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General Chat Thread, Support a Feeder Primary School in General; Hello We are looking supporting one of our feeder schools with ICT support. Having never put anything like this together ...
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    ful56_uk's Avatar
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    Support a Feeder Primary School

    Hello

    We are looking supporting one of our feeder schools with ICT support. Having never put anything like this together I was woundering if any one could give me some advise on what to support the feeder primary on, contract we what we would do and not do etc...

    any advice would be great

    thanks

    Mark

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    I would say the usual of what you do normally i.e. hardware/software support, management of consumables etc.

    The main thing is, what can you offer different to what others can offer at the same price. At my old school we had a massive backup solution with plenty of spare room, so we set it up to work with FTP and allowed primaries to back up to our site on a night.

    I believe it's things like this that sell you and they pretty much run themselves when they are up.

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    richard.thomas's Avatar
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    We sell ICT Support to several primary schools in our area. We basically offer full support on anything ICT related as well as offer recommendations on new hardware to buy. Obviously we only provide the labour, the school must pay for hardware, software and licenses.
    We also throw in the usual; Telephone help line manned 8.30 till 4 (mon - fri), Email Support with messages responded to within 1 working day, Liaison with existing external service providers.
    One thing to note is we do NOT support any MIS system. Technically we shouldn't touch it at all according to the contract, but with the schools i worked at I didn't mind installing the client and helping admin staff with any troubles, but everything on the server was up to another contractor.
    Last edited by richard.thomas; 4th September 2008 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake

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    Butuz (4th September 2008)

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard.thomas View Post
    We sell ICT Support to several primary schools in our area. We basically offer full support on anything ICT related as well as offer recommendations on new hardware to buy. Obviously we only provide the labour, the school must pay for hardware, software and licenses.
    We also throw in the usual; Telephone help line manned 8.30 till 4 (mon - fri), Email Support with messages responded to within 1 working day, Liaison with existing external service providers.
    One thing to note is we do NOT support any MIS system. Technically we shouldn't touch it at all according to the contract, but with the schools i worked at I didn't mind installed the client and helping admin staff with any troubles, but everything on the server was up to another contractor.
    Thats a good way of doing it Richard. Do you have a large technical team?

    Andrew

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    We support our feeder primaries 2 hours per week - they get that free. They can then buy extra hours in if they need them.

    We do routine stuff - hardware repair, software install, IWB & projector training etc. A couple of schools have contracted with us to redesign and rebuild there networks but have paid the school and my team well for it (£25 and hour to the techs).

    I think the biggest benefit to them is the fact we aren't selling anything - we price kit with our suppliers and they buy at the rates we do. They also don't get sold the wrong stuff, examples of which are:

    Full exchange server for 80 student primary school
    Windows Small Business Server rather than 2003 for next to nothing.
    Fully wireless network including the server! Guess how often that fell apart.

    The other big payoff is the primary school kids get to know at least someone from the secondary and it often helps us later on.

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    We are looking at doing the same at the moment with our feeder schools - we have 60 odd feeder schools.

    When I have done it in the past I have had a few problems with a certain primary school. They were offered a technican for 1/2 a day a week from another school - came as part of the secondaries specialist status.

    We soon found that even though we put some restrictions on the other technician they were making changes to the network that were not neccessary and were causing issues to the design we had made.

    Make sure you have something in your contract that will stop the school from getting anyone in and letting them change what ever they want as this could cause you a lot more hassle. They will blame you first if they are paying you for a service.

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    richard.thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    Thats a good way of doing it Richard. Do you have a large technical team?
    Yes it's fairly large. The school uses placement students from universities (I may self was a placement student and have now left). It works out really well, I've been offered a job for after I graduate and the school got 'cheap' labour for a year. From what I believe the primary school were paying more for me being there for three hours a day than I was getting paid, so it also put quite a bit of money back into the school. Which might be a good selling point to the SLT

    Last year there were four of us that deal with off-site support. One of those is fulltime off-site apart from the holidays when he is at the secondary school. Each of the schools choose how many hours they want. It ranges from 1 hour a day to a half-day each day of the week.

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    BaccyNet's Avatar
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    We have a similar arrangement as Richard mentioned above. We only support a single primary (on top of the high school and the sixth form) between the two of us. The primary have commented many times about the level of support we give them compared to the previous people as we try to give as fast turn around as we can.

    Usually once they are set, the only thing that would normally need doing is adding/removing users and installing new kit. We did recently redo their server from scratch ready for their new building (old server was getting on a bit) so that took a bit of time on top of our normal summer workload.

    It also makes a nice change to visit a primary once in a while, sooo much different than a high school

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    This is something I am considering setting up here as well, into the future. Thanks for all the posts entered so far.

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    Hi,

    We are thinking about support primary schools too.

    Not sure if it works the same in your lea's but if we went into a primary here we would not be able to perform any administrative tasks, everything has to go through the lea helpdesk including password changes, creating new users etc!

    We would have to remove the primary school from lea domain and basically create them a network from scratch with only internet being provided by lea. Seems a bit of a long way around to me, has anyone else experienced this?

    I don't see why they can't issue local admin accounts.

    Ryan

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb View Post
    I don't see why they can't issue local admin accounts.

    Ryan

    If they'd set their active directory up correctly they would be able to deligate administrator access to each school. But as they have not set their active directory up coprrectly, any admin accounts they create are admins across the whole county.

    Our LEA is the same - that's why we are on our own network!

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb View Post
    Hi,
    I don't see why they can't issue local admin accounts.
    Or maybe it's the fact that the school in question is the LEA's responsibility and they don't want anybody and everybody messing around with it?

    I know I wouldn't give administrator access to my network or local machines without good cause and only when I am happy that nothing will be broken by said person.

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    Yes i can see your point but i am sure you can appreciate the frustration when the schools have to ring the lea to make even the simplest of changes! I think the only way to proceed here is to move them away from the lea domain which will require quite a lot of work in itself.

    those of you who do support primary schools and charge for your time how much do you charge? I know this is like asking how long is a piece of string but i was thinking somewhere between 3000-4000 for half a day per fortnight technician time, complete network management, email and telephone support, advice and emergency callouts between visits.

    does this sound about right?



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