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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Director of IT positions.........are they out there? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; I was wondering how many of you are or know of anyone in the position of 'Director or IT' for ...
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    Kyle's Avatar
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    Director of IT positions.........are they out there?

    I was wondering how many of you are or know of anyone in the position of 'Director or IT' for a school or college? Do these positions actually exist anymore or are they more normally know as IT Manager?

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    College I used to work for had Director of IS (which was mainly MIS but did have strategic direction for IT), though the IT Manager ended up doing most of that work as Director was not from IT background!!

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    Kyle (10th April 2013), RabbieBurns (18th April 2013)

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    St Paul's Catholic College in Sunbury has a Director of IT - I'm pretty sure he's on here somewhere.

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    Kyle (10th April 2013)

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    with schools/colleges turing into ever increasing academys IT Manager roles seem to be shifting over to Director of IT roles. I know in my area alot of network manager job titles seem to have moved to "director". This is something I have asked for in my performance management review also.

    Also looks better on a CV. In my views within a school the IT manager role will be the same as a Director role, when you get into larger uni's/colleges the job role will start to change some what.

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    Kyle (10th April 2013)

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    Its all about scale. This school would never have a 'director of' anything - it doesn't fit within the size of the school. We have assistant heads who have responsibility for various things, and we have a deputy head etc... Everyone else is a manager below that layer and above more people.

    The school I moved down from in Bristol would have Directors, especially as they were moving to a more centralised academy grouping style.

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    Director normally implies an SLT position. There seem to be a couple of dozen senior technical people in those roles around the country (seems to be the more progressive schools). There's an outside chance my role will be made SLT in the coming months, though I doubt my job title (or salary) would change.
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 10th April 2013 at 01:59 PM.

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    The private school in my home town employs a Director of IT. Nice school and nice position.

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    We have various Director roles ... ICT, English, Maths. All of which are teaching roles, many of whom are responsible for budgets, planning, procurement etc. Some of which are also SLT positions.

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    I have been a Director of ICT for 6 years in an Independent School. I was previously an IT manager at a state school for 8 years. The jobs are similar but I am more strategic now and less technical.

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    My ideal role would be both strategic and technical.

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    I am going to be re-doing my technical qualifications as most schools want someone who can do both.
    Last edited by Deeleys; 10th April 2013 at 03:11 PM.

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    HMCTech's Avatar
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    Know of three Director of ITs all in independent schools.

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    Alas, not enough I find... too many schools think IT strategy is something that could only be done by someone with QTS... when in fact it is a technical matter which also includes an understanding of how to apply it in practice to enhance T&L. Many senior leaders (read: glorified teachers) seem to think they have a monopoly on this, which I find rather offensive as understanding service requirements and how to ply your craft to benefit the client (i.e. not just implementing other people's plans) is a very basic part of any decent service professional's skillset. Whereas in fact, at my place, 95% of all IT developments, both technical and pedagogical, have come from me for the past three years.

    Not to say there aren't plenty of techies who have no desire to be involved beyond the technical side, or that there's anything wrong with that. But for those of us who want more of an "educational technologist" role, there are very few opportunities available it seems.

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    I recently had two interviews both for a Director of Digital Strategy. The Schools weren't sure whether they wanted a teacher or not and I think, not being a teacher was a disadvantage to me.

    I don't think many schools really know what strategy really means. It is about positioning and aligning IT with the schools business goals (teaching and learning and administration). It is not about installing technology and then trying to find a reason for using it, which I feel is happening.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    Broadly-speaking I agree... but there is another side to IT strategy.

    Developing the core platform in accordance with emerging trends to produce a sustainable, reliable system for the future, that can handle whatever is thrown at it. Considering that, as far as the core system is concerned, whether we are serving 700 pupils, 700 customers or 700 patients every day is largely irrelevant; it's still the same technology doing largely the same job, regardless of the service delivery element (a concise example would be the move to virtualisation, which nobody on the system actually noticed when I did that here and why would they?). This is a technical matter and requires someone with broad experience of the IT field and the various technologies available... but it is still strategy because you are managing long-term considerations, making decisions for the future and potentially committing the organisation to a technological direction.

    On the front-end, of course, this is completely different. Aligning the way the technology gets used with organisational requirements and priorities is very important (and indeed, all to often it is found lacking), but personally I would define that as more of a "use of IT strategy".

    Most importantly, in both respects, you need a targeted vision for future developments... a technical vision is required, as is (in education) a pedagogical vision... they will definitely intertwine but they remain distinct entities as well, and neither should be evaluated solely in the context of the other nor confused with one another.

    To illustrate, I've attached the strategic overview I gave the new Head in January. From half-way down page 6 is the vision for the future, prior to that is what's been done prior to his appointment.

    EDIT: I would've bothered trying to hide the school name here but I think where I work is evident from a number of my other posts and I have nothing to hide anyway (I always burn the bodies!)... =]
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 10th April 2013 at 03:47 PM.



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