FITS processes, a demonstration of what is involved in implementing FITS, an understanding of how and where to start an implementation of FITS and an action plan for implementing the processes specific for each school's environment.

    There are currently five Becta training partners delivering the FITS expert workshops. For further information visit www.becta.org.uk/fits and click on FITS expert workshops now available or contact paul.stonier@becta.org.uk

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    I don't know why I even bothered to look further into it. There aren't any (that I can find) that are anywhere near the north of Scotland. As bloody usual.

    </wonders off grumbling about Scottish Executive Education policies.>

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Some of the training partners are willing to supply a trainer at a venue organised by an LEA or group of schools. I'm sure if there was enough interest in your area/region, say 15 network managers/technicians, they would be happy to come to the north of Scotland.

    If you think this could be a possibility please conact me and I could help get the ball rolling.

    Thanks

    Paul
    paul.stonier@becta.org.uk
    0779 5351060

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Hi Paul

    Any chance there will be online materials for this?

    Alex

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    @Paul

    We only have 13 high schools in Powys - would the rep visit us? - and do you have any idea how much does this might cost - before I get hooked by these nasty sales types :P

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Alex and Mark,

    the training materials are only available to those attending the FITS expert workshops. The two main reasons for this is that the workshop offers the delegates advice specific for their environment from the expert trainers and it also encourages the sharing of ideas and experiences.

    The costs of the workshop is only a fraction of other training available for technical staff priced between £100-£200 for the day depending on which training partner you choose. This even includes a free lunch!

    If a group of schools were to get together I'm sure that you would be able to negotiate an even better rate. The workshop is intended to be delivered to groups of 6 - 15 delegates so 13 would be easily enough.

    If you are thinking of getting a group of technical staff from schools together I'm happy to ask the training partners to get in touch with you to let you know what they can offer. Just drop me an email with your contact details paul.stonier@becta.org.uk

    Paul

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    @fits: Cynically, I don't believe that paying for a course will motivate people to share "ideas and experiences" - after all, we already do that here.

    Also, I think that is you check out the topic on certification (http://edugeek.net/index.php?name=Fo...iewtopic&t=380) you will find out that the training budget for a year is often £200. A single day workshop can hardly justify this, especially when you consider that for only £500 you can attend a course at Lancaster Uni for a whole year and this gives yo a real qualification.

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Agree entirely with Ric_ i'm afraid there Paul, and confirm that my budget per year is less that £200 for courses.

    Our county Council charge us to have quarterly meetups together as technicians - they're called courses too! My travelling costs are £30 per course so that leaves £80.

    Somewhere there's a misunderstanding of what actually goes on in schools to what BECTA thinks goes on.

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Ric and Mark,

    thanks for your comments. I certainly appreciate the tight training budget for technical staff in schools which needs addressing if schools are going to manage and maintain the increasing complex and critical ICT infrastructure.

    Where budgets are limited the training needs will need to be prioritised. FITS is now recognised by the DfES, Ofsted, Becta, LEAs and schools as the standard for schools to meet for their ICT management and technical support, which should raise it's priority.

    Becta plan to continue the development of FITS and the wider availability of the expert workshops for schools so it should hopefully become accessible to more schools in the near future.

    Paul

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Hi Paul

    The problem is that I am not based in the UK so I can't attend. I am trying to implement FITS in four schools at the moment and things are rolling along quite well. I have been asked to created a job description for someone managing the service desk. Do you have anything that I can use?

    Many thanks

    Alex

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Quote Originally Posted by ictex
    The problem is that I am not based in the UK...
    It would be useful if you filled in the location and/or had something in your sig showing where ya are and what ya do

    Not a must but will help ppl know that u arent in the uk

    Regards
    N.

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    *sigh*

    Seems good in theory, but why add another level of management speak to an otherwise logical set of principles we all should learn when doing any kind of IT training. I think I covered a lot of this (albeit on a more practical level) when studying for my HNC.

    Planning for disaster? What are backups and redundant links for? Spare parts anyone?

    SLAs? When teachers understand better what it takes to make an IT system function at any real workable level I might consider slapping an SLA on myself and posting it on the intranet for all to hang me by ;-)

    Configuration management? Is it just me or are MS also talking of "change and configuration management" etc too?

    What I'm really saying is that my time is stretched thin- will this stuff help me manage my network optimally and in better ways without encumbering me with some kind of management philosophy that will make me sound good but offer no real practical skills? And how will this improve the use of IT within the school?

    /Rant

    Sorry for the rave there- but management talk really makes my blood boil. Especially from quangos...

    Paul

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    @FITS: You forget that I attended your talk in Cumbria with Dos_Box. Much of what was described is common sense and it is more of a case of finding time to squeeze the implementation in when you aren't being bothered by teachers, removing crisp bags from floppy drives, changing toner, trying to perform upgrades...

    In your talk you kept mentioning the 'support team' and we pointed out that the vast majority of schools rely on a single person supporting sites with over 1000 users and several hundred client machines. Your answer to this was to utilise admin staff for the 'support desk' however this isn't always faesable - we hae just employed 2 more admin assistants to ease the workload on the existing ones and I would still have to set up a system for fault logging that a non-technical-type could follow in order to receive information that is better than "... I pressed OK and this error message appeared..."

    /RANT

    As you can see from my versings above, no amount of workshops or training days are going to help FITS be implemented until a guidline for the number of support staff is introduced and schools are in a position to allow their network managers actually perform some management.

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Quote Originally Posted by ictex
    Hi Paul

    The problem is that I am not based in the UK so I can't attend. I am trying to implement FITS in four schools at the moment and things are rolling along quite well. I have been asked to created a job description for someone managing the service desk. Do you have anything that I can use?

    Many thanks

    Alex
    Where are you Alex?

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    Re: Implementing best practice ICT management and support

    Who The F* is Alex [sorry!]

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