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    Question Hypothetical question - rate and expectations of two job roles

    Currently a hypothetical question, prior to passing on findings to the headmaster. Currently the school is looking at outsourcing to an IT company to look after all their IT and I recon they could do it cheaper and better in house. One outsourcing company said that they would not let anyone on £10/hr touch a server and their staff would need qualifications before being allowed to touch a clients server.

    If a small independent school based Surrey, approx 50 devices, 5 servers (2 physical, others virtual) wanted a part time person to support their IT system, would there likely to be any competent applicants if either of the following positions/rates were advertised? Rates are say nearest £.

    Both 4 hours per week, 40 weeks per year (term time and bit of holiday).

    ICT Technician £10/hr

    Network Manager £16/hr

    By competent applications, I mean by person who could be trusted to look after all aspects of IT, including servers, software and hardware deployment, Exchange etc... How would the level of competency differ between Technician and Network Manager?

    If unlikely to get any takers, what would they need to be looking at?

    Thanks

    Ian
    Last edited by ianh64; 12th October 2012 at 04:19 PM.

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    If anyone would be interested, please PM me and I will pass on the schools contact details for this.

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    I would say you are very unlikely to get anyone. your offering about £2500 for someone to commit 4 hrs a week for 40 weeks a year.

    You may get someone who is almost in retirement, or someone fresh from training, or someone trying to keep afloat till something better comes along.

    And if the server crashes outside their hours?

    Rob
    Last edited by twin--turbo; 15th October 2012 at 11:39 AM.

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    Weird setup, five servers for 50 devices and at 4 hours a week you are going to be relying on them doing work voluntarily unpaid for proper future planning and research.

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    The rate and timetabling is typical for adverts being posted by local LEA in this area for their own schools of similar size and type.

    If server crashes, manual contingency plans still allow school to function. They also have staff on site who can deal with day to day running and future planning and an external support contract for their MIS system. But the staff on site are not Microsoft server people, so whilst they can add users and PC's themselves etc, they just need a helping hand from someone a bit more server literate who can run just undertake the routine weekly tasks. The school understand that the server may be down for 48 hours etc. Server has not crashed affecting BAU in the 2+ years that it was installed.

    Its really someone who can check the server once a week and deal with any things that on site staff cannot or have the time to do.
    Last edited by ianh64; 15th October 2012 at 11:55 AM.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    That is in conflict with your original statement
    I mean by person who could be trusted to look after all aspects of IT, including servers, software and hardware deployment, Exchange etc.
    I'd be tempted to run a bit over the odds with the remittance so that you are not directly competing with the LEA, I'd also look at adding in a bracket of 'time by agreement' for stuff that needs extra time outside of hors like additional planning and documentation for any major things if required. Stuff like this will make the role much more appealing to the types of staff you are after.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianh64 View Post
    If a small independent school based Surrey, approx 50 devices, 5 servers (2 physical, others virtual) wanted a part time person to support their IT system, would there likely to be any competent applicants if either of the following positions/rates were advertised? Rates are say nearest £.

    Both 4 hours per week, 40 weeks per year (term time and bit of holiday).

    ICT Technician £10/hr

    Network Manager £16/hr

    By competent applications, I mean by person who could be trusted to look after all aspects of IT, including servers, software and hardware deployment, Exchange etc... How would the level of competency differ between Technician and Network Manager?
    I would say the issue here is the hours on offer. The hourly rate is much the same as my own, and I do all of the things mentioned and consider myself to be competent. This is on the South Coast so a similar economic area. The issue for getting good staff will be finding someone of a high standard who only wants 4 hours a week work. I used to work similarly with a number of schools, but needed to amass a number of schools in the same area to make this viable. In the end, I had to leave and join a local comprehensive full-time to survive financially.

    Just my opinion, but I feel this would be best served by an external provider, who can do the contracted 4 hours a week, but also has staff available to provide the extra backup if and when needed.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crc-ict View Post
    I would say the issue here is the hours on offer. The hourly rate is much the same as my own, and I do all of the things mentioned and consider myself to be competent. This is on the South Coast so a similar economic area. The issue for getting good staff will be finding someone of a high standard who only wants 4 hours a week work. I used to work similarly with a number of schools, but needed to amass a number of schools in the same area to make this viable. In the end, I had to leave and join a local comprehensive full-time to survive financially.

    Just my opinion, but I feel this would be best served by an external provider, who can do the contracted 4 hours a week, but also has staff available to provide the extra backup if and when needed.
    Or possibly a group of schools which could work collectively to provide more than a supplementary income. I'd still keep the extra negotiated time though as it can come in handy for both the school and the tech/NM.

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    We are now virtually fully back in house.

    The problem with having one person is that they may not be available or have the skill, a support company will have various staff available to pick from. However your going to be paying 60/h++

    Days gone by we (in our department) were jacks of all trades, now with the complexity we are specialising in areas and having to get by in the others. I get thrown 95% of the phone config stuff and 5% of the Group policy stuff..


    Rob
    Last edited by twin--turbo; 15th October 2012 at 12:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twin--turbo View Post
    The problem with having one person is that they may not be available...
    This is the biggest issue with this way of working. The school cannot reasonably expect that anyone who works only 4 hours a week will be available whenever they need extra time - they may have outside of work commitments, or especially if working in multiple schools to make up hours, may be working at other sites. I've been there - trying to manipulate schedules to cover 'emergencies' at one school but so that others don't miss out is a headache and a half!

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    I dont think you'll find someone at 4 hours a week, but 3 or 4 hours a day would be entirely possible. And as for the £10ph person not being allowed near the server - well I am on £10.23ph and I deal with the servers in both my jobs!

    4 hours a week is feasible from an external support company if they offer telephone support as well.

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    You've mentioned Exchange in the first posting, and then said later on that the school understands that a server may be down for 48 hours . . . .

    Is it fair to say then that the school is happy to be without email for two days?

    Also - being a pessimist when it comes to reliability, stating that the system hasn't crashed in 2+ years says to me that something nasty will happen in 3- years time :-)

    While having an IT person available is about the weekly check stuff, it's also about their availability when things go bad.....

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    Thanks for responses. I did take on board a raised hourly rate vs the local authority advertised ones and had planned to add something about flexibility but the decision appears to have been made to go for an external IT firm. I had hoped to convince the head that the school could continue to do it in house but looks like time has run out as I have handed over the system to the firm.

    I had personally supported the school for last 3+ years but it was time for the school to fend for itself. The hours needed to support the system was twice what the school gets now and they have been delighted with how their IT systems have been supported, how they have performed and how they have been utterly reliable. Where they could have done with extra help is to have a bit more of an on site presence (most support was remote except the odd half day) for the odd more technical job that their designated staff members could not handle.

    The firm that took over did a full audit of system and were utterly amazed at what had been achieved on their budget. I think the firm have realised that there is not much money to be made from the school, but even so, the rate that they charge still means that the school IT budget is likely to go through the roof. If the school had kept things in house, the increase would have been reasonable, but it seems that convincing the school that finding someone with the flexibility needed to support their system, as I have, is going to be much harder than they would be prepared to participate.

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    To run a similar size independent school in Kent... to replace me... we advertised for someone for 20 hours per week and a salary of £23-27,000 pa pro-rata this time last year.

    Four hours per week is nowhere near enough time. I was originally recruited on 8 and it got increased. Running the network successfully is not just about being onsite to tweak the servers. It's also about having the time to plan and implement upgrades, offer support, etc.

    PM me and I'll email you the job description if you wish.

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    I always advise schools getting someone in house. Someone who has intimate knowledge of the system and how the staff work. You also get a sense of pride that the network is yours, something which I've noticed outsourced companies by large don't have (come in, fix a job so it works, go)

    You also get a flexible member of staff who can cover all sorts of contingencies (you'd be amazed how often I'm standing in the car park in a morning helping with the buses).

    Even if money is tight I try and point out that you could get a company in for fours a week term time only, and pay them £5k. Or you could get someone starting their career who is adaptable and pay them £10k pro-rata and gain the benefits of a committed member of a staff.

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