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IT News Thread, Letter to PC Pro in Other News; I have just sent off the following letter to Pc Pro magazine, I wonder if they print it wha the ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Letter to PC Pro

    I have just sent off the following letter to Pc Pro magazine, I wonder if they print it wha the reaction will be?

    Dear PC Pro,

    Picture this. Your company has 1200 staff, 450 client PC’s, all of the staff hotdesk, require internet and email access from their local workstation. Your company has not invested a bean in IT for years, and not one of your users has ever received any technical training on the desktop operating system, in fact, one of the unions represented within the company has expressly forbid their users from meddling at all as it is the IT departments job to do this and not a part their job specification.
    Oh! And the IT department consists of you, just you. And they pay you minimum wage.
    If this sounds familiar then you must be one of the thousands of IT professionals who keep the networks running in one the UK’s schools’. The scenario described above is by no means the norm, indeed, many schools have IT infrastructures and techies that would make a similar sized company drool with envy. They have skilled and knowledgeable support staff who are appreciated and paid a reasonable wage, a well worked out ICT infrastructure and backbone. The equipment is modern and up to date thanks to a rolling upgrade program and more importantly the entire school uses ICT as an integral part of all subject areas teaching.
    But then there are the others, and in recent months these schools are getting into trouble. Their ICT departments have received little or no investment as senior management provide no funds for maintenance or upgrades and divert these to other subject areas, leading many schools to become bogged down with ancient servers running NT 4.0 and workstations running Windows 98 and in some cases Windows 95. These schools are rapidly heading for catastrophe and some even have no IT technical staff at all, relying on outside contact support or a head of ICT who likes to ‘dabble’. What these school don’t realise that the other do is that ICT is no longer just a subject area. It is an important and integral part of the schools education environment.
    To find out just how bad things are and to help alleviate matters in some schools I have setup EduGeek (www.edugeek.net) an online community for school IT technical staff, and in the short time it has been running we have encountered some horror stories as regards to the way schools run and fund their networks. What it comes down to at the end of the day is a lack of trust in IT and the people that run it. Poorly run schools see it as throwing good money after bad without realising that the only way they can dig their way out of these holes of their own making is to spend money on an experienced network manager and technicians, get over the mental barrier which is unique to schools that no-one should earn more than a teacher and pay an industry wage and finally allocate a decent amount from the school budget for IT maintenance and yearly projects.
    If they do not, they generally find that their technical staff keep getting poached by industry after they get fed up with the low wages, an over expectation from the school staff of the equipment they maintain, and stress due to being over worked. Supporting over 1200 users single-handedly with no budget is a poor joke currently being played out in schools right now, and the ‘blackboards and books’ mindset of school budgeting needs to be re-assessed for the 21st century.

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    You'll have to let us know if they print the letter!

    Stewart Knight
    Network Manager
    Appleby Grammar School

  3. #3
    Diello's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    What else can you do but... *claps in admiration* here here!

    I subscribe to PCPro - so i'll be watching with baited breath!!

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by StewartKnight
    You'll have to let us know if they print the letter!

    Stewart Knight
    Network Manager
    Appleby Grammar School
    You could just buy the magazine! :P

    It is arguably the best PC magazine available.

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    StewartKnight's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    I prefer Computer Shopper & PC Format myself!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    like it...

    It might be interesting to do a really survey on state of ict support and ict support staff in education....

    Hope they print it recently had few conversations on how ict staff are treated and few times suggestions have 'maybe we should all go on strike for a bit' now going on strike but too far but i think this ceartinly needs to be looked at.

    more and more been thinking about bcs for all it's failings at least it brings IT staff under one banner.

    Decided to join above reason not being only reason..

    First thing going to do is write to schools educatiion specalist group of bcs about state of IT support staff in schools and that feeling many ict staff feel that our job and role is not being taken serious.

    I think also need to be a national pay scale for all support staff not just ict staff (obiviosuly being weighted in living down london way and south etc) so that all staff across country are getting equal wages for grade they are on not one pay for one county and anothier pay for anothier county.

    Anyway rant now over...

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    mrtechsystems's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Would be interesting the the outcome tho

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    so that all staff across country are getting equal wages for grade they are on not one pay for one county and anothier pay for anothier county.
    It varies from school to school here as each school is treated as independant, which is why the govt pushes for league tables, that is why wages swing so much. Things in Lancashire appeare to be getting better though as we have much more developed inter-school techies communication, so people can really find out what each other earn.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    at moment trying to get a leicester group up and running in attempt to have regular meetup's etc..

    for that reason..

    Russ

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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    I'm definately going to be watching out for this letter, ,and everything in it certainly gets my backing!

    And Russ... BCS - British Computer Society?

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by RobC
    I'm definately going to be watching out for this letter, ,and everything in it certainly gets my backing!

    And Russ... BCS - British Computer Society?
    yes i agree always been very ruluctent to join these type of things..

    but been thinking about for ages and one important things was access to training which they can provide.

    Also trying to add value to my cv (ok on it's own not going to help but having it not going to harm it), also chance to increase 'networking op's' , when looking at leicester branch programme quite interesting talks etc.

    But in some ways we need to get people to value IT support and nore we can become a profession then the beter.

    As said wasn;t easy decsion to make as sometimes bcs has an image but what was going to cost me decided it was right thing to do.

    I also have to look at the fact can't aford cisco, or ms training and work can not either so have access to bcs training is going to be benaficial...

    Russ

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Thats great..... Perhaps someone high up in the Govenment will read this and perhaps start thinking. P.S. My budget is now all gone and I've still got nothing to show for it except a room of paper and toner. Great. Roll on the breakdowns when I tell staff "Tough. I'm broke and can't get any money. Go see the Senior Management Team."

    It would be nice to have the staff helping me a bit.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Schools are too teacher-centric. A quick view of Becta's site will confim this.

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    tarquel's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    Schools are too teacher-centric. A quick view of Becta's site will confim this.
    Indeed. ICT Co-ordinator refered to me as IT Technician to me today. I couldnt be bothered to say anything lol ...its too hot and too much hassle lol

    Just to note, I subscribe to Custom PC & PC Zone.

    Cheers,
    nath

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Letter to PC Pro

    ok fyi have subcriptions to: -

    computer weekly(free)
    computing (free)
    dr dobbs
    wired

    Russ

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