Sunday, 9 March 2008

Tense Times.

I think we really are heading towards the beginning of the end. Financial close, which was originally supposed to be December 19th, now appears to be mid-April (which is actually after the temporary accommodation is due to rumble on site). I can't see that it can drift past that time without causing major problems. At our end the pace is suddenly really picking up, and we've had a very odd couple of weeks indeed due to desperation on everyone's part to get things resolved.

If you've been following this blog you'll know there are a few major issues where we have not yet had agreement. This week the Governing Body was called to a meeting with the Chief Executive, the Councillor leading on BSF and the Head of Children's Services in order to try and tie up a few loose ends with our school. The meeting had a very reasonable tone, but I'm not sure how much further forward we were at the end of it, as a couple of issues were raised that we hadn't realised involved the school. We're meeting again next week, and we'll see where that takes us.

We also had a session with the architects where we were presented with a list of items that were contributing to the "affordabilility gap" and were asked whether we could do without them. Lingo Bingo fans will want to know that this is known as "value engineering". We didn't agree to all the proposals, but I would imagine that we engineered a lot of value.

Earlier on the same day we had a rare event - a meeting that was originally scheduled for 4 hours, got reduced to 2 and ended up only taking an hour-and-a-half (half an hour of which spent chatting while a group went and stared at the server room). This was an ICT meeting about the decant. Reasonable proposals were put on the table, we all agreed to them and that was pretty much that.

The major concern for me at the moment is that we're supposed to be approaching agreement on everything by Friday. As things stand that seems like a tall order, although far less impossible than some of the other deadlines we've had in the past. I think it's going to be a really busy week though.

Meeting Count 2/11/07 - 7/03/08 Sixty.

11 comments:

Roger said...

So what is happening to your Network Manger....

Will he still manage the Network or will he TUPED as a Technician ?

Jill C said...

Hi Roger

The answer is kind of neither.


Follow this link for more detail
http://www.edugeek.net/forums/showthread.php?t=15289

I'm happy to give you more detail if you need it.

Roger said...

I would like more detail if possible please... will your Network Manager be taken on/TUPED as a Network Manager at his same rate of pay ?

Jill C said...

Ok. Just to clarify. There is no school-based network manager post. He will be given access to RM's vacancy bulletin and RM are confident that he will be redeployed. This is not the same as TUPE as he will then move on to RMs conditions of employment. It is also voluntary, the implication being that he will find something he is happy to go to on at least the same pay level. If he doesn't find a suitable job for redeployment, then RM have guaranteed he will retain his salary/terms & conditions (i.e. be TUPE'd), including being sited at the school, until he does find something, and that they will foot the bill. The difficulty here is that he will not be able to keep the same role at he has at present as he will not be managing an on-site network. There are only 1.5 posts at our school long term and we currently have 3 staff, although there will be a slightly higher level of staffing built in at first.

Roger said...

Thats very sad... Thanks for the info.....

Roger said...

So all the School Network Managers in Hackney are going to be looking for a few good jobs...

And if they can't find them they are TUPED until they get retrenched under the Economic opt out clause in the TUPE regulations...

I see only 1 job on RM careers site for a "Technical Manager" in Lambeth looking after 10 schools and technicians.. so all Hackney Mangers I assume will be applying for this or Hackneys "Technical Manager" role..?

So bottom line is that there are 10 Network Managers applying for 1 job and this will be replicated through all the RM/BSF waves as more and more Managers are relieved of their Networks and have to apply for the 1 role to oversee the BSF/RM Network in 10schools.

Is he happy with this ? didn't it stress him at the BSF meetings that his job and future was being sold down the river ?

Jill C said...

I forgot to add that there will be some senior ICT posts in Hackney, although still not enough for all the network managers. These posts are open to the whole RM workforce, and not ring-fenced to Hackney employees.

I think it's fair to say the ICT strand of BSF has been the most painful for us. I do know other schools are desperate for what it will bring, but we're pretty proud of our ICT provision. I can't speak for the Network Manager. He's aware of your comments and may respond to you himself. He has been very, very involved from the outset of the project, and fully aware of what it all would mean for him. I think his involvement has helped us and the other schools to get a far better offer than the one that was originally on the table.

I'd be interested to know your position.

Roger said...

I am an ICT Manager....

Your last paragraph puts us in a nutshell..

in your last paragraph you say that ICT Manager got you a "far better offer than what was on the table"... That's him doing his job protecting his school from profit making companies taking advantage of non ICT People.. I mean he did a better job than the LA...

Our job is to look after our schools, to advise the SLT and to protect the school from being ripped off or sold incorrect/sub standard ICT kit... We work for the school and we protect the school..

But now who's going to protect you as you now have no ICT professional that is employed by the school?.... so you'll not have someone getting you a "far better offer" but someone that want to sell you something..

You are at the mercy of the company who's first and foremost duty is to make a profit for it's shareholders..

Anonymous said...

I find this issue very interesting. Due to my circumstances I am forced to post my reply/question anonymously. Here is my first query in response to this article: I would like to ask explicitly when BSF came in for you did the successful bidder provide a network which replaced what you already had in place, or did they give you a standard network “imposed” on you from above? If you had developed your network adding functionality over and above a “standard” network will all of this work be lost under BSF? I ask because I now feel that our network is long in the tooth and I think that BSF will arrive here within a number of years. My feeling is that we should build value into our network so that when BSF takes over that value is reflected in the new domain. Is this rational thinking or is this the thinking of a “deluded fool”?

More posts to follow…

Jill C said...

Hi there. I'll do my best to answer accurately, but remember I'm not a network manager. We have an excellent existing network, which we need as a media arts college. I believe some of it still has a number of years under warranty. Without BSF there are a few switches that are on the way out, but otherwise we could keep it going for a while yet. The problem is that under BSF the vast majority of rooms in out school are going to be pulled apart, and the cabling with it, so we will be using BSF funds to replace perfectly good stuff. I believe most of our network kit will be replaced entirely, although some of the hardware will be taken on by RM as legacy. I think that it is highly likely that this would happen anywhere, no matter how good the kit or who the ICT providers are. The new network isn't in yet, but the very choosy Network Manager seems to approve of what will be going in. I'm pretty sure we won't be losing functionality. I believe the switches won't be as good as our current ones, but I'm straying into dangerous territory in terms of my lack of expertise here! I don't want to give you advice, but our approach over the past couple of years has been to carry on as if BSF is not happening. We would almost certainly have done what you are planning. Look out for some pretty good switches on e-bay in the next few months.

Roger said...

This is shocking... RM are replacing perfectly good kit just to make more moey