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General Chat Thread, Information required for a business plan! in General; Hi everyone, Our finance director has asked me to come up with a business plan for extending our ICT support ...
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    Information required for a business plan!

    Hi everyone,
    Our finance director has asked me to come up with a business plan for extending our ICT support in to local primary schools. I don't think we stand much chance of getting in to any schools personally and we don't really have the manpower/enthusiasm etc (!) to do it but it's part of a bigger plan for providing other services and getting in to other schools.

    Anyway, I'm after information on a few things and wondered if any of you could help. I could do with information on how much companies charge for support in schools, what they exactly do, what companies are used (LEA, council, business) etc. Any help would be gratefully received!

    Thanks

    Ian

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Isn't that his job?

    Ben

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    This is experience from having the local secondary coming into my school.

    Our primary school is set up with me as the technician, a teacher as the IT coordinator and the local secondary school as the contracted support. As the IT for the school.

    From my experience make sure you comunicate with everyone by cc'ing emails etc.

    As to what the Secondary school do:
    Server support
    switches and wireless AP's support

    As Im the technician I deal with everything else.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I'd say, first and foremost, make sure you have the manpower and enthusiasm to do this. It's a lot of extra work to take on. We ended up employing a senior technicians whose primary role is managing the relationship between us and the schools we support!

    He has just spent the whole of this term writing a new contract and working out a new payment structure that fairly charges for a good quality service. We've also rewritten the contract to try and be certain that all parties know exact what they are siging up to and whatis expected of them. What work they can expect to be carried out during a regular visit, what additional work we can do, what work we can't do , etc.

    As for charging, far, far too complex! We have a standing fee that all schools pay which covers the basic costs of running the service and then each school is charged using a multiplier on the number of computers they have. These figures are based on the senior technicians annual salary and divided up based on how much time we expect him to spend out at each school, then split of into standing fee and finally working out the multiplier based on the total number of computers supported in the cluster.

    We were keen to come out with a competitive price that charged each school fairly and from which we do not make a profit, so we don't charge them for time the technician is here at the high school doing work for us, for instance.

    I can't really go into too much detail, and unfortunately I don't think it's a document we can readily share. I think I can say that we charge between £1000 and £2000 per year for most of our schools, getting a fortnightly visit during term time.

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    Thanks - this is a scheme we were looking at 2 years ago with some enthusiasm but the school weren't interested as they were focusing of getting a good Ofsted report! We can make it work but we have had a number of changes since that time so I personally think we're too late in getting schools on board. I've tried to get in touch with local schools but they aren't readily giving me information which is what I expect but it's difficult to gauge who wants help and assistance with IT support that way! I don't expect people to share everything so don't worry, I just need to pad out and justify things in my document.

    I come from a primary support background so I'm well versed in how things work, I just don't know the demand at the moment after being in an Academy for 5 years. When I worked in primaries, we charged about £1,500 per term for a half day visit a week over the course of a year but that was 5-6 years ago so I don't know what the competition is like now.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    The other thing to bear in mind is that this is the wrong time of year to be doing this. Something we struggle with as an Academy. Most primaries will be doing their budgeting in Feb/Mar ready for a new financial year in April, so talk to them after Christmas. As an Academy our financial year starts in September, so we're inevitably talking to them now about something they are not really interested in till after Christmas.

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