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School ICT Policies Thread, Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) in School Administration; Becta have developed FITS to help school implement best practice ICT management and technical support. FITS has been developed specifically ...
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    Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Becta have developed FITS to help school implement best practice ICT management and technical support. FITS has been developed specifically for schools and adapted from ITIL the world's defacto industry standard.

    FITS is a toolkit of advice checklists and downloads which can be adated and adopted to suit each schools specific environment.

    Along with the FITS website www.becta.org.uk/fits there is also PDF downloads, pocket guides, assessments, expert workshop training and case studies which are freely available.

    Many schools have began their implementation of FITS and have gain the benefits of putting in place the processes to manage their day to day activities.

    I would welcome any comments or feedback on FITS or be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Thanks

    Paul Stonier
    paul.stonier@becta.org.uk
    0779 5351060

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    while I admire FITS i think the one size fits all approach is wrong as has been proven that fits suggests could you use office staff to take helpdesk calls...

    In someways this is just anthier way that managment can justify that they are looking at there ict support but not spend the money on things that count keeping good ict support staff in school and providing them training.


    of course all imho

    russ

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    while I admire FITS i think the one size fits all approach is wrong as has been proven that fits suggests could you use office staff to take helpdesk calls...

    In someways this is just anthier way that managment can justify that they are looking at there ict support but not spend the money on things that count keeping good ict support staff in school and providing them training.
    There is the other side of it though ...

    If you are implementing FITS and tailoring it to your school, and you find that you are missing certain skills or missing certain software to help you meet targets (ie SMS as part of Patch Management / Change Management) then you have a dirty great big document to back you up.

    It is the same with large companies really ... people go on about itSFM and HDI and being ITIL compliant ... but it takes money and training ...

    It cuts both ways ...

    Of course ... IMHO

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    I se what you mean but then unless school make a commitment to back it it is a waste of paper only way that FITS would work is if a school was forced to do it...

    Russ

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    I'd have to agree with grumbledook, FITS, when implemented properly, can only enhance your organisation and management of IT. By having a helpdesk/service desk you can start to manage incidents, seeing trends and analysing them to target the resources you do have at them. I started implemented FITS properly over a year ago, we have a service desk, which is always fully maned, and this alone has improved the confidence in IT in school, which in turn has meant that management listen to me more when I make suggestions.

    I know where you're coming from, I've worked at my school for 11years and have seen it all. But with FITS, you get out what u put in.

    -Kevin McAleer
    Network Manager
    Thornleigh Salesian College
    & FITS OM Author

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    but kev tell me this in place like we are i already know what reponse times are, i know when reuqest comes in etc etc why because i am only person doing ict support here..

    maybe in a bigger school it would work as ict support mamagment can force implmenation of fits..

    Do not get me wrong i think the document is good and some good ideas in it but certain degree been doing all this for years so why do we need a bit of paper to say that we do it.

    But as I have got to document this summer our network and procedures then might use some of it..

    Not saying it is a bad idea just some of stuff is to unreleasitic like for example having spare pcs not going to happen as if we have got them they need to be used..

    Yes if we had money but when school is in debt lot of schols in Leicestershire it is not going to happen.

    Russ

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Russ,
    I know what u mean when u say u know what the response times are, but other people may not. Its good to set expectations, otherwise people will expect 100% reliablilty 100% with support 100% of the time, we both know thats not likely, but ask your users, its what they expect.

    I think the idea of management 'forcing' FITS is wrong. FITS isn't something u do to get paperwork or an award. Its something that if you genuinly do you'll get something back, usually more time.

    There is still lots you can do with FITS even if there is only you doing IT Support. If anything, logging calls can only help you point out how much work u actually do.

    I've worked with a few school who only have 1 person supporting the whole site. Its doable, I did it up to 3 years ago.

    FITS is there to help you, its focuses on getting things done, in the quickest, most effective way possible, at the same time preventing you from reinventing the wheel.

    For example, the section about corridoor management, where people just come up to you and give you jobs, that you end up forgetting about. Thats just bad practice, and FITS highlights this. Getting people to report incidents in a specific way that helps you to help them can only be a good thing.

    FITS isn't prescriptive, you can make it fit (yeah i know) your organisation. For example we don't get staff filling out Incident Sheets, we do that for them.

    But to say that FITS is not applicable is to ignore 25years of best practice & advice.

    The guy I worked with when authoring FITS OM, Bob Lamb, told me about this IT guy who said that ITIL was just a waste of time, his responce was basically if you choose to do it any other way your choosing to mismanage your IT. Thats quite a strong statement, but he's a passionate guy, with ITIL.

    -Kev

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Yes but we do log calls here...

    But this is my point we do a lot of it already as worked in it long enough to know what works etc i think it is a good idea...

    But as said going to look at it again always willing to change view if proven otherwise look at mac mini's thought it was an really bad idea at first but saw and use one and have been convereted come on christmas why does it take so long...

    Russ

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    I think FITs is a good idea, however it relies on too many variables before it can be inplemented. The very schools it could make things better in are not currently in a position to be helped. Poor school, financial and departmental management mean that they have almost zero resouces; either in equipment, manpower or the backing of the school to make it work. These are the very places which should be pushed into such a system to drag themselves out of a mess that they have made for themselves. My letter in PC Pro was heavily edited and lost quite a bit of its intended empehesis as it was mainly aimed at these schools which need help. FIT's can help these schools, or give ammunition to belegured school techies to start improving things, but until schools are made to adhere to a minimum standard in ICT then no amount of BECTA advice will work.

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    there you dos_box said it lot better than me...

    russ

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box
    FIT's can help these schools, or give ammunition to belegured school techies to start improving things, but until schools are made to adhere to a minimum standard in ICT then no amount of BECTA advice will work.
    Which is why things like OFSTED take in the whole school, not just the teachers.

    NAACEMark is changing into ICTMark ... perhaps the support section should have 3 levels ... a minimum standard, then a stage which shows considerable embedding, and then the excellence stage.

    If this is what people think should happen then people should talk to those people putting together the standards we are meant to be working towards. In this case ... BECTa ...

    Tell Paul what you want ... I know he is open to suggestions. If enough people who know what actually works in schools tell him then things will change. That's why we got FITS in the first place.

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    I have met and spoken to Paul on several occasions. My role is as the senior schools techie in Lancashire and as such I get to see and talk to ALL schools and put thier views forwards at comittee meetings and act as a liason between
    ICT network managers and technicians and senior county policy makers. This way schools have a point of contact should they need something pushing further up the chain. I founded this site because I had had enough of waiting for someone else to do it!
    The main problem, I fear is one of policy. At the moment the every school is an LEA approach is very good for establishing legue tables and other statistical information, but not very good for improving a schools technical capabilities. Enforcing a strict code of practice would do no good either I think as it would proberbly disrupt the schools who are doing perfectly well. At the moment funds intended for schools ICT are being spent unwisely by quite a few schools (to the extent that one school regarded their annual grant as the entire schoool ICT budget!) and unless a method is found to make ICT a success in schools where it is failing then it does not matter a jot what BECTA recommend.

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    Your arrangement [in Lancs] seems great. We [here in Powys] only have 12 High Schools - and 2 companies employed centrally to support all Primary schools in the area. It would be SO GOOD to have a representative speak at higher levels. It seems your county has made leaps and bounds progressing issues. We have 3 yearly meetups centrally, where most high school techs attend [all high schools here only have 1 tech], chaired by an ex advisor - who no longer has a brief for it, who feeds down information from on high.

    We have a mail list that central support [who don't help schools coz they dont get money for it] all get silently and without our knowledge. A few of us have tried to get more going, but are frustrated by lack of interest from fellow techs, teaching staff and heads.
    We have considered organising our own meetups, but the tentative link we have with senior council policy makers via our ex-advisor is what we cling to.

    I think ours is a desperate situation. I think it is appreciated in high places in the council that because the population is so sparsely spread in the county that IT is of major importance to the economic prosperity of the area. The county council has provided well to it's own workforce for this very reason.

    What I suppose I'd like to ask is for tips and suggestions to get us up to where you are.

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    The way it works in Lancashire is that we have a centrally controlling body, the Lancashire Schools' ICT Centre, who I work for. We help make policy, distribute govt funds and oversee our broadband network (we are an ISP and own our own infrastructure ensuring that ALL schools will be broadband at a minimum of 11Mbps by summer next year). We farm out several services to other organisations more suitable for the task. So tech support, network and broadband serivices and server hosting are done by outside agencies all answerable to us. It seems to work quite well as we have over 550 primary schools and 70-ish secondaries all hooked up and happy(ish).

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    Re: Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS)

    god can you go and give embc some advice the farse that it is..

    anyway going off topic if i get started on that one..

    russ

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