What's the point
Our curriculum computers run Win 98 and the highest spec is 1.2GHz Celeron with 256MB RAM. Many are 800MHz Celeron with 128MB. We cannot find the money to upgrade. The admin computers are all Pentium 4 512MB or 1GB but will be too low spec to run SIMS after the SQL upgrade (apparently). So it appears they are going to take the money from my budget which I had been holding back to replace projector bulbs. I'd already taken the risk of resetting the bulb timers to get a bit more life from them.
So, I'm going to put in a requisition for 8 new bulbs with a note to say I no longer consider it safe to use the projectors with the existing bulbs.
I upgraded our suite computers from celeron 600s to 2.6ghz and 512mb ram for approx £130 each. (new case, mobo, ram, cpu, hd) I have time but little money, so I built them myself.
Our SIMS machines aren't that beefy. They'll be adequate.
don't forget to invoke the old trusty "mercury risk if the lamp goes pop" mantra..
if we have a total destructive lamp failure, we don't even open ours..straight into a sealable bag, and off to NEC for refurb and lamp replacement under warranty.
We also tend to clear the timers if we have no lamps or no suitable immediate time to do replacements.
Or, in the case of Sahara projectors..we ignore them until they go bang and crackle a bit, then we tend to drop them in a bin and stick NEC VT4x in their place.
Have seen the results of a bulb explode at a primary school, showering lots of little children [and contents of the room] with very fine shards of glass! That wasn't pretty!
The Bursar has approved it and it just needs the Head's signature. I now have £311 to last until the end of term. This includes consumables. I wouldn't mind but when I tell teachers there's no more toner they will balme me for not managing the budget. Nobody will mention that a big chunk of money was taken off me to fix someone else's cock-up :(
Does your school not go through FMSIS? The age of your computers is by fair outside the required standard in schools and indicates financial mismanagement of the school.
Have you approached the head and told them that they are not providing suitable equipment? I would write to the head, and if nothing happens, write to the governors.
Laserblazer: I have been in exactly the same position as you and I know that shouting won't make a lot of difference - but I have also seen a bulb explode over a class of 8 year olds and it was nasty - this is worth making a fuss about.
They can and do take your money all the time - we got to the point where we were only being allocated £1000 for the whole year in the first place, and that is for ink as well!
As for your computers - have you put a call out on Edugeek for anyone near you upgrading and getting rid of old machines? I got a load of 1.8GHz machines - not brilliant but better than our old 700MHz off an edugeeker working in a private school.
Do check that the admin machines really won't be able to run SIMS - again, worth asking what spec SIMS machines are in other schools?
Good luck with it
Thanks Guys (and Gals if that is PC) I think that, long term, we will get what we want. Worcestershire is the second poorly funded LEA in England and we are Middle deemed Primary school, so we are expected to provide secondary school educational facilities on a primary school budget. However, our HT is commited to providing good ICT facilities. He hsa to be as that's one of the criteria that prospective parents are looking for. The other Middle School in the town had a major asbestos problem and all of the computers had to be replaced. So they have nice shiny new ones. Our SMT and Governors will not be happy about that.
One of the things I still haven't learnt is to address the necessities first and if that means we cannot address the secondary issues then that has to be someone else's problem. So, if I spend the money I allocated for projector bulbs on projector bulbs and we cannot print any documents, that's the way it is.