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General Chat Thread, Well said that head. in General; @LocalzUK - When I said compare it to a company with 100 - 150 employees I was mainly talking about ...
  1. #46
    limbo's Avatar
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    Re: Well said that head.

    @LocalzUK - When I said compare it to a company with 100 - 150 employees I was mainly talking about the amount of turnover a company is likely to have. You have to think that a school has a turnover equivalent to its budget and profit equivalent to its non-essential commitments like salaries, heating lighting etc. IT Expenditure would have to come out of the equivalent of profit for the company as it does not make a direct financial return. A company with 600+ employees would have a turnover much greater than that of even a large school.

    @Geoff - only certain funding is ring fenced towards IT specifically, and nothing like the amount schools should be spending in order to have the resources they need - so not really cobblers.

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    Re: Well said that head.

    only certain funding is ring fenced towards IT specifically, and nothing like the amount schools should be spending in order to have the resources they need - so not really cobblers.
    I was talking about Grant 101, 121, 122 and DFC. Which ones are you on about?

  3. #48
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    Re: Well said that head.

    @Geoff - I am not talking about any specific grants - quite the opposite - I am talking about the additional funding outside of those grants that a school may choose to dip into to boost the IT spending. This is the budget you have to be fighting for to get you new servers, new PC's, network upgrades, training and a pay rise.

  4. #49

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    Re: Well said that head.

    @limbo - you can't compare a school with a business financially as they have completely different goals. A business with only 10 employees may have better finances than a school. The only thing you can compare is the actual staffing levels for support. I am in a school with 700 people who depend on the services that I provide. Therefore I should be paid according to that need.

    The simple fact remains that most schools do not pay the support staff as much as they should due to years of not understanding their role and how important they are.

    Schools seem to have a habit of throwing money at equipment and expecting it to be wonderful and run perfectly whilst ignoring the staff that are there to support it. What use is a £35,000 ICT suite if the support staff can't maintain it? It will just go to waste. Why not spend an extra £10k on staff and go for a £25k suite? The suite will work well and the staff will be able to manage it. (Note: those numbers are random and do not reflect actual costs )

  5. #50
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    Re: Well said that head.

    @Localzuk - You are right, there is absolutely no point in spending £35k on a suite if the ICT Support staff cannot support it - but then there is no point paying support staff £35k a year if they are willing and able to do it for £16k.

  6. #51

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    Re: Well said that head.

    But thats the thing - schools shouldn't be taking advantage of those people who love working in education. I am at a level of almost not being able to afford to do the job and live in this area due to the high cost of living.

    And I am not asking for £35kpa... I am asking for a fair wage. I am asking that my skills and experience be taken into account and I be paid accordingly and that the work that has to be done is taken into account. For the job I do, the pay should be at least £20k, possibly £22k. £35k would be way too much. To a school, what is that extra £5k on top of what they pay me now? it shouldn't be that much. I will be much happier to come in outside of my work hours and work more for that amount but as it stands, I feel that education is taking advantage of people like me.

  7. #52
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    Re: Well said that head.

    @Localzuk - Firstly - do not get me wrong, I am not one of those saying you are not being paid enough, that is your SMT.

    Any company, public sector or not, will usually pay the minumum they think they need to pay in order to get what they want / need. And in a school this should be more so because there is extra responsiblity to make sure that the money is spent to achieve the best possible return for the students teaching and learning. If you will keep the show on the road for £16k a year then why pay more. And if you will not work for that money then there are probably a hundred more people out there who will gladly do your job for the money. I am not saying they will necessarily be able to do it as well as you do it, but as long as they do it well enough to keep things running then that is enough for many employers.

    Education perhaps does take advantage, but only because people are prepared to let them. While there are people out there who will do the job for £16k a year then that is what will get paid. The only thing you can do is make sure that the school is getting things from you that a) they cannot do without and b) nobody else can / will do it for the same money. Then you can argue for your pay rise.

    Unfortuantely the nature of IT is that the better you do your job the less people think that it needs to be done because everything is working as it should be and apparently running itself (although we all know how much work it takes to make it appear this way). If you really want to stand out you have got to be directly involved in shaping the teaching and learning - and that does not mean just providing the computers for the teaching and learning to take place on. You have to be looking at areas like monitoring assessment and attendance, creating curriculum resources or developing lessons. These are the things that will set you apart from "the bloke with a screwdriver that keeps asking for money for things to be hidden in cupboards" (as I once heard a technician described by a teacher).

    This is what I do and it has worked so far.

  8. #53

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    @Localzuk - You are right, there is absolutely no point in spending £35k on a suite if the ICT Support staff cannot support it - but then there is no point paying support staff £35k a year if they are willing and able to do it for £16k.
    Ah ... and there you have the crux of it.

    They are willing to be paid 16k a year because they are only being paid it. If they had the opportunity to do a comparable job outside of a school for £25k or even £30k then they are likely to go for it.

    The fact that people presently work for salaries lower than comparable jobs outside of education does not mean that that is all they are worth. It just means that there are those who work for the lower salary in schools do so to pay the bills with what wages they can get and possibly for a few other reasons like wnating to make schools a better place.

    It raises another issue though ... how do we compare the job of a Network Manager or Technician in a school with that of a company? Many support staff have been openly against the introduction of a county-wide grading system (mainly becuase it has been done by bean counters and not people who know the jobs ... and there is a fair chunk of politics too) so unless we go out and choose a few sample jobs in the wider world and compare them against something within a school we as still fighting an uphill battle.

    Remember that teachers have some pretty water-tight things to follow and a high level of accountability. We don't ... Those of us who try do it by having SLAs and by measuring ourselves against them ... but that still doesn't mean that one school is better than another because we have move boxes on the desk ... outside of education we need to look at other public sector teams to see how we compare against them.

    Off to create a thread about measurable standards.

  9. #54

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Here is the start of a conversation about how we measure ourselves ... feel free to add to it.

  10. #55

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by limbo
    You have to be looking at areas like monitoring assessment and attendance, creating curriculum resources or developing lessons.
    Why should people like us have to get that involved in the T&L side of things to get paid what we're worth? To me, those latter 2 roles are for teachers. And that's what they get paid a minimum of £20k for, in my eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Remember that teachers have some pretty water-tight things to follow and a high level of accountability. We don't ...
    I'm pretty sure most Network Managers are accountable if no resources can be accessed by teachers/students, nobody can log in to SIMS, electronic registers can't be taken, computers aren't working and so on....

  11. #56

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    Re: Well said that head.

    I can very much symphise with some of the comments being made on this particular thread. I had a tough time with my former employer ( a school that shall remain nameless) whereby I had the audacity to request a raise, providing a valid report on change in roles and responsibility and making comparisons to other schools of a similar size and structure both in terms of technology and personnel.

    For two years they sat on this paperwork and despite constant reminders and meetings was eventually told that they couldn't do anything about it at present as all support roles were being reassessed by the local authority to realign the pay structure. They also said that they could only do immediate reassessments on new staff so I asked if they could lay me off and provide me with a new cnotract the next day..of course this wasn't possible!! In the end I left and found another job at another school and a better salary (9K better).

    I feel there is very little appreciation for the work that "Support" staff do, however, being an ex serviceman I am used to the "Them and us" scenario that seems to prevail at some schools. I do not of course refer to my present school which I am pleased to say fully appreciates the work that you do for them and indeed let you know as much (with the odd exception). So I guess, while it is of no help to this thread, its a matter of finding the right job at the right place for the right money.

  12. #57

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    Re: Well said that head.

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Remember that teachers have some pretty water-tight things to follow and a high level of accountability. We don't ...
    I'm pretty sure most Network Managers are accountable if no resources can be accessed by teachers/students, nobody can log in to SIMS, electronic registers can't be taken, computers aren't working and so on....
    Yep ... under the grounds of Competency according to your job description which can be fought if a list of services expected to be run / maintained was not produced for you before you agreed your job description.

    Teachers can be inspected and awarded a grade by lots of people ... from their Line Manager, LA folk and OFSTED. That is before we even get on to Performance Management (which also has legal guidelines from the DfES for teachers but not for associate staff).

    I am not saying that we should have our own OFSTED but when we think that teachers have to go through this and we don't ... and it just made me wonder ... we want to have pay comparable to teachers for the effort we put in, we also want to be on comparable salaries to jobs outside education ...

    Outside education there are measurable targets, mianly to do with money, that we do not have, and in education there is a strict level of accountability for teachers (that neatly includes a competency framework) that we do not have either.

    No wonder it is all in a mess ...

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    Re: Well said that head.

    @Webman - because that is the prime directive of the school - you would not expect to be working in industry and not get involved in tailoring the systems to what the company needed. Like producing an e-commerce system, or tailoring the accounts system etc.

    Network managers are accountable - but honestly, how many lessons during a week will a student realistically be sat down at a computer? And if electronic registers go down, paper can be used - not as easy or neat, but not end of the world stuff.

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    Re: Well said that head.

    True, they were just some examples. IT is a very integral part of a school and a huge responsibility for anybody running a school network. Just because the whole-school network isn't directly linked to T&L doesn't meen it isn't important.

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    Re: Well said that head.

    The problem is a lot of school teachers/SMTs don't 'get' that.

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