Well it looks like I'm out of education - just been offerred a job at the Local Authority as Desktop Support.
More money, prospects (the biggie), training, days off, and holidays when I want, working with and for friends.
So glad to be leaving the pressure of trying 'til I'm blue in the face to make management face up to the need to invest in the back end before it completely falls apart - they're so much interested in the shiney, pretty stuff that impresses people, thinking short term all the time. And I guess with the way things have gone I just don't have the heart for my current job anymore.
Interview today was great. Spent all last night trawling through the advice on here. I was really confident, which is not usual for me. I would have been happy with just the interview going so well. This was my first try so I fell quite lucky. I'm still going to be looking around for more of a server and network support role, but this new job has the opportunity to move into that anyway, so whatever happens it's all good.
I agree that schools are definately not the real world in my experience too. Powys is the LA, IT Support is based in Llandrindod Wells.
The job involves installation and user support, covering a triage desk on a rota. The County is large so there's some driving involved. 6000 users on as many desktops. The structure seems standard around here: Network and Database support are the next rung up, with departments having dedicated sections for their particular applications. Don't know much more than that at the moment, althouh I was shown the whole structure plan. The LA runs Dell XP desktops and MS Office (although there's some testing of Open Office) on a four year refresh plan, connected to samba file servers.