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General Chat Thread, 600 sysadmin jobs at risk in New South Wales in General; News from the Register: The Department of Education and Communities (DEC) in the Australian state of New South Wales has ...
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    600 sysadmin jobs at risk in New South Wales

    News from the Register:

    The Department of Education and Communities (DEC) in the Australian state of New South Wales has chosen not to continue funding a program that paid for sysadmins in many schools.

    600 school sysadmins sacked in New South Wales

    How scary is that? We had our Internet funding cut here in 2008 but what if that had been my salary!!

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    AButters's Avatar
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    They should be employed by the school anyway?

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    One TSO who contacted The Register, but asked not to be identified, said he expects the following scenario will unfold in the school where he works:
    There will be no-one to support 800+ laptops at the school. All of the laptops are locked down and you can't just repair them without swapping out the hard drive.
    We also have projectors and whiteboards in every room, plus over 100 iPads. There will be no-one to support any of this hardware.
    Within a month, I can guarantee that unless the Principal finds the money to employ someone my school will have piles and piles of dead laptops that cannot be used.
    Without consistent use of the technology teachers will stop using in the classroom as it will become too difficult.
    The TSO says he may be offered two days a week of work, perhaps by two schools, but that two days won't be enough time to properly serve either. Even if he scores both gigs, he'll be down a day's income and may be forced to seek full-time employment elsewhere.
    Do they also have internal servers, networking, MIS systems and all of the other stuff modern schools have I wonder?
    It'll be chaos after a week with no onsite support.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    They should be employed by the school anyway?
    We need @OutLawTorn for this, but I believe they are employed by the state. I remember chatting with him about this

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    OutLawTorn's Avatar
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    The TSOs (Technical Support Officers) were employed by the NSW DEC (Department of Education and Communities) and then assigned to the schools, and their role was purely to manage the Student/Staff laptops and associated systems. This was usually more managing the paperwork involved in warranty claims/etc rather than being a technical role. It often came down to the individual how they handled the role - some would do the minimum of their job description and touch no other systems, whereas some were always happy to help in anything IT related (the latter usually didn't last long, as they either moved up to regional teams, or moved onto other roles elsewhere).

    Each region in NSW has an IT team provided by NSW DEC who assist schools with IT generally, however (while they do a great job) they are often stretched pretty thin as they cover all primary and secondary schools in the regions. Generally most schools are moving towards centralised systems with only some services hosted locally, so less server infrastructure is managed on-site. This means individual schools require less on-site support.

    More and more schools had their own general support staff contracted separately (which was what I was doing) to manage all of the other IT systems within the school. Some even had a separate arrangement with their TSO where they would pay them to do additional work outside of normal TSO hours ( for example an extra hour or so each day before and after their normal hours). Quite a few schools simply 'hired' their TSO once the agreement ended, and kept them on as a general IT tech.
    Last edited by OutLawTorn; 11th June 2014 at 12:42 PM.

  6. Thanks to OutLawTorn from:

    elsiegee40 (11th June 2014)

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Ah, it seems the article may be a little misleading as this comment shows:

    Again, contrary to the ill informed commentary above, the Feds paid for the TSOs to manage the laptops - they are not supposed to, nor were never meant to manage school computers. If they did, it was out of goodwill, or the school had made an arrangement with the individual TSO - I know schools where the TSO has refused point blank to sysadmin anything other than the laptops.

    DEC is currently rolling out a program called ET4L where all school computers are managed by sysadmins in each regional office - our school has chosen not to go down this path (yet!) and our TSO does sysadmin + a whole pile of other tech related stuff for us (eg rolling out surveillance cameras, arranging installs of projectors etc etc).

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutLawTorn View Post
    The TSOs (Technical Support Officers) were employed by the NSW DEC (Department of Education and Communities) and then assigned to the schools, and their role was purely to manage the Student/Staff laptops and associated systems. This was usually more managing the paperwork involved in warranty claims/etc rather than being a technical role. It often came down to the individual how they handled the role - some would do the minimum of their job description and touch no other systems, whereas some were always happy to help in anything IT related (the latter usually didn't last long, as they either moved up to regional teams, or moved onto other roles elsewhere).

    Each region in NSW has an IT team provided by NSW DEC who assist schools with IT generally, however (while they do a great job) they are often stretched pretty thin as they cover all primary and secondary schools in the regions. Generally most schools are moving towards centralised systems with only some services hosted locally, so less server infrastructure is managed on-site. This means individual schools require less on-site support.

    More and more schools had their own general support staff contracted separately (which was what I was doing) to manage all of the other IT systems within the school. Some even had a separate arrangement with their TSO where they would pay them to do additional work outside of normal TSO hours ( for example an extra hour or so each day before and after their normal hours). Quite a few schools simply 'hired' their TSO once the agreement ended, and kept them on as a general IT tech.
    Thanks @OutLawTorn... I had a feeling that you would know

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    OutLawTorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Thanks @OutLawTorn... I had a feeling that you would know
    I left the job there ~18 months ago (not to mention leaving the country and moving into the corporate IT world), however still have some old colleagues working there so hear bits and pieces of whats going on...

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutLawTorn View Post
    I left the job there ~18 months ago (not to mention leaving the country and moving into the corporate IT world), however still have some old colleagues working there so hear bits and pieces of whats going on...
    That's still nearer to it than most of us!

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