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General Chat Thread, IT in education Kitemark? in General; Originally Posted by webman If we get a pay rise surely it's only a good thing ... Good to see ...
  1. #16
    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    If we get a pay rise surely it's only a good thing ...
    Good to see someone looking at the wider picture

  2. #17

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    @Grumbledook:
    As most headteachers are around the £100k salary surely one of their key roles is to equipe the school with the best people for the job. So why are we saying we need to standardise surely it is the remit of the headteacher and the governors of the school to ascertain if it is fit for purpose?
    If say for instance that we were proven to make a dramatic improvment in a schools teaching and learning enviroment to such an extent that their marks improve the position of the school within the county and national figures then would they then be paid the same as the other professionals within the school. I don't think so personally.
    Schools get what they pay for and in some cases it is their own fault that they get people who do not fill a certain criteria as they expect so much for so little reimbursment. Some schools expect a professional job but only pay the salary of a junior.
    What would be the point of a national kitemark as it probably wouldnt be worth a jot.

  3. #18

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Well as far as I can see, there are lots of schools that do not provide enough ICT resources and as such are falling short of the requirements. An external audit could help fix that.

    It would also help point out areas where things could be improved, simply due to the NM's not knowing about things.

    I think it would help a fair bit.

  4. #19

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    @Grumbledook:
    As most headteachers are around the £100k salary surely one of their key roles is to equipe the school with the best people for the job. So why are we saying we need to standardise surely it is the remit of the headteacher and the governors of the school to ascertain if it is fit for purpose?
    If say for instance that we were proven to make a dramatic improvment in a schools teaching and learning enviroment to such an extent that their marks improve the position of the school within the county and national figures then would they then be paid the same as the other professionals within the school. I don't think so personally.
    Schools get what they pay for and in some cases it is their own fault that they get people who do not fill a certain criteria as they expect so much for so little reimbursment. Some schools expect a professional job but only pay the salary of a junior.
    What would be the point of a national kitemark as it probably wouldnt be worth a jot.
    @bossman

    Playing Devil's Advocate a little here ... we have already had Mattx (and I am sure he isn't the only one to feel this way) say that SMT know bugger all about IT and so they should rely completely on the people to employ to do the job. You explain why that this is the case ....

    But Becta / DCSF / SSAT / other acronym based organisations admit that there is a varied standard in IT and use of IT in schools. This is why monies for IT and ICT is being rolled into BSF ... raise the baseline standard in schools.

    How does a school know they have good IT and a fantastic support team?

    If the SMT know bugger all about IT then are they the best people to say we are doing a good job? As I mentioned previously, IT projects will often fail due to circumstances outside of the NM's control ... sometime politics, sometimes funding, sometimes being overruled on an 'educational needs' basis ... how can we factor that in?

  5. #20

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    In a way I agree with bossman and Tony - from the point of view that not all Network Managers, IT teams and IT infrastructure are up to scratch - and as SMT may know bugger all - how would they identify they need better IT provision?

    But what guarantee is there that the body behind the Kitemark are any better? Like everything else they'll end up being full of ex-teachers who think they know a thing or two; or 'partnered' by companies who may have a vested interest in pushing their solutions in school IT, e.g. microsoft.

  6. #21

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    @Grumbledook:

    I agree that schools need a baseline to work from but i think you will concede that not all schools have the same funding, backing from SLT etc etc and therefore how do you move ahead with an external audit.

    What if a school thinks that it is doing great with it's IT and is quite content only to find that some external source has denounced it's IT as "wanting" to coin a phrase.

    It has been my experience that schools use the educational bodies to their own needs when it suits them i.e. Becta is a prime example and to quote just one of their examples: If you have a manned helpdesk in place you will need one technician to every 100 workstations and if you don't have a manned helpdesk then you will need a technician for every 50 workstations. when we pointed this out to SLT we were told that they only use BECTA as a guideline and not to take it too seriously.

    So what are we to derive from this?

  7. #22
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    As Job evaluation is all about standardisation of pay, and to me that's a good thing - the end of dictatorial rule by HTs, which lead to vastly varying standards in those things in schools that HTs get to decide - like Support workers pay. HTs and teachers get standard pay so why shouldn't we...

    ..so there should be some standardisation in the services provided. Isn't that what OFSTED( ESTYN in Wales) is all about?

    Personally I welcome any sort of audit - wether a standard to check against ourselves or outsiders coming in. In an ideal world is would be a respected authority on the subject that would offer support to schools, but I think I'm dreaming

  8. #23

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Playing Devil's Advocate a little here ... we have already had Mattx (and I am sure he isn't the only one to feel this way) say that SMT know bugger all about IT and so they should rely completely on the people to employ to do the job. You explain why that this is the case ....

    But Becta / DCSF / SSAT / other acronym based organisations admit that there is a varied standard in IT and use of IT in schools. This is why monies for IT and ICT is being rolled into BSF ... raise the baseline standard in schools.

    How does a school know they have good IT and a fantastic support team?

    If the SMT know bugger all about IT then are they the best people to say we are doing a good job? As I mentioned previously, IT projects will often fail due to circumstances outside of the NM's control ... sometime politics, sometimes funding, sometimes being overruled on an 'educational needs' basis ... how can we factor that in?
    I refer the right hon gentlemen to the comments I made some moments ago :-)

    Not sure about other schools, but in the school which I am a LEA gov of - we each have a subject in which we all have a connection with.
    Because of my skills in IT I have the role of making sure the IT side of the school is up to scratch etc.
    By talking to teachers, pupils, non teaching staff etc about the IT in the school you tend to get a good overall picture. I don't think an outside source who I would imagine would not know the school or its staff and pupils from Adam would be a good idea.
    In fact I would say it would be a waste of money [ if paid for ] and also quite a negative approach. Teachers, heads and schools in general are tested too much in my opinion, they constantly have authorities looking over them. Of course you need some basis of this but yet another bunch of people walking around with clipboards ticking boxes ? I think the schools could do without it.
    Let them get on with Teaching.

  9. #24

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Ofsted is asking schools to carry out more and more 'self-assessment', with Ofsted inspections more often than not scrutinizing the schools self assessment documentation with spot-checks being made to ensure the documentation is telling the truth. The ICT elements of this process are rather lightweight compared to those covering teaching & learning, or financial management.

    Under normal circumstances I would have supported the idea of an education Kitemark to demonstrate that the school & its staff have reached a level of attainment, but with BSF and managed services hanging over most schools I believe the focus for ICT standards instead should be directed towards training SMT & Governors in the art of setting and agreeing service levels, ensuring robust monitoring & reporting is in place so that schools can judge what level of ICT service they receive. If necessary this monitoring and reporting could be performed by an outside agency to ensure impartiality.

    I think this is far more important in ensuring schools get the level of ICT service they need. I could see a Kitemark having a limited shelf-life, I seriously wonder how much attention private ICT suppliers bidding for/delivering managed services would pay to them, or ensure their staff were 'qualified' ? I suspect they would pay lip service to the Kitemark during the bidding phase, and quietly drop it during the delivery phase.

    ICT service levels are going to be a crucial part of life post-BSF, like them or not.

  10. #25
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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    Tech qualifications are a benchmark - all schools should have serious training and qualification provision for their techs if they want to assure standards

  11. #26

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    I think it would be a good idea if it was done properly. Unfortunately I cant see this happening. There are departments here that are constantly saying if we get inspected we will fail as we are not delivering XYZ that we are supposed to. This was picked up on the last inspection but nothing has changed. As people have pointed out on other theads, at times of inspection, teachers run round trying to make sure they have everything up to date for the brief time that the inspectors are in checking the resources being used etc.

    I think to get an external body in to evaluate the running of the network would end up in a similar way. If it could be used to strengthen the NMs position when it comes to decisions about where the money is spent within the school then great. Unfortunately I think you would end up with a document that would not be understood (and therefor largely ignored) by SMT.

    I still think that there are too many schools running in an amateur way. The fact is that many schools still run networks with inadequate resources and with hundreds of clients and users but only one person supporting it. Any push towards providing a more professional approach in schools would be a welcome additional providing it had the clout to make the changes where necessary.

  12. #27

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    OFSTED reports could end up being unintelligable if the senior inspector is not careful.

    The self-assessment bit could work ... if you had senior staff capable of doing it (look at all the training you can get to do OFSTED style lesson observations!)

    SLICT / TeamSLICT deals with somethings ... but fell short in a number of areas. Becta surveys are agnostic to the point of not even mentioning company names at times.

    Would schools be happy to have someone from a local, well-respected school come in and assess the facilities?

    Damn ... we are back to Grommitt's uber-NM again! I hate it when he turns out to be right!

  13. #28

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    Re: IT in education Kitemark?

    I think that introduces an element of "treading on one's toes", does it not?

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