Link: School Networks - No longer just a man in a cupboard... | James' Two Cents
Thrust of the article:
School networks are under funded
Industry could plug the shortfall
There are replies posted to the page after the article.
Nothing new here. Might be worth watching for the replies that come in.
Added mine ... not meant to be having a go at the post, more at the frustration that exists about the attitude on both sides of the fence.
I really appreciate your comment, thanks! I completely agree with your point about some people in it for the love of the job - I didn't mean to imply that everyone was a hobbyist; I loved doing it, and a part of me regrets leaving it to do a degree.
Equally, I think that there really does need to be the accountability and sharing of good practise that you mentioned - I come from the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, where there is slim to no communication between schools.
the last figures i saw showed that education spending annually was 88bn, labour make great boasts about having increased education spending by some multiple since '97.....and yet inspite of this so many times we've encountered underfunding claims.
ofcourse not all 88bn goes on schools spending, and we know schools IT has too often drawn the short straw as far as adequate funding.....but all too often the underfunded thing is trotted out with no reference to which areas might actually be overfunded....there's no magic well with endless capacity to spend to address the areas which underfunded - even with something as important as education spending, at some point we have to address where the misallocation of funding is happening, and maybe direct the savings made into schools IT and other areas which could really do with the money. Then again pigs might fly.
OR maybe someone should have thought of doing it that way rather than settling on the PFI and Managed Services future. [The proposed private sector solution.]
I mean, c'mon, surely a few billion pound of savings can be made somewhere else and use that money to actually address the standout underfunding issues.
I've added my voice to your blog. Although the initial post parhap argues nothing new I think there is still a debate to be had here.
In particular I thought I'd repost the last paragraph of my reply here and see what my contemporaries think of the future of IT funding in schools
The question of why business should (consider) funding schools is simple. It's looking increasingly unlikely that government can. A tory government focusing on spending cuts and privitisation would hit us hard. From the businesses point of view school funding should be seen as an investment in the businesses future. These schools are teaching your future employees. If your employees are being taught at a level of 'Windows 2000 and Office 97' would you not be worrid?
Thanks for the comment - I think you hit the nail on the head about IT folk in education being multi-talented miracle workers rather than hobbyists... although believe me, there are still a large number around!
There are but I think the tide as been turning quiet a bit over the past 2 or 3 years. My old NM (not offense ment by this) retiring this year being a prime example. I very much doubt the school has hired an hobbiest as his replacement.
Have added my little bit for what it is worth
But what is the hook for business to invest in IT in schools, and is that not what we're getting to a degree with the academy and BSF models anyway ? IT companies providing a professional service and a model that helps the gumment out with the medium-term funding implications
Or are you thinking more along the lines of businesses sponsoring the requisite IT upgrades. Can you realistically replicate such business involvement up and down the country without big contract hooks ?
OR without significant state subsidy atleast.
Ultimately i think it is preferable for the govt. to provide the budgets and funds for IT, but this issue of private sector involvement and professional services or tailored services seems to come up and pointed to as a preferable solution for govt. and other interests to address concerns about schools IT.
And even if this model ends up falling flat on it's backside time and again, it'll be pursued with with great vigour.......what better use of public funds after all.
There is a final alternative, we could ofcourse just give everyone less money to spend. The NM with a shoestring budget already knows how to deal with that scenario.....can we say the same about the other middle and senior managers in charge of budgets in education for the last 10 years ?
I was keeping it quiet, but I now have a column in ICT for Education magazine, and that is almost the entire content of my first column, bar the fact that I go off at a tangent about how poorly funded training for school IT staff is, and the cupboard is actually a converted toilet.
I totally agree with Bossmans points, and it is true that the people who make up the BSF IT contracts for the LEAs , for the most part have little or no knowledge of how IT needs to work in a school environment. Now I am free of the schackels of local govt employmet and EduGeek carries a fair amount of clout as a voice, it's about time some serious research was done into BSF IT provision in schools, as I feel that there is a lot of gagging going on from providers to their tuped staff. Time will tell if I'm wrong or not, but I hope I am.
I now have tears in my eyes you guy's, thank you so much, it does mean so much to an old guy like me
I shall keep posting on all the government forums and other professional forums until something or someone actually looks into the financing and money trough which seems readily available to certain quango's and consultants who feel they are "experts", well let me tell you what the true definition of an "expert" is:
EX is an unknown quantity and a "SPERT" is a "DRIP under severe pressure" hehe!
webman (1st March 2010)
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