I can certainly say I don't regard the primary sector as "simpler". Having also been a "loan tech" in the past I wouldn't dismiss that area of the market either.
The first job I got after leaving school was as a subcontracted primary school technician dealing with everything from changing printer cartridges to the design and rollout of a completely new Windows Server environment to replace an aging installation (sometimes RM, sometimes Zentek, sometimes vanilla). Certainly the very varied nature of the role is not lost on me.
Accordingly, I acknowledge that there are some who would say a secondary school NM may well view a primary setup as "basic"; I have seen the setups they are talking about and, yes, quite frankly, they are. But I have also seen the kind of setup in a primary environment that would be considered highly innovative even in the corporate world, considering what it has achieved versus the relatively low expenditure. On some occasions I was contracted to replace that setup with a system that adheres to what is laughingly called "best practice" (I say laughingly because best practice is largely established by the business sector with little regard to how such standards might apply to other sectors) when the school wished to make a significant investment; at other times I have merely supported the existing structures. Either way, again, the way we must sometimes take what is there and transform it into a service delivery platform that meets or exceeds expectations - mostly on a shoestring budget - is actually something I would say is common to both primary and secondary school IT installations and - frankly - ought not to be considered a point of contention. Anyone in educational IT is a "GP" of sorts, in Elsie's words, whether they work in a primary or a secondary school. I would refute the argument that secondary staff can always specialise; I am a secondary NM with one apprentice. I don't really get to specialise either.
With regard to Tony's points... yes, I acknowledge the dangers of school clusters (in any respect) led by one secondary managing multiple primaries... but this all depends on the quality of the provision. If a secondary school wishes to offer a contracted support service to a cluster of primaries, it ought to put in place the kind of service that accommodates their needs. Bearing in mind that such a service will often be managed by Assistant/Deputy Heads linking in with each other, we might think more carefully about whether the perceived failure of a secondary technical support service to adequately meet a primary's needs has all that much to do with the technical staff after all...
Don't hold your breath. I am contracted for 15 hours a week even though the local and pretty much identical three middle schools all have full-time techs. I have pointed this out many many times but it hasn't got me anywhere. I did stop doing the extra though, and SO SHOULD YOU as I felt that it wasn't helping my argument - they were seeing that a lot of work was getting done apparently on 15 hours a week so they didn't see the need to increase my hours. I live in hope that someone will see the light soon.
Originally Posted by ridpool_John
My other school is a junior and I am that lone tech there as well. It is a difficult one because the head involves me in discussions about IT and budgets, which is great, but I am paid as a basic IT tech - the job description of which makes it clear that I should only work under supervision and have no involvement with budgets etc.
One of my central london clients is looking to recruit one this autumn, I don't have the fine details yet but if there are any aspiring or existing directors of ICT from an educational setting then please do get in contact with me
Managing two sites, operational and strategic direction