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General EduGeek News/Announcements Thread, Straw Poll: How close is the BECTA Technical Competencies framework Poll in EduGeek Stuff; The new body becomes statutory in October as part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill (quite far reaching ...
  1. #16

    russdev's Avatar
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    The new body becomes statutory in October as part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill (quite far reaching bill by the way) then it is a matter of process.

    The body then (well it has started already) has to look at job descriptions and existing frameworks for different jobs to then come up with a national framework for each type if job (hmm sound familiar)

    Then fun starts when they have to work out across England what pay scales people are on to try and get a pay scale for each job.

    Plus then they have to come up with plan to implement all this.

    All that goes to government who then rubber stamp it and then the real fun starts..

    Russ

  2. #17

    broc's Avatar
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    If you take a look at the 'single status' or 'job evaluation' exercise that all Local Authorities have been conducting (which should have completed in 2007) then I suspect you will find a substantial number of ICT workers in local government (along with other skilled & professional staff) are already facing real, significant pay cuts. People are in danger of losing their homes because of single status.

    Bear in mind the single status review was an agreement in 1997 between Central Government, the Local Authorities & the Trade Unions, and the Unions 'thought' they had a gentlemans agreement that nobody would suffer. How naive was that?

    You may want to ask, why are Central and Local Government so keen on having a national agreement for school support staff now?

    Do we believe it is an exercise to harmonise pay scales upwards, given the trend with single status? Or does it allow the employers to 'divide & conquer' the workforce, with seperate negotiations for school staff & other employees?

    I think the evidence is clear; national and local Government have an agenda; reduce the public sector wages bill. The fact that the Local Government Association is Conservative dominated & has been for many years shows which way the wage bill is heading. Look at the pay settlements we have received over the last 5 years; everyone below inflation, local govt workers always at the bottom of the heap compared to other stronger sectors of public servants.

    ICT staff are in the minority as far as school employees are concerned, and we are like dinosaurs facing extinction thanks to BSF & managed services. BSF & managed services for many will mean de-skilling the workforce & reduce the salary bills in the long term. Of course there will be winners, but I suspect they will be in the minority.

    Union members will be balloted for their support for the national agreement later this year, if you want your say, you may wish to consider joining.....
    Last edited by broc; 16th July 2009 at 09:38 AM.

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  4. #18

    bossman's Avatar
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    @russdev:

    Hi Russ,
    I appreciate sincerely what you and Tony are trying to achieve and yes maybe long term it might benefit a few but short term it will as Broc has said destroy the IT professionals within the schools.

    When we IT support staff get the recognition we so rightly deserve it will be too little too late I fear as LAs are riding heavily over anyone who they feel might hinder the cost cutting exercise taking place at this very moment we speak.

    Why are LAs so reluctant to speak to IT staff about BSF, could it be because they are frightened of a mass exodus of IT professionals from the schools?

    As I have said before this is just the beginning of the governments cost cutting on education and the blade will eventually fall on the teachers who have been on the end of the de-skilling machine for a period of time now, HLTAs and 9mths to get PGCE, 6 if you have a masters degree. when will the axe fall for them do you think with all this learning online being available?

    There are arguments for and against but I have seen too much of this single status and what it means for ordinary people like ourselves, when an idiot can quote that £250,000 per annum is just chicken feed and people getting £12,000 per month for rent it doesn't take a genius to work out that this country is far from balanced and that the tide is against the many.

    I may seem cynical but as I have stated I have been on this earth for some time now and have not forgotten what has taken place over the years.

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  6. #19

    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    I feel like many on here, that we are classed as a necessary evil within the educational environment because we are technical people and teaching professionals do not understand many of the concepts which go with that role.

    On that note, I just sat in a whole-school assembly and listened to the teachers, TAs and Admin staff being thanked.......
    Not me
    Never me

    That network is going down

  7. #20

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    On that note, I just sat in a whole-school assembly and listened to the teachers, TAs and Admin staff being thanked.......
    Not me
    Never me

    That network is going down
    You are not alone; all over England (maybe the UK?) many Support Staff will be enduring the same self-congratulatory gatherings that don't give a moments thought for the people that underpin the whole education system by keeping schools clean, operational & safe. For those of use not blessed with 6-7 weeks summer holiday there will be insensitive comments about how great it will be to have such a long break too.

    At least I will be able to get on with some work without interruption for the next 4 weeks before I go off on my travels.

  8. #21
    apoth0r's Avatar
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    I'm into my 3rd year of working for the actual county itself (in schools) and I had maybe £100 pay rise during my teaching spell of 2 years in a primary school. teaching 17/18 hours per week and using the remainder of my 30 hour contract in trying to fight fires.
    Having had enough of it i moved to a secondary school, a nice pay increase but still far below that of a new qualified teacher. Yet I have 6 years of experience in schools?!!?

    Tis a mockery, and to be honest, will only push me out of the joke that is county payscales.
    We could all just become self employed and charge double for the same work, that's what happens though right?

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  10. #22

    bossman's Avatar
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    @apoth0r:

    How often does it happen to our knowledge where a teacher takes early retirement on cost cutting grounds (school cannot afford them) then they bounce back into the school on a 2 or 3 day week for twice the pay just to top up their retirement fund.

    Or better still retire and then get a golden handshake and move on to the LA as a consultant.

    I have been in education for over 7 years now and if I had been a teacher and worked as hard as I have done for the school I would have been recognised formally by the school in both status and remuneration.

    I have known NQTS to be at a school for less than 2 years and move up the status ladder very quickly indeed and also earn more remuneration than professional people with more qualifications, who because they have single status (Support staff) earn at least half as much for longer service and all because the system caters for teachers as the only professionals in the place.

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  12. #23

    russdev's Avatar
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    I would like to make two points.

    1) Have a single pay scheme will make it harder to costing cutting in some ways. That is not to say government have not got an agenda (everybody has you,me, my brother Jake...)

    But point is this current situation means that person a might get 0.5% rise and puts them into the £30K would they want a strike.. no as they think they are being paid enough. But person b in another LA might get 0.5% rise and takes them to 12K bracket and they might think strike is worth it. Government know this they know they will not have mass strike due to differences in pay between LAs. When single pay then 0.5 raises means same across country more likely to be mass strikes and government would be more willing to give in for this.

    2) What about trust schools etc where in effect school can pay what they want so they pay as little as possible. They can do that with teachers at moment but... no teacher is going to work for someone paying less than the national scale. Support staffs donít have that at the moment arrr well maybe if we had a single pay scheme...

    Like you bossman I have been around block few times but as said we have few choices in world we do nothing but then we lose the right to complain about later or we at least try something.

    Right it was obvious but got go ahead to talk about it officially. Over the summer I am rewriting the becta framework and also creating a load of sample job descriptions. So this first in many things coming from me on this subject in the next few weeks..

    Russ

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  14. #24

    broc's Avatar
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    @Russ

    I wish you success in your BECTA project. I think the framework would benefit from overhauling, however I remain sceptical about how much impact it will have on the future of ICT support staff in education, largely due to the long-term Government BSF goal of outsourcing school ICT to the private sector who will probably disregard BECTA.

    I would like to pick up on a couple of things you mentioned...

    Your suggestion that support for industrial action depends upon how well paid the employee is is somewhat misleading.

    One of the reasons the local government trade unions get trampled on by the employers (compared to Teachers, for example) is because membership is so patchy. Because of this, support for industrial action is always uncertain, but generally better in the north than in the south east. Even in the north, there are large numbers of union members who are reluctant to take action, often because they cannot afford to lose money and are unaware of or too proud to seek support from union hardship funds.

    Quite honestly I think you are wrong if you think by introducing a national pay bargaining agreement the Government or employers would encourage their employees to take industrial action.

    I am sure you are right about trust schools; they will use whatever means they can to keep their wages bill down; many state schools already do the same by employing support staff on term-time only contracts, or by recruiting replacement staff on lower payscales taking advantage of the current economic climate and a host of other schemes.

    Schools will quite happily look at ways of paying support staff less if they can get away with it. That way they have more to pay teachers TLRs or threshold payments

    However, bear in mind that today, schools already receive advice from the LAs with regard to salary scales for appointing support staff but they are at liberty to pay less if they can get away with it. A national pay agreement may prevent schools from paying less than the going rate, but if the scale is set deliberately low (as has been the case with Single Status) then maybe the going rate will in fact fall, rather than rise?

    Which brings us back to BSF. As I understand it, those staff who are local government employees at the time the national scales are agreed should have their pay protected as & when they are TUPEd. Prior to the agreement, staff TUPEd will go across (protected) at whatever their scale is at the point of transfer.

    Now, who will be better off? Staff who transfer before the national agreement, or after? Time will tell ....
    Last edited by broc; 16th July 2009 at 10:16 PM.

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  16. #25

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    To be honest, my role in this has slightly changed over the last 12 months, partly from stepping out of EG but partly because I have different targets to hit within my job.

    Looking at what is happening in schools in the county I have to accept that many schools buy in their services and support. The big problem is that schools often take what they are given and so I have to work with schools to understand Service Management. Some of our small, rural schools have paltry budgets anyway and there is no plan for IT ... or if there is one it is at the expense of something else in the school ... but that is the school's choice, not mine or the LAs. Helping them make a decent evaluation about it is important though.

    For me, the Tech Competencies fit into the purchased support a bit better as schools have something they can look at as a baseline when negotiating with the company or the individual technician / engineer / messiah. Not exact, but something to start the conversation.

    And yes ... I am thinking a heck of a lot about our primaries here. Secondary schools ... my major issue with the Tech Comp framework is that it completely misses out the educational benefits that IT support teams can bring. As much as what many folk do could be done by someone coming from support in other sectors (eg banking or engineering sectors) there are things that will take time to grasp, if ever. Education is a strange beastie ... and you do have to think differently when providing things for teachers / students / SLT / parents / etc ... some schools are happy for IT support to do this, others don't want you to even consider it ... it is the job of a teacher!

    The Tech Comp is also missing examples of what people do outside of the raw details. Talking about change management is all well and good but if you don't understand how teachers operate, how classes get the most out particular software compared to others, about skills being used across different subjects, about classroom management ... then you miss an important bit!

    The other thing people *really* have to remember is that BSF is not affecting everyone. Yes, it is really screwing a considerable number, for many it is having little or no impact. In Northants it is going to affect a handful of schools ... when it is finally here.

    Finally, if people acknowledge that BSF is a political thing, that individually there is little that can be done by the school (due to no ABCPs being successful or the lack of SLT *wanting* to do anything to support you), that the unions have *still* been remarkedly quiet about it all (Yeah ... cos dealing with single status is really dealing with the big issue comin up .. NOT!), that you *have* to look after number one and get the best job you can when being TUPEd over, then try to consider some of what *could* be done as damage limitation.

  17. #26
    rsenior's Avatar
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    Hi Russ,

    just wondered, what qualifications you had to right jobs descriptions , at the moment I still use the guide lines from the hayes review ,my own knowledge of our college and ICT industry structure and advice from the wife (she’s an employment lawyer) to write job descriptions.
    I have the pleasure of working with many schools and colleges, some of the ICT managers and technicians are some of the finest industry professional I have worked with(and I’ve been in the industry along time).There are however many technicians who are paid on grade 2/3 and due to lack of qualifications, lack of experience but worse lack of work ethic are lucky to be getting that.
    Surely the challenge is to show that the School/college employed ICT managers and technicians offer a much better quality of service and better value for money than an outside contractor.

    I wonder just how many ICT Techs are still controlled by the It teacher or how many ICT managers and support have declared their independence(I,ve declared independence) from the Head of IT. Surely a outside contractors and BSF staff will not have the ability to offer the cross curricular support ,support to school/college admin and support and rapid deployment of new and constantly changing initiatives.

    How many support departments out there carry out duties well beyond that written in their job descriptions .I have outstanding staff who have risen to and achieved every challenge set ,from day to day support , Vle/website ,hardware installations, music technology support ,sims and brocom support ,digital reprographics ,D&T’s CNC machines and cad/cam systems, supporting students of digital learning ,support and training for primay schools,and we even carry out or own cabling and infrastructure.

    Anyone know of a single contractor can do all that ,I thinks not!!!!!

    Whoops nearly forgot this does not include any of the management task carried out as well.

    See you Friday Russ.
    Last edited by rsenior; 30th July 2009 at 11:55 AM.

  18. #27

    russdev's Avatar
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    Hello Mr Senior

    Right lets take these things a step at a time.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsenior View Post
    Hi Russ,

    just wondered, what qualifications you had to right jobs descriptions , at the moment I still use the guide lines from the hayes review ,my own knowledge of our college and ICT industry structure and advice from the wife (she’s an employment lawyer) to write job descriptions.
    Right lets be very clear the JD these will be sample stuff and will what I submit be final thing no as it will then go out to various other people in BECTA, other agencies heck even on here to get views so that a final set can be created.

    This is also being linked into whole project on competences framework.

    Why I have been asked some of the reasons. I am have seen more job descriptions that people have had hot dinners, I have more day to day contact with IT support staff around the UK than most people. I have contacts and knowledge (again I know more about overall picture of IT support in schools within the UK). Contrary to popular belief I do not spend all my time sitting on LA working parties I do lot more not seen in public etc.

    wow that last paragraph sounds big headed but you get the point.

    Also on last point stuff I am doing for becta is also being fed to local union office to take forward to working party that is rewriting the job descriptions for the county that is not saying mine would be used but they could used as example/base for working party to use as they see fit.



    I have the pleasure of working with many schools and colleges, some of the ICT managers and technicians are some of the finest industry professional I have worked with(and I’ve been in the industry along time).There are however many technicians who are paid on grade 2/3 and due to lack of qualifications, lack of experience but worse lack of work ethic are lucky to be getting that.
    Surely the challenge is to show that the School/college employed ICT managers and technicians offer a much better quality of service and better value for money than an outside contractor.
    Some of this I agree and one of reasons I want in the new framework something about ethics.

    I wonder just how many ICT Techs are still controlled by the It teacher or how many ICT managers and support have declared their independence(I,ve declared independence) from the Head of IT. Surely a outside contractors and BSF staff will not have the ability to offer the cross curricular support ,support to school/college admin and support and rapid deployment of new and constantly changing initiatives.
    Very good points...

    How many support departments out there carry out duties well beyond that written in their job descriptions .I have outstanding staff who have risen to and achieved every challenge set ,from day to day support , Vle/website ,hardware installations, music technology support ,sims and brocom support ,digital reprographics ,D&T’s CNC machines and cad/cam systems, supporting students of digital learning ,support and training for primay schools,and we even carry out or own cabling and infrastructure.

    Anyone know of a single contractor can do all that ,I thinks not!!!!!
    Again I agree we have already started to think about how we can write that into the framework.

    Whoops nearly forgot this does not includes any of the management task carried out as well as all that.

    See you Friday Russ.
    lol

    Also got to remember that framework/JD is not here to say about pros and cons of outsourcing but to what it says on the Tin provide a framework that people judge your job on (every sector has to have it teachers do, commercial IT does etc). Reality is that peoples pay and other things is going be decided on frameworks. BECTA and others want to make sure that at least the framework that it is being based is on relevant for people working in education and as wide range of views from people as possible in very short timeframes we have and using me/edugeek solves that problem.

    Yes will also see you Friday

    Russ
    Last edited by john; 29th July 2009 at 11:27 PM. Reason: fixed your broken quote box russ

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