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General Chat Thread, ComputerWorld article on a predicted IT spending spree by new academies in General; Academy Schools: The next big ICT spending spree - Community - ComputerworldUK You may not agree! I don't...
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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    ComputerWorld article on a predicted IT spending spree by new academies


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    Not sure that the Academies will be anywhere near £200,000 better off as suggested - sure, they may get this extra money but they will have to start buying things in which they previously got from the LA (payroll is one small thing I can think of; I'm sure there are others)

    The writer seems to think that schools will slash the salary bill because they're no longer tied to the LA but that they won't use any outsourcing. The two don't really go together - I suspect we'll see much more outsourcing because it's a quick way to cut salary bills (initially, things like facilities management but why not IT - get the right company and you can get superb outsourced IT support)

    Faster internet connections might be nice but they cost huge amounts of money - has anyone recently looked at commercial prices for a 100Mbit link (and it needs to be symmetrical if you're going to be using it so that the pupils and staff can access resources from outside school). Links like this are not cheap; you're going to need to put a big chunk of money in to make it work and I can see that any school which does become an academy will have every department making a case for increased money.

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    @srochford

    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    N
    The writer seems to think that schools will slash the salary bill because they're no longer tied to the LA but that they won't use any outsourcing. - get the right company and you can get superb outsourced IT support)

    Faster internet connections might be nice but they cost huge amounts of money - has anyone recently looked at commercial prices for a 100Mbit link (and it needs to be symmetrical if you're going to be using it so that the pupils and staff can access resources from outside school).
    Hi, my original aricle, so a couple of explanatory bits:

    1) I think salaries will reduce because they now CAN be reduced and they are lower in the Indep sector for that reason.

    2) By outsourcing, I apologise; there are indeed superb outsourced support companies... what I should have made clear was I mean the likes of Capita, Serco and RM who are not superb, don't deliver value and don't give a toss about schools because their deal is with the LA

    3) Acadamies will be better off and I think many will invest in ultra-fast broadband but only time will prove me right or wrong

    What I am struggling with is how anyone can be disagreeing with me
    Last edited by ChrisH; 31st May 2010 at 08:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    What I am struggling with is how anyone can be disagreeing with me
    Because you're wrong :-)

    Some independent schools may pay lower salaries than the state sector but others pay much, much higher salaries because they want to attract the best staff. The first batch of academies are supposed to be "outstanding" schools and they're also likely to want to get good staff and retain them - you don't do that by offering less money than the school down the road.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see academies paying higher salaries to teaching staff and key support staff but I think it's too early to say for sure.
    Last edited by ChrisH; 31st May 2010 at 08:57 PM.

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    Agreeing with Steve here ... a school moving to Academy status is not suddenly going to pay less on salaries. It may be that they take on additional staff at a 'low' level, or that any extra services they run they contract them in rather than a full managed service, but Academies which are formerly high performing schools tend to know you get what you pay for ... so you either pay in-house staff well ... or you pay someone from outside a fair bit to do it instead.

    Independent schools vary ... but they pretty much mirror state education. The good ones can frequently be found paying reasonable money for good staff. To be honest, the fact that a school is tied in with the LA is only really important when you get a school which is trying to keep salaries down. They will use the LA as an excuse to stop progression if they are that way inclined ... a good school which respects and treats support staff very well will usually find a way around any LA generated issues.

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    There was a proper study/survey in 2008 (can't find it now) which IIRC said the *average* male teacher get 10% more salary in Independent sector, average female teacher gets 10% less. Both of course tend to get nicer working conditions, smaller classes, less troublesome kids and so on.

    The bit that's yet to be tested is how popular it might be e.g. Gove's claim to be 'freeing' schools is a cloak for more control from the centre.

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    god help us if these new academies do end up having thousands to spend on shiny IT kit.

    it'd be the like the 'prudence' brown era all over again, as other areas of spend get squeezed thousands get spent on yet more IT 'stuff' no-one is entirely sure what they'll do with. But then they have to spend the money by [you know the drill by now]......definitely getting a sense of de ja vu.

    obviously steve does make a point about schools that can't take advantage of subsidised services having a good portion of this extra money being eaten up going purchasing services on an independent basis.

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    Something which I saw in an article referred to performance related pay at academies.

    The teachers receive a bonus relating to improvements with their students results, wondered what peoples thoughts are on this?

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    they don't pay more Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Because you're wrong :-)

    Some independent schools may pay lower salaries than the state sector but others pay much, much higher salaries because they want to attract the best staff. alaries to teaching staff and key support staff but I think it's too early to say for sure.
    some, a few, a very few, of the best Indep, did pay more (I was one of them) but that is long gone. Sure Dulwich, KCS Wimbledon, St Pauls, Westminster, Eton still pay more but that's 5 schools...there may be thousnads of Acadamies.

    The days of attracting good staff are long gone. GCSE and AS are too easy to need such folk and the 2008-2010 salarie sreflect this.

    Salaries will go down. Money will be freed up to spend on toys. Really

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    The savings can come by the formation of academy groups as these enable the centralization IT, finance and contracts. It also enable the school group to have more muscle than a single schools as it has budgets that look like an LEAs. £200,000 a year is sum required to keep a large schools IT going.
    Last edited by nicholab; 1st June 2010 at 11:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholab View Post
    The savings can come by the formation of academy groups as these enable the centralization IT, finance and contracts. It also enable the school group to have more muscle than a single schools as it has budgets that look like an LEAs. £200,000 a year is sum required to keep a large schools IT going.
    Quite right, I deal with Academy groups that have more spending power than an LEA, it can also allows conjoined thinking between schools, however there are many pro's and con's to academies I think ultimately as with everything else in this world I think it depends on who is involved and what is driving their behaviour.

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    Salaries at the independent where I work (and no it's not one of the big secondaries) have always been very tightly pegged down. The teachers are on National Pay Scales, the rest of us aren't... from what I've seen our pay is comparable with what we'd get elsewhere in education - not a lot!

    Expenditure has always been very tightly controlled here as we live within our fee income. Unfortunately we don't have big endowments like the Harrows and Etons of this world who were founded in the 15th Century or earlier; we were founded in 1919 and own all our land and buildings with no debt which has fortunately placed us very well to ride out the current recession.

    Toys are a lovely idea, but we don't get them. Facilities are maintained to be at least as good as the state schools, but the majority of independents never have "flashed the cash" in my experience. Having to pay VAT makes spending on anything expensive.

    The new academies won't have to pay VAT so they'll be in a better place than the independents. They will have the power to break free from national pay scales, but in the interests of recruitment and retention, I doubt it will make much difference to teachers' salaries. They will have to pay for some things that are now part of the LA package... centralised functions that schools take for granted will have to be paid for.

    It is unrealistic to assume that schools will be spending freely on toys as you call them. Most will be more concerned in the first instance with getting their buildings fit for purpose and just trying to break even.

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    This rather old thread is quite good if you want to find out what's different in independent schools: Is it different in an independent school?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Salaries at the independent where I work (and no it's not one of the big secondaries) have always been very tightly pegged down. - not a lot!


    e. Having to pay VAT makes spending on anything expensive.

    The new academies won't have to pay VAT so they'll be in a better place than the independents. They will have the power to break free from national pay scales, but in the interests of recruitment and retention, I doubt it will make much difference to teachers' salaries. They will have to pay for some things that are now part of the LA package... centralised functions that schools take for granted will have to be paid for.

    .
    I'm still plugging away..VAT exemption you are right is another way the Acadamies will be better off than the trad Indeps. They will also simply drop paying for those extra services provided by LA..getting statements support etc will be really really hard you watch.

    The question is begged, if I am am right, (and am not making headway on this), but if I am right on what will the Academies spend their new money on?

    Should we geeks be getting excited about new developments or use this as the seed cash for some bluesky stuff...OR..will they just spend it on Shiny Toys as normal? (here's our new tennis court, here's our new computer suite, here's aour performing arts editing suite..you've heard it )

    J

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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    I'm still plugging away..VAT exemption you are right is another way the Acadamies will be better off than the trad Indeps. They will also simply drop paying for those extra services provided by LA..getting statements support etc will be really really hard you watch.

    The question is begged, if I am am right, (and am not making headway on this), but if I am right on what will the Academies spend their new money on?

    Should we geeks be getting excited about new developments or use this as the seed cash for some bluesky stuff...OR..will they just spend it on Shiny Toys as normal? (here's our new tennis court, here's our new computer suite, here's aour performing arts editing suite..you've heard it )

    J
    It does seem to vary dramatically from Academy to Academy and if they are linked to an Academy group or not.

    The groups tend to go much more for tried and tested technology, where as the individual Academies seem to be looking at much more bluesky stuff.

    We are dealing with a number of Academies who are looking at things such as 3D technology, touch screen, digital signage etc... However often they will quickly revert to more traditional products when they realise the costs attached to new technologies.

    As with schools I do not think you can pin Academies down to a stereotypical spending pattern, there will be some who want to be seen to be leading the technological charge and others who want to stay safe. We work with Academies as we do with schools we try and offer a consultative approach to find out what they are trying to achieve and the best route to get there.

    I do believe that there will be an increase in ICT spend from Academies but in exactly what form I do not know.

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