As some of you know Russ and I are having a chat later this month with representatives of the ICT Register / SST.
As an addition to this we have also had a chat with Paul Stonier, the Project Manager for Advice and Support on the Infrstructure Team, about training and things.
The upshot of this conversation goes like this.
Becta recognise that advice and support is in place at various levels when it comes to ICT strategies (SLICT, FITS, etc) but there is not much in place for Joe Screwdriver other than "your stuff should meet criteria x."
They want to redress this.
Work is going on with people such as Cisco to look at developing an award (foundation degree in conjuction with Leeds Uni) that will cover pretty much everything from iPro (MCSE, CCNA, A+, N+, etc) and then the FITS stuff on top.
This is obviously work in progress and it is obviously Cisco's baby.
But not all schools will cough up for their staff to do the course (and not everyone needs it) so Becta does also want to make sure that there is accreditation and training suitable for everyone.
Basically they want to speak with schools, LEAs, contractors ... the people that actually do the job each day.
Becta are holding a focus group in Coventry on 19th December 2005.
If anyone is interested further details are in the attached document or if people can't make it and they want to put forward ideas, raise any queries or just find out any more info then please add it onto this thread or PM me.
As with everything else that is going on at the moment we should remember that at the top all the stakeholders of ICT in schools are goetting together and planning things, but further down the chain people might not know everything that is going on. If you know of anything similar then let us all know so we can see what works.
"Work is going on with people such as Cisco to look at developing an award (foundation degree in conjuction with Leeds Uni) that will cover pretty much everything from iPro (MCSE, CCNA, A+, N+, etc) and then the FITS stuff on top."
My HND already does this, and locally the Tresham Inst. run a course for one week covering topics needed in the MCSA for installing and configuring a Windows 2000/2003 network (cost: ¬£130). Perhaps I'm missing something here, but it seems that this is more management complexity on top of the same to garner more control (or at the least interference) of IT in schools than local government already has.
I'm warming to FITS- in fact I'm studying through their materials now in order to get Kingswood moving forward with support etc. It's a "framework". So long as these ideas are flowing as suggestive frameworks I think most schools would buy them. What I think we need more is the money to hire people who already have the training and/or are paid enough to go off and do some more. Even so, if BECTA can concoct a nigh-on free course that will cover essential IT skills (and not just some BECTA-imagined skills) then I'm all for it.
My *more* cynical side (can I be more cynical?) tells me that we already have these courses in place (A+ etc) and that these are already industry recognised and so it would be better if schools worked with their staff to obtain these certifications and training elements rather than offer courses that may not be as recognised. It comes down to one word:
I think schools should pay for training for us, and it should be budgeted for anually.
I don't think it works giving an increased salary and saying employees can fund thier own. Firstly given the choice most ppl would waste (!) it on booze and gear etc, secondly you can guarantee that it will be forgotten about in pay increases over the years by the employers, and you won't be able to afford it. Fair enough in intitutions where money is no object and salaries high - but that not where most of us are coming from.
@Russ: I was talking about asking the SMT thier opinion on funding training generally - for ideas to take to this meeting.
My employer justified 'having a duty' as paying travelling expenses to the edugeek conference this year.
I'm looking at the Lancaster Uni courses suggested by DOS_BOX @ ¬£575 for a years course, and wanted to approach the SMT with that for an annual Tech Training budget. Is that too expensive then? Maybe bi-annual?
Seems like the official training budget will always be insufficient for our needs, so I want to get it seen as another maintenance cost.
That's the cheapest i've found up to now near to me.
Although we are a Training School (and actually, partly because of it) everything we do on training has to show some comeback on the school, either through direct impetus on student or other staff, or by raising your skill levels as part of CPD.
However, there are sometimes when you just want to do something to network, or to try and get new ideas, or for no other reason than it is a good thing to do.
Visiting other schools, going to BETT, things like that.
And these would not come out of the chunk of the training budget allocated to us. So I was a little naughty. I put money aside to cver things like books, magazine subscriptions, visits, covering the cost of food for 30 or so people who decide to pop down for a visit and spend the whole day listening to people going on about Linux, scripting, etc (you get the idea)
Hide it in your own budget if you can ... once it is established that you do go on course and it does make a difference then you can justify it year on year.