School ICT News Bulletin No. 237 - 16/06/2014

Published by ICT Shared Services


ICT Services for Schools

ICT Shared Service would like to update you on a number of areas we have been working on over the last few months as well as our plans for this term.

ICT Shared Services Organisational Changes to support improved Customer Service

ICT Shared Services are in the final stages of restructuring designed to deliver a more customer focused service. We accept that this is an area where we haven’t always get things right so we will be focusing on listening to customers to develop and improve services based on your views.

For the Schools ICT service the changes mean:

  • Schools Service Portfolio Lead with responsibility for operational service and business development
  • Two Customer Relationship Advisers responsible for liaising with schools,  listening to customers to feed into business development and service improvement. We want to keep you up to date with projects and product/ service roadmaps so you have more information to about the ICT services can support your school’s vision. These posts will be fully transitioned by September.
  • Schools Applications team reporting to the Portfolio Lead with more focus on developing the use of applications. For example for SIMS, supporting you to easily get the real time alerts and information from dashboards and reports from a single software solution to support your school's individual objectives and monitor progress.
  • Infrastructure Team will be responsible for providing the following services for schools via operational level agreements to the Portfolio Lead.
    • ​Field Operations including desktop services is moving to a more integrated area based team basis to provide first and second line support to both schools and other ICT customers.
    • Infrastructure Operations including networks, servers, systems and solutions integration  We are currently working with the team to move more network specific functions to the Network experts as soon as they are logged to remove some of the bottlenecks we know many schools have experienced in this area. We will update you as this progresses.
    • Service Delivery including increased customer support and service delivery with new posts supporting change and transition and problem management.
  • ​Technical Programme and Resource Management to ensure a customer focused delivery team for all projects in the ICT portfolio including Schools Capital Building projects and ICT Refresh Programme.

 

 

Digital Norfolk Ambition - DNA

Supporting school improvement

The focus on work to date has been based on the benefits that the partnership could bring to support schools improvement. We identified a number of key challenges for schools which we signed off with Schools Forum earlier this year. Consequently we have been working with Children’s Services’ colleagues to find ways of developing this approach with schools.

We held a workshop with a group of schools in April looking at the work presented by two Heads of outstanding schools with embedded use of ICT to a group of Heads from good schools with the aim of developing the use of ICT to support school improvement. This work is ongoing.

Lower priced devices

Norfolk has successfully been accepted by Microsoft into the Technology Access Programme (previously known as Shape The Future) This programme is the mechanism for delivering lower priced devices. This means that Microsoft minimises the cost of the top version of Windows which makes a significant difference in the overall price.

We are now finalising the procurement, contractual and back end processes with HP in order to have a new device offering available from September. Whilst the programme is designed to support a 1:1 device approach. Schools and academies will be able to purchase any number of curriculum and admin devices based on the Technology Access Programme pricing model and the size of Norfolk’s buying agreement with HP.

More information about Microsoft Technology Access Programme is available on our website here

Microsoft Office 365

We are currently working with Microsoft to add Office 365 as an option via the Norfolk Cloud Portal as well as making available options for schools that prefer to have Office 365 via an active directory solution.

The Norfolk Cloud Portal version also means that schools will be able to use both Microsoft and Google Apps but will need to select one as their email solution. The nsix.org email accounts will remain the same and will continue to give all staff and pupils access to the other learning resources in the Norfolk Cloud Portal.

We are also looking at new licencing models for Office 365 web apps and client software  models with our suppliers.

We aim for this to be in place for September 14.

Events to find out more about DNA and other ICT services

We are finalising plans for some events in July to show you the HP devices and discuss with you the areas above and listen to your feedback as we develop services.

More information about these events will be published very soon.

We will also be attending the following events with a stand at

  • 24th and 25th June E2BN conference, Wyboston Lakes
  • 25th June Wymondham High Academy CPD event at John Innes Conference Centre
  • 10th July Association Business Managers Conference at John Innes Conference Centre

 

Norfolk Broadband Service

Firstly we would like to thank you for your continued support for buying Broadband services from ICT Shared Services. We are aware that some schools are still concerned about the cost of this service compared to what appears to be favourable charges quoted by other providers. Unfortunately other providers tend to quote the line cost only and not all the other elements required which are part of the Norfolk contract as well as not covering the same level of resilience or measures to safeguard your data and young people.

We will be working this year to try and improve our information and communications to help schools and governors understand what is included in the Norfolk package and why it is more resilient and safer than other contracts available.

Broadband Upgrade Project

We are pleased to tell you that the first tranche of the project completed ahead of schedule with some schools due to receive Superfast Broadband in the second tranche this year also completing early. This means the following work has been completed by BT and ICT :

  • Internet connection - The connection to the internet was doubled and completed
  • All Secondary schools were de-throttled to receive the full 100Mb capacity of their connection
  • All Primary and Secondary schools with 10MB connections were de-throttled to receive the full 100Mb capacity of their connection
  • 2MB Learning Stream schools where Superfast Broadband is unavailable in the area during the duration of the contract have an additional ADSL line to increase capacity
  • Schools moving to Superfast Broadband where SFBB is already available have been completed.

 

A number of other primary schools will move to SFBB from May 2014 through to March 2015 on the back of areas across the County being enabled for SFBB as part of the Better Broadband for Norfolk project.

The next 34 schools are now being approached for work to be delivered between now and the summer holiday. For clarity, the schools upgrade project is managed totally separately from the Better Broadband project.

We have received some very good feedback from a number of schools indicating the very positive difference that these changes have made to the internet performance in school. Whilst there was a glitch this month due to a Google Chrome update, for schools we support we will automate Google Chrome OS updates centrally to prevent this re-occurring and have provided guidance to schools with their own ICT support or using external providers to manage these updates.

To check the progress and connection type for your individual school please go to the Broadband tracker .

 

Espresso Education

Norfolk events: Helping you succeed with Curriculum 2014

We know that research and preparation for the new curriculum can be time intensive. That's why we've done the research, we've created the materials and we've designed a professional development programme that we're bringing to Norfolk. Join us for a half-day of 'no cost' professional development led by a member of Espresso's award-winning PD team. We'll explore changes to the new curriculum, what's new, what's not and immediately transferable activities to take back to school.


The Assembly House - Norwich »
This is a no cost event and SPACES ARE STRICTLY LIMITED - Register your place today!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 from 10:00 to 12:00

The Assembly House - Norwich »

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 from 16:00 to 18:00

Keystone Innovation Centre - Thetford »

Thursday, 19 June 2014 from 10:00 to 12:00

 The Legacy Duke's Head Hotel - King Lynn »

Thursday, 19 June 2014 from 16:00 to 18:00

Please only register for one of the above sessions

 

Author: ICT Shared Services

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