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IT News Thread, BECTA to be shut down as part of Government cuts in Other News; Originally Posted by srochford It's easy to say that it's "wasteful" or "inefficient" to employ people to do all sorts ...
  1. #16
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    It's easy to say that it's "wasteful" or "inefficient" to employ people to do all sorts of jobs but we then have the statements that we need to get people off benefits and in to jobs. What jobs exactly are they going to do? Where is the money coming to pay for them?
    but then surely that's a lack of imagination and planning on the part of govt. That they didn't have a plan for employing people and advancing public purpose without huge waste. IT seems to have been a strategy of throw some money at this area or that area because it ticks the right 21st century boxes....and not scrutinize whether the money is spent wisely and whether funding should continue.

    instead they could have put to work people who'd become the housebuilders, engineers, maintenance engineers, dentists for basic stuff like improving quality of life at a reasonable schedule.

    there are never too many jobs for that type of work. Look at the pre-war and post-war periods and what was accomplished by the public sector. Yes, we have some shiny new buildings and horrificly overpriced housing to make everyone with a job in said shiny new building and with access to credit feel wealthy and we may be a more knowledge based economy so we have to accomodate more jobs of the 'non-' variety, but then that wasn't enough to eliminate the cynism. Maybe there was too much malinvestment and not enough to meet housing need targets or to get on top of schemes like warm front. who knows.

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    IT seems to have been a strategy of throw some money at this area or that area because it ticks the right 21st century boxes
    Wasn't the Great Plan that we would be a world leader in a) Financial stuff, b) IT? Finance speaks for itself. The IT bit was always a complete crock given India and the like ... and everyone said so but did they listen...!!

    The Scandinavian view where you have large well paid public sector / large benefits / high taxes or the American way where government is as small as possible / benefits are low / tax is low.
    An assertion: The reason good private sector folk don't like working in public sector is less about the money (especially if you get one of those £200K+!!!! jobs), it's the rubbish [bleeping] Kafka-esque system they can't stand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    By your reckoning, we'd be better off as a country if we sacked all 'non-essential' (read 'not core to the running of the country') staff, as we'd only have to pay their benefits.
    Yep, pretty much. Not a nice thought I know, but public sector does not drive the economy, unfortunately the private sector does.

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    there are never too many jobs for that type of work. Look at the pre-war and post-war periods and what was accomplished by the public sector. Yes, we have some shiny new buildings and horrificly overpriced housing to make everyone with a job in said shiny new building and with access to credit feel wealthy and we may be a more knowledge based economy so we have to accomodate more jobs of the 'non-' variety, but then that wasn't enough to eliminate the cynism. Maybe there was too much malinvestment and not enough to meet housing need targets or to get on top of schemes like warm front. who knows.
    As Maggie once said 'The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money'.The whole boosting of IT spending in UK school was, and is IMHO, one of the better policies of the past 13 years, it was however let down by the curriculum whic had not, for the most part, progressed any further than basic office skills. Real IT skills such as programming, networking and a knowlege of the hows and whys of computing rarely got a mention. Compound this with a lack of exprienced and able IT teaching staff and we are over half way to realising why it has not given us the amazing IT industry 'they' thought it might.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    As Maggie once said 'The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money'.The whole boosting of IT spending in UK school was, and is IMHO, one of the better policies of the past 13 years, it was however let down by the curriculum whic had not, for the most part, progressed any further than basic office skills. Real IT skills such as programming, networking and a knowlege of the hows and whys of computing rarely got a mention. Compound this with a lack of exprienced and able IT teaching staff and we are over half way to realising why it has not given us the amazing IT industry 'they' thought it might.
    It's made a lot of competent MSOffice users though, some large software firms would be very pleased with the results!

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    john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    Real IT skills such as programming, networking and a knowledge of the hows and whys of computing rarely got a mention. Compound this with a lack of experienced and able IT teaching staff and we are over half way to realising why it has not given us the amazing IT industry 'they' thought it might.
    Well said that man! Bring back REAL IT to the world of kids and we will get some-way to having a decent IT Industry in the future, the number of people that say they are in IT yet cannot do simple things like patch a PC in etc is worrying!

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    My school has taught "REAL" ICT as you call it since I have been there.

    Whilst they are only 9-13 year old, in our school they go through the Microsoft Academy Digital literacy exams (which takes them up to OCR National levels), they do relatively in depth databasing (MySQL, and using actual SQL programming to create tables, input data into tables, drop tables, run Queries etc), they also touch on HTML, CSS and Java as a part of the web design elements.

    That said my school is the only one in the county (that we know of) pushing the limits set out by BECTA and the government guidelines.

  8. #23

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    The more important question is now BECTA will cease to exist, maybe it's edugeeks time to shine as an independant source of good advice on schools ICT? Of course it could never become another BECTA, but there's certainly areas which it could become an authorative source - particularly if it was possible to license some of the material on the BECTA website, all the masses of documentation some of which is actually very useful? just thinking out loud.

    Will the BECTA website remain as an archive does anyone know - be a shame to lose it all.

    Mike.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    As Maggie once said 'The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money'.The whole boosting of IT spending in UK school was, and is IMHO, one of the better policies of the past 13 years, it was however let down by the curriculum whic had not, for the most part, progressed any further than basic office skills. Real IT skills such as programming, networking and a knowlege of the hows and whys of computing rarely got a mention. Compound this with a lack of exprienced and able IT teaching staff and we are over half way to realising why it has not given us the amazing IT industry 'they' thought it might.
    Its the same every time new things are suggested though. It always ends up as a box-buying exercise, and the training, maintenance and integration into existing infrastructure and operations are ignored. This is one of the main failings of public sector spending as I see it. Governments love running schemes that look and sound shiny, and cost relatively little in the short term (LFT is a prime example) but then a couple of years later, when that scheme runs out the benefactors are now suddenly lumbered with a giant bill.

    BECTA was useful because it tried to stop the box-buying and tried to get schools and LAs to actually do the appropriate legwork before and after purchase to make technology a long-term useful tool.

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    Did someone forget to mention the head honcho was on £220,000 a year? Living in poverty my arse!

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by maark View Post
    I feel sorry for the staff but they could be working on something more productive - an extra 240 technicians in schools that are short staffed as mentioned in several posts on here.
    Are there 240 short staffed schools in the Coventry area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    The more important question is now BECTA will cease to exist, maybe it's edugeeks time to shine as an independant source of good advice on schools ICT? Of course it could never become another BECTA, but there's certainly areas which it could become an authorative source - particularly if it was possible to license some of the material on the BECTA website, all the masses of documentation some of which is actually very useful? just thinking out loud.

    Will the BECTA website remain as an archive does anyone know - be a shame to lose it all.

    Mike.
    Since yesterday morning when the cuts were announced, I've taken a lot of calls and emails all asking about what we at EduGeek can do to fill a potential gap in the educational advice world. I can't say anything yet, but will keep you all posted and will hopefully have some news for you all later in the week once we have decided what courses we can take and what we will need to do in preperation.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Are there 240 short staffed schools in the Coventry area?
    Probably not but I bet there is in west midlands. But my general point is there are too many planners, advisors, consultants on high pay and not enough front line staff.

    Quick edit - see sippo's post more work!
    Last edited by maark; 25th May 2010 at 08:41 AM.

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    The Registers take on this:

    School IT quango to be expelled

    The bit which I find unnerving is the 'Schools are expected to get more control over their technology purchases as a result' bit. Whist I agree this is a good thing, it is also a chance for unscrupulous companies to sell overpriced\unsuitable\inadequate IT equipment to smaller schools. It's about time we cracked on with those management guides to IT I proposed a couple of weeks back. We will need to ensure schools get the best and most impartial advice that we can offer and we need to get it done soon.
    It look like we will have our work cut out.

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    May I add planners, advisors, consultants - WITHOUT front line (in schools) experience?

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