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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Advice sought: Senior Technician to Manager in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by jsnetman To a large extent the ICT strategy is outside the remit of the school and SMT ...
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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    To a large extent the ICT strategy is outside the remit of the school and SMT, the strategy is implemented at government level. For instance the dictate that all schools should have a VLE by a certain date. Of course you can decide which VLE to adopt but the overall strategy has been formed above the schools level, the curriculum also dictates this strategy. I suppose their is room for maneuverability within the strategy but thats about all.
    I think the targets are often set outside, but the strategy to enable the school to get there is set internally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    To a large extent the ICT strategy is outside the remit of the school and SMT, the strategy is implemented at government level. For instance the dictate that all schools should have a VLE by a certain date. Of course you can decide which VLE to adopt but the overall strategy has been formed above the schools level, the curriculum also dictates this strategy. I suppose their is room for maneuverability within the strategy but thats about all.
    well they always chaneg their mind!

    And I completly agree with GrumbleDook, I go to the head and govenors with proper project plans like moving away from council Internet, live@edu then they decide yes or no. How would the head know about live@edu? benefits of moving from a managed system, they ve got to worry about other things! just technicial = senior tech

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    A number of the targets set by the Government are things already being done by schools. For things like VLEs, IWBs, Parental Engagement, etc .. this was already being done by schools that were doing well ... it was further expanded in larger pilots, then rolled out as national projects.

    The roll out nationally is where things can (and have in the past) gone to pot. NOF is a perfect example ... the idea of CPD on ICT for all staff was a good one, just delivered poorly and with no follow up, no further targets and poor accountability for the folk delivering the training. The idea now is the schools look at what other good schools do and choose to do it themselves.

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    My posts are coming across as a bit negative in respect of my thoughts of what a NM should be, I will say it's not just to manage existing kit but also to innovate and bring in new technologies, advise SMT of these technologies and how they might benefit teaching and learning, this is very important to a school and have witnessed many dogmatic managers in my eleven years as an NM.

  5. Thanks to jsnetman from:

    GrumbleDook (15th December 2011)

  6. #35
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    You don't need any of these qualifications. You just need to be very good at your job and come across very well in your interview. Of course it helps to have these courses on your CV but they aren't completely essential IMO.

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    Hey all,

    Well i've worked for 2 schools, 1 MSP and 1 University and been IT assistant, IT Technician, Senior Technician and now Network Manager. IT assistant can either be an apprenticeship who works for the IT Tech or someone who is more admin based. IT Technician and Senior technician are largely technicially based with the Senior technician having more technical experience and responsibility though as the others say this depends on the interpretation by schools and in some cases they are refered to as the assistant network manager. The Network managers job is entirely different in some respects to a techs job, you need to have more interpersonal skills and in fact your job will be 40% hands on technical and 60% people. You will at least have to manage a budget for consumables and be expected to spend time planning improvements (taking into account schools needs, available budget, expertise), keeping software licensed, telling people they can't have somthing, taking full responsiblity for the network uptime, managing staff (discpline as well as praise) etc. I know far too many people who have said to me that they would rather manage as it looks "easy" to them. If their manager makes the job look easy then they are a hell of a good manager and worth learning from. So if you are serious about reaching your goal of becoming a Network Manager then I would start by asking your current manager if you can start deputising for them and ensure you spend time understanding the role fully and learning from those above you really. Hope it all works out though.

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    I would also be looking for someone who also has Project Management skills (proven), IT Architect skills (TOGAF), and also someone with a knowledge of Enterprise Architecture concepts. You probably need 10+ yrs proven experience with large environments as well.

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    I'm an IT Manager with over 15 years experience and there is something I've heard many times - the best technicians don't always make the best managers. That is because being a good IT manager requires a lot of compromising between the needs of IT and the needs of the business, and that's something techies don't always appreciate. I know in many schools the IT Manager is usually a technical manager who is expected to look after the servers and system on a day-to-day basis - a sort of senior senior IT technician, if you will. But as IT has become more crucial to operations in schools (as with any and every other business), they are slowly coming round to the understanding that they need more than just a good techie at the helm. So I'd say it's not just about getting the right qualifications, though these are important for your CV, but having the right mindset - being able to shift focus from the technical details to the bigger corporate picture: understanding the needs of the business and delivering relevant projects on time and within budget, being good at managing, motivating and developing your staff, good oral and written presentation skills, handling admin and paperwork, etc. I many instances, the job can be MORE about these skills and less about the technical stuff, although you will always need an understanding of IT systems. That is probably why a lot of IT managers I know in various industries didn't even do an IT or engineering degree, but developed their IT skills along the way.

    Many technicians assume the next upwards move in their career is to become an IT Manager, but the technical and the managerial are actually very different paths. If you're a very technical-minded person, the next move is probably to develop your skills along a specialist path - security, networks, etc. Depending on the field, you can earn much more than some IT managers. But you'd probably have to leave the education sector for that!

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    I think you have pretty much described what an Architect can bring to the table...but having the people skills to is important...something some tech's can struggle with at times...

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