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General Chat Thread, Well said that head. in General; There are two seperate issues running in this thread, one of 'rewards' and the other 'respect'. In general, respect has ...
  1. #31

    broc's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    There are two seperate issues running in this thread, one of 'rewards' and the other 'respect'. In general, respect has to be earned, it is not a right and it is a two-way thing. I suspect the respect that exists between support staff and teaching staff varies by school and by individual staff member and is something we all have to work at. In some cases there will never be any respect & everyone loses out. I try to respect the views & opinions of all of my colleagues at work and quite frankly in some cases it is hard. I will not tolerate having staff 'talk down' to me or the technicians that work as part of 'my' team. This can on occasions lead to friction however I try to be polite but firm.

    As far as reward is concerned; support staff in schools suffer from the fact that any salary increases they receive have to come out of main school budget and this is seldom if ever funded directly by central government. Teachers pay increases are agreed nationally, and the school budgets are set to reflect the teaching salary increases. Support staff increases come out of whatever is left, and has to compete with spending on resources, equipment, building repairs etc. Schools are obliged to pay whatever incremental increases are agreed by the employer and they will attempt to budget for this but they rarely budget for 'advancement' increases unless pressured to do so.
    You might be surprised to see what a school budget looks like, how much money is 'ring fenced' into teacher salaries, how little is left for everything else, including our salaries!

  2. #32

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    Re: Well said that head.

    I think he meant Tony Blair?

    Andy

  3. #33

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    Re: Well said that head.

    I think it comes down to most non-support staff not actually realising how much we do. We work hard and do things that sometimes confuse even the smartest of people (including ourselves when we're doing it...) but this isn't actually seen by the staff. What they see is someone who sits in front of a shiny monitor typing or replacing mice. They don't seem to link the typing with actually doing work - you have to be a teacher and be under huge amounts of pressure before you are actually 'doing work'.

    I think that it is down to most teachers not actually having a good grasp of ICT due to lack of training. Most of the staff here don't really know what a 'server' is and why we have them. If they had a basic grasp of the technology they were using (for example, knowing that the network cable is not just a magic blue cable and that there is a complex infrastructure throughout the school called 'a network' would be great) then they may start to understand that things don't happen by magic but due to our hard work.

    Once this is realised, then SMT may start to realise that pay should reflect this.

    So, the solution is, shock horror, training!

    @broc - I've seen our school budget and I can understand if I don't get a big pay rise this year, but the issue that is being discussed is that the way support staff are payed *should* be the same as teachers.

  4. #34

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by andy
    I think he meant Tony Blair?

    Andy
    I mistakenly thought he meant grumbledook at first as well, but it clicked when I read it a second time lol.

  5. #35
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    Re: Well said that head.

    Although this is definately a national issue - this kind of pay difference is not the kind of thing that is suddenly going to change overnight because someone says in authority says so. There is also the risk that schools will see their bill for IT staff going up and reduce their other IT spending to balance it out. This is a bigger problem in smaller schools such as primary - a £30k a year salary for an IT manager is going to be a huge chunk of the budget compared to a big secondary school. In fact, having spoken to some of our local Primary head teachers about how we can support them their entire budget outside of current staff levels is less than £40k - which means an increase of £10k in a technicians salary wipes out half the money available for maintenance, new play equipment, cpd and new computers.

    This is going to have to be led by individual schools deciding that they to guarantee they get good IT support management and pay accordingly at standard industry rates. But how many companies with 100 - 150 employees (which is what a large secondary school equates to) have a full time IT Manager - very few and those that are will not be well paid unless the company has a technical function.

    I think things are changing - I have been in schools for nearly seven years after a move from industry and at that time very few schools had technical managers - most IT staff were technicians answering to teaching staff (ICT Co-ordinator or Head of ICT). So already many schools have made a commitement and over time that will increase.

    Personally I am very well paid for the job I do (definately in the top 1% of people on this forum by the sounds of things - and in the same ball park as teaching staff with management responsiblities), considering the low stress levels and the very family freindly environment (I have a nearly 4 year old with special needs and there is never a question if I need time off to take him to appointments).

    It is still very early days for IT Support Staff in schools - remember that probably none of the senior management in your schools used IT kit when they were at school and probably only a very small percentage of your current teaching staff (NQT's and those under 30).

    I have often posted advice on how to go about increasing your salary so I will not go over old ground again - but remember that until your SMT think you are invaluable to the teaching and learning in the school you will not be earning big bucks - how you convince them depends on your SMT.

  6. #36

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_
    Quote Originally Posted by andy
    I think he meant Tony Blair?

    Andy
    I mistakenly thought he meant grumbledook at first as well, but it clicked when I read it a second time lol.
    Blast ... I've gone and blown my other alter ego ...

    Look ... I have to try and get my hand in somewhere now that Gordon is taking over, so I thought it would be doing stuff with computers.

    (yes ... it took me a read or two to realise what he meant ... but thought it worth a response anyway ;-) ... )

  7. #37

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    There is also the risk that schools will see their bill for IT staff going up and reduce their other IT spending to balance it out.
    Cobblers. The money for IT spending is ring fenced. They can't not spend it on IT hardware/software.

  8. #38

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    But how many companies with 100 - 150 employees (which is what a large secondary school equates to) have a full time IT Manager - very few and those that are will not be well paid unless the company has a technical function.
    Nope, a school has many more than that. They have children as well - who are the main customer of the ICT in the school.

    Change your question to 'how many of companies with 600 - 1500 employees have a fulltime IT manager' and you'll realise that most of them do...

  9. #39

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    There is also the risk that schools will see their bill for IT staff going up and reduce their other IT spending to balance it out.
    Cobblers. The money for IT spending is ring fenced. They can't not spend it on IT hardware/software.
    A lot of schools that value ICT already spend more than ring-fenced ICT funding on ICT already. I guess they might consider cutting back on the extra spending.

    Of course, under BSF most schools will have to spend more on ICT

  10. #40

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    On the question of salaries and IT Budget spend ... although they can be linked (even with ring fenced money there are ways and means) it is more likely that it will be looked at as whether an additional LSA is value for money or shold the wages be spread out over other people.

    Salaries tend to be constant and based on curriculum need. If there is a need for additional ICT in the curriculum and that requires additional support then the budget for staffing goes up. That will either be spent on more bodies or better paid bodies. It is often the former.

    When you are trying to get a better salary for yourself you have to take into account a number of things including whether others with similar positions in the school are paid the equivalent to teachers, whether the school is tied in with the LA on pay for support staff, what your impact on the students is and whether it is measurable.

    I get what a Network Manager should be getting ... but have to do different work now to get it, but without some political pressure it is unlikely that things will change in the short term. That pressure is starting to appear but the last bit of the above list ... the bit about it being measurable ... that is the key. Business Maagers can give facts and figures about productivity of staff and schools monies used effectively ... we have a more difficult job.

  11. #41

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravening_Wolf
    Any suggestions or amendments before submission?
    Just where the h3ll are they going to find "Liberal Studies" jobs? That's what I want to know...

  12. #42

    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    Yes I did mean Mr Blair, sorry for the confusion - but I did enjoy reading GrumbleDook's response

  13. #43

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    you have to be a teacher and be under huge amounts of pressure before you are actually 'doing work'.
    We have taken to retorting loudly how we are having to work a 5 day week this week in response to the many teachers complaining or commenting on them being on a 6 period day and having no frees. Boy would I love to have a free period! It seems strange to worry about having to work a full day and not have time off. I know there is the whole argument about it being tiring being in front of kids all the time but that is what the job is.

    But I totally agree with localzuk other points. Teachers (and worse often SMT) don't know what we do so can't equate it to anything. Also we are good at our jobs so perform the improbable and impossible so often that it becomes expected and taken for granted. If a server has gone down and we are trying to sort it under pressure from the whole school we are still only pressing buttons so it's not all that bad, right?
    Redesigning the intranet as it is being used more, that is just making pictures and typing up a word document so can be done quickly. A new system to fill in a process we did away with will only take a while, you're experts as well so be easy for you.

    I once blasted a teacher with what I actually had to go through to follow a request that they were badgering me for while they were saying it'll be easy and a quick job. A stunned silence after with an "ohhhh" was exatly what I wanted in return. After that they were very thankful once it was done and had some idea about what was entailed, but for that job only.

  14. #44

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    Re: Well said that head.

    @techmonkey: this is easy to arrange ... have a ticketing system that sends out an email every time you update the ticket. We have a few staff who now don't want to be updated on things as they got tired of receiving emails to say that the next thing was done ... or that there was a delay ...

    But we kept them informed and they became more aware of how long it was taking to do certain jobs.

  15. #45
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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C
    Just where the h3ll are they going to find "Liberal Studies" jobs? That's what I want to know...
    Any job on The Guardian or Indepent newspapers will more than qualifiy.

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