General Chat Thread, School structure in General; I have just had a meeting with regards to what jobs I should be carrying out. This has come about ...
15th July 2008, 11:25 AM #1
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I have just had a meeting with regards to what jobs I should be carrying out. This has come about through Job Evaluation and what the school recognises that I do and what should be done by someone else.
Basically I have been arguing the point that as the sole person here I am in fact carrying out many duties that make up a Network Managers role. I am currently employed as an IT Technician. Even though I have made my point that I carry out duties which involve administration of the school network, my contract does not state that I should be involved in any Server support/maintainence. I have requested that my roles & responsibilities change, and I have a job Title to be a closer match the job I do.
What I want to know is what roles should a school have in order to keep a fully functional network running? I have been told that even though I can carry out tasks on the servers I should be doing this under direction from the ICT Coordinator. Now to me that doesn't make me the NM, rather still a technician carrying out orders of someone above me.
But I cant see how this would work if the person above you hasn't got the technicial skills! I have read a lot about people who are responsible for data protection and ensuring the computer misuse act is upheld, but what I dont know is WHO should be doing this.
Our setup is ICT Coordinator(teacher of ICT) and me(ICT Technician). I feel the school is missing a lot of roles here, that I would like to be addressed so I know what I should and shouldn't be doing. Previsouly I had full Domain Admin, but the ICT Coordinator was just a standard user. Can anyone give advise on who is the best person to take on various roles and what a school should have?
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15th July 2008, 11:35 AM #2
Are you in a secondary or primary school? How many users/machines do you support?
At secondary level where schools are bigger the specifics of job descriptions are defined more closely. At primaries where schools are smaller, it's more likely that the definitions will be looser and only 1 person will run the network (like me... I call myself ICT Support Technician, but actually I'm the Network Manager, AV Technician, etc. I tend to use a job title that's most convenient for whoever I'm dealing with!)
It's impossible to define exactly what roles a school should have in terms of separate jobs as every school is different.
15th July 2008, 11:38 AM #3
How can they direct you if they don't know what you are doing and are not able to do it themselves?
I have been told that even though I can carry out tasks on the servers I should be doing this under direction from the ICT
I think that's a valid point.
15th July 2008, 11:38 AM #4
IT in schools these days provides a school-wide service in the same way as Finance etc. a Head of ICT, e.g. a teacher who is head of a discrete department, shouldn't really be involved with the provision of a school-wide service. You wouldn't have the Head of Maths in charge of finance would you?
Someone on the SLT should have overall responsibility for IT - encompassing data protection, the therotical management of the school MIS, and an understanding of how ICT fits in with the 5 Year Development Plan. This person should have a good grasp of ICT, but not in a technical sense.
There should then be an IT Manager/Network Manager, who has primary responsibility for the provision of all IT services and equipment within the school, they report to that member of the SLT. They may be the only one who touches the servers/infrastructure depending on the skills of the other staff. The IT Manager should then line manager a number of technicians appropriate to the size of the school, who manage the day-to-day support.
Having Heads of ICT in charge of the IT services is just a bad idea - it creates conflicts of interest, their skills set is not appropriate to the post (and as an ICT teacher, they think they know what's best) - most importantly they don't have that school-wide overview that is necessary.
Some VERY forward thinking schools will actually have someone like a Director of IT Strategy on the SLT, who may even be a member of the associate staff, and not a teacher, who has oversight of everything IT in the school, services, MIS, eLearning. Though unfortunately these are too far and few between.
15th July 2008, 11:40 AM #5
The roles of ICT Co-ordinator and Network manager should be split entirely. ie. ICT co-ordinator is a curriculm job and deals entirely with cross curriculum teaching of ICT. Network manager is a 'maintenance' type role, ie. getting things and keep things working.
If a teacher is being required to deal with anything technical (ie. network manager roles) then the school is breaking various rules.
15th July 2008, 11:54 AM #6
Have a look at the Becta Technical Competencies framework at Becta Schools .
This gives you the various levels of support for IT. There is also an IT Support matrix on the Becta site too.
IT Should be directed as a whole school service with direct connection from the SLT and the SLT's ICT/IT Vision. Others should have a feed into and one of those will be the ICT Co-ordinator / Head of ICT / ICT Cross-curricular guru. Others will be the bursar / business manager (if they are not part of the SLT), ASTs, ICT Evangelists from other departments.
This is part of the model of distributed leadership for ICT that was very clear within SLICT and TeamSLICT.
However, the same things applies the other way. Just as it is not the job of the Head of ICT to decided everything IT/ICT related in the school, neither is it the job of the Network Manager (unless they have a fancy title and are manglement ... even then they are unlikely to decide everything, just have the majority say in the decisions!).
15th July 2008, 12:02 PM #7
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@Localzuk - That was my view entirely. It is also the ICT Coordinators view too. Unfortunately they are not in today so I couldn't bring them to the meeting too.
I work in a secondary school, and I know that you tend to deal with a lot more than what you are employed to do. However, I do believe that the repsonsibility of keeping a network running for users should be the role of the NM not the ICT Coordinator.
And I have made the point that the ICT COordinator does not have the relevant skills to tell me what work needs to be carried out on the servers. The response was that I should advise them on what needs to be done (or the Coordinator can seek advise from LEA)and I can then get authorisation to carry out the task.
I have asked for all the policies that the school should have so I can see what role I fit into. After searching on here, I have looked at some that have identified different roles a school should have. We only have an ICT Coordinator and me, so I was wondering if there is any information which does state who should be doing what.
15th July 2008, 12:05 PM #8
Whether or not it's right, you'll find in a lot of schools that the co-ordinator is a teacher with overall responsibility for strategy who leaves the day-to-day work to their NM. Most schools can't afford to dedicate someone to that job properly. It's generally a hang-over from when there were five pcs and the co-ordinator looked after them.
15th July 2008, 12:13 PM #9
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Thanks GD. I have looked at that link before, and even though I started here as a Tech, in the absense of a NM, took on many extra duties. While I was happy in this state, I do want paying for effectively a new job. I believe what the head is doing is putting the respsonsibility of running the network onto the ICT Coordinator, but getting me to do the actual work(with partial respsonsibility). I agree that there needs to be some Line Management established, and the direction that the Network is to be used in a TEaching and Learning sense should be done by someone else. What I dont agree to is that I should be telling my boss what needs to be done just so they can then athorise me to do work I have just informed them about
@Powdermonkey - I can even agree with you there, someone else can have the responsibility for IT Stratergy, but the head seems to think, that the day to day running should come through the COordinator too. This is what I dont understand.
15th July 2008, 12:14 PM #10
The issue regarding whether it is right or not is one that the school could still get themselves into hot water. You should be taking it up with unions.
Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey
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