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General Chat Thread, HT Grant cut again! in General; The schools broadband connection is the heart beat running through the school - it is essential that this works now ...
  1. #16

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    The schools broadband connection is the heart beat running through the school - it is essential that this works now for a school to operate. Cutting corners / reducing bandwith will have a detrimental effect on everything that we do.

    Self hosting websites
    Self hosting mail servers
    VLE's
    etc etc, for those schools that provide access to youtube for staff - they may have to think again as there may not be enough bw to go round!

  2. #17
    gaz350's Avatar
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    It's not so scary providing your own broadband. We cut our ISP costs down to 4.5k a year for a 24meg/3up bonded connection when embc were still offering 2meg lines for 10k. 10meg costs were being offered at £15k don't know if this is still the case but I know we can now get a 100meg leaseline limited to 20meg for 10k now.

    We left embc 3 or 4 years ago now saving us a shed load of £££.

  3. #18

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    It's not so scary providing your own broadband. We cut our ISP costs down to 4.5k a year for a 24meg/3up bonded connection when embc were still offering 2meg lines for 10k. 10meg costs were being offered at £15k don't know if this is still the case but I know we can now get a 100meg leaseline limited to 20meg for 10k now.

    We left embc 3 or 4 years ago now saving us a shed load of £££.
    Who are you now with? And are you following the 'must be connected to the NEN' rule?

  4. #19
    gaz350's Avatar
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    And where was that rule made?

  5. #20

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    And where was that rule made?
    By the DCSF? It was brought up and linked to a load of times on here in the past, whenever someone discussed 'breaking away'.

    I'm searching for some form of document outlining the requirement and am yet to find a definitive one - there seem only to exist strategy documents and the like...
    Last edited by localzuk; 6th July 2010 at 10:19 PM.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    It's not so scary providing your own broadband. We cut our ISP costs down to 4.5k a year for a 24meg/3up bonded connection when embc were still offering 2meg lines for 10k. 10meg costs were being offered at £15k don't know if this is still the case but I know we can now get a 100meg leaseline limited to 20meg for 10k now.

    We left embc 3 or 4 years ago now saving us a shed load of £££.
    Love that 'money saved' bit ... and also see my comment on about secondary schools doing things.

    Also consider how much it costs you to run your own email, website, external DNS, filtering ... the licences, the hardware, the energy costs, and your time as a technician / engineer / admin.

    Yes, I know this can be covered pretty well by a fair few folks ... but not all, not by a long stretch. The other problem that some schools will also face is the incoming bandwidth to the school ... especially when you have a hundred or so staff and students remotely accessing stuff, whether it is terminal servers, VLEs or other resources.

    But hey ... I'm a bit biased here ... but I have done it from all sides (non-RBC school, moved to RBC in a school and working at an LA managing the RBC for schools) ... and, as mentioned before, the impact will vary in different LAs.

  7. #22

    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Who are you now with? And are you following the 'must be connected to the NEN' rule?
    I've yet to find ANYTHING useful on the NEN that we've had marketed to us as a school. I'm not saying there isn't anything useful on it at all, but to say i've had various brochures and leaflets on "this is on the NEN and RBC etc", our staff (that's teaching before people think I'm just talking me) found only 1 site they used on the setup and that was Loc8 which I beleive is an RBC thing for us (but could be wrong), which they said they could loose access to and not worry. Other stuff they had referenced was not worth it or they have alternatives that are perfectly suitable and not part of the NEN. What is the benefit of it and where is the amazing list of reasons to have a NEN connection apart from this wonderful blue skies dream of everyone sharing info together in a big happy world where pigs fly and money grows on trees?

    The NEN rule was also a recommendation by BECTA wasn't it not a law thus surely is now in limbo with the end of BECTA?

    In terms of the further cut to the HT Grant, I know what that will mean for us in schools, we will see bills for Connectivity back on our desks, Central VLE and other such services, all of which will be horridly over-priced and unaffordable to a school facing redundancy's to ensure it stays within its means.

    We will be using bonded ADSL once we see a bill for the Connectivity if its anything of the scale of 2 years ago which was unaffordable then. We don't use much remote data for the simple reason we have to have large discussions and justifiy it too much and then find it blocked and stopped by the existing system from having those opportunities to do what we want and how we want it, so its not something we would miss or suffer from loosing, in-fact we would hope to improve our systems by removing the weakest link in them which is the existing ISP who in my view has been a poor service from the initial day.

    Don't get me wrong, I am sad to see the reduction of grant for IT in schools, they need that grant to invest and work with but there is a point where it becomes too much, already we are scaling back our ideas for future developments due to these cuts all of which will cause big issues for us as a school to harness new technology.

  8. #23
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    Sorry I wasn't deliberately being difficult, I keep hearing it too... But really what does it provide? We are a smLl county...

    Our county top slices nearly £700 per student, we are a rural county with very few issues. For example a similar school in another part of the country with a pretty well off population would probably be closer to £250 per pupil. (we have 750 pupils)

    Going back to the broadband situation, at the end of the day your head needs to take risk. For us it's either computers to use the connection or no connection at all.

  9. #24

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    NEN rule (guidance) ...

    Basically schools should make use of NEN available resources by either being connected to the NEN or by running authentication into NEN compliant services (ie becoming your own IdP under UKAMF). This is raised against duplication of purchases (the RBC, LA, cluster, etc purchase resources or give access to resources and schools then also purchase), lack of efficiencies and failure to use resources that are available to improve T&L.

    It gets mentioned in the OFSTED report on ICT in schools (talking about embedding of ICT and provided resources).

    NEN resources also include thing like access to library / museum materials in some LAs, providing remote access to materials when at home if you are authenticated (eg once you log into EMBC at home you can access you school's account for Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Education City, Expresso, etc) ... again, you might have this through other means but the idea is to make it as simple as possible and just use a single U/N and P/W (single sign-on) ...

  10. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    john (6th July 2010)

  11. #25

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    Sorry I wasn't deliberately being difficult, I keep hearing it too... But really what does it provide? We are a smLl county...

    Our county top slices nearly £700 per student, we are a rural county with very few issues. For example a similar school in another part of the country with a pretty well off population would probably be closer to £250 per pupil. (we have 750 pupils)

    Going back to the broadband situation, at the end of the day your head needs to take risk. For us it's either computers to use the connection or no connection at all.
    Offtopic: Sorry, your LEA top slices £525k from you?? The HT Grant won't be anywhere near that amount! Your entire school budget will only be around £3m for that number of pupils...

  12. #26
    gaz350's Avatar
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    In reply to Tony, at the time we hosted most of the services ourselves already. Things might have changed in the land of embc plc but for us it really did change the way the college was able to use the Internet connection.

  13. #27
    gaz350's Avatar
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    Yup it's really bad our county is at the top of the leader board of top slicers

  14. #28

    john's Avatar
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    Cheers for that Tony, so its guidance, obviously very highly regarded and "pushed" guidance, but clearly could if your head or chair of governors decided it could be ignored but with the risk you could get peanilised for it, especially if your ICT was shown as poor in an inspection due to your non-compliance with the recommendation.

    Those kinds of facilities you list that EMBC members get are great but we get, as far as we can tell and know from our past research when we did a full cost analysis on moving on our own systems, we have access to nothing of that nature at all. I know your in EMBC land so cannot comment on our systems but if we had access to resources such as EB online, and that would allow students or staff access to them at home that would be great and would all help to justify the significant cost for connectivity which we used to have charged to us yearly, but alas we don't so we cannot see any value in such large costs for connectivity. I just wish we had people such as yourself who are as helpful and provide good examples of why they are better for T&L than ones we've had in the past as they have been less than helpful other than throwing Becta says and its recommended that you do X etc... Any chance we can cloan you about 100 times please

  15. #29

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    Yup it's really bad our county is at the top of the leader board of top slicers
    Wow, truly amazed at that amount. £525k is enough for a veritable army of staff!

  16. #30

    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaz350 View Post
    In reply to Tony, at the time we hosted most of the services ourselves already. Things might have changed in the land of embc plc but for us it really did change the way the college was able to use the Internet connection.
    That is exactly why we still are looking and thinking about leaving, the costs which could come back to us are significant and we want to use the Internet how our TEACHERS and SLT decide not how some people in an office miles away decide. We can decide how we make services available remotely, how they are setup, who we are with etc... Schools mange there own budgets in these days, manage there own curriculum within guidelines and thus should be able to manage there own Internet as well, obviously with guidelines and understand that if they mess up there will be consequences (just like if you spend all the schools cash and hit debt..... or don't teach the curriculum correctly you get special measures.....)

  17. Thanks to john from:

    SimpleSi (6th July 2010)



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