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to wonder what the hell is going on at the school??

(15 Posts)
SallyMcgally Wed 05-Oct-16 02:56:24

DC's secondary school became an academy about two years ago. About a year ago the issues with funding became very apparent. No more trips in enrichment week. No more discos for the younger ones in middle school etc etc. This is a real shame, as actually the enrichment week was really impressive with varied trips. But what is really beginning to blow my mind is that before term began they had a glitch in their computer system AND IT IS STILL NOT FIXED!!! This means no e-mails can get through in either direction, at times the technology just doesn't work in lessons, and they are holding their first parent surgery next week, and we were back to phoning up for appointments with harassed and over-stretched receptionists all working from the same Edexcel document on two different sites. Of course this has led to appointments being lost, and having to wait on hold for ages. . . . How is it possible for it not to be fixed yet? It went down on September 6th. Does this mean that there is no money at all or that SLT have discovered how blissfully quiet it is when parents can't communicate?

VioletBam Wed 05-Oct-16 03:08:13

It does sound like there are some financial troubles afoot. Can you ask at the surgery?

MsJamieFraser Wed 05-Oct-16 06:21:53

Your not in the North East are you? because if so their server system literally melted (cooler fans broke) and melted all the hard wear, so most systems went down and they are waiting for a part which is coming from Thailand, some are up and running but it all.

Ditsy4 Wed 05-Oct-16 06:44:55

It is possible. Usually you are booked for a set time, on a set day of the week and fortnightly with the ICT company. This could be why but it is unusual. It could be they are waiting for parts from abroad.
It is also possible they are short of money as there have been a lot of cut backs.

Longlost10 Wed 05-Oct-16 06:48:32

most school ict systems don't work most of the time. I'm surprised you expect a difference in less than a month. Around half the lessons I see are spoilt by the computer not working. Some schools are worse than others in this respect, but basically the situation is this. Schools need to use ict because this is the age we are in. Children need to become familiar with it, so they are prepared for the world they will work in. Staff need to use these systems to comply with expected procedures, etc and to tackle the huge workload that as increased exponentially in the last decade, there is no longer any possibility of completing it by hand. However school systems are unreliable, slow, and fail regularly. Until there are major advances in the quality of ICT available for the school budget range, that is how it will continue to be. A constant source of frustration and time wasting, but universal across all schools that I know.

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Wed 05-Oct-16 06:50:56

Academies do seem to be increasingly cash-strapped. A friend who works in a professional organisation where academies are clients tells me that the realities of running schools when you haven't got councils to fall back on have come as quite a shock - governors and heads didn't really work out the financial implications of having to pay for all the maintenance and repairs, full whack for professional advice, etc, and many of their academy clients have been having to make redundancies. It's particularly galling when academy chains are paying large sums to their chief executives and administrators, and insisting that books and equipment are ordered from their connected companies when they could be sourced more cheaply elsewhere.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Wed 05-Oct-16 06:56:43

I go into lots of schools ( supply teacher) and see this a lot, as my day's schedule is spewed out of a computer program. But actually the IT in LA ones is far worse than the academy chain - not a cash issue but lack of strategy - lots of systems cobbled together and one harassed IT guy trying to manage it all. The chains are better as they have an integrated IT policy and benefit from economies of scale in managing them.

NicknameUsed Wed 05-Oct-16 07:07:57

Unfortunately what you describe is the grim reality of LA funded schools. The funding cuts in education are simply immoral. I don't know of any school in our LA that has managed to keep within their budget.

NonnoMum Wed 05-Oct-16 07:21:12

I disagree. The problem is with Academies. There is no financial advantage to becoming an Academy anymore, and they do not have the back up of a Local Authority.

Icequeen01 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:24:58

I work in a special school and two weeks before we broke up for the summer we were hit with a virus on our server meaning we couldn't access anything as everything had been encrypted. The server had to be rebuilt by our outsourced IT company over the summer Holidays.

We returned on 5th Sept and immediately found we had a problem on both of our internet lines. We lost emails and Internet for a further 2.5 weeks. Most of this time was waiting for BT to obtain planning permission to set up traffic lights outside in the road. Nothing to do with money.

It was a complete nightmare not having systems for such a long time and we are still feeling the repercussions but it was completely out of our control. This may be the case for your school.

Longlost10 Wed 05-Oct-16 07:28:06

school computer systems don't work. That's it really

LifeIsGoodish Wed 05-Oct-16 07:30:10

This has not been our experience over the past 5y at 2ry. There have been teething problems as new systems were rolled out, eg dc have had occasional problems accessing the home-learning platforms, but all were resolved fairly quickly - weeks, not months. Perhaps they have a fairly strong IT dept/support, or perhaps it's related to the various IT partnerships they have had, the most recent being with Cisco. (No idea what Cisco do, BTW!)

MidniteScribbler Wed 05-Oct-16 07:52:18

Perhaps they have a fairly strong IT dept/support, or perhaps it's related to the various IT partnerships they have had, the most recent being with Cisco. (No idea what Cisco do, BTW!)

Some schools have dedicated IT staff, others don't. If you don't, and something goes wrong, you either have to call in someone to fix it (when there's probably no spare cash in the budget to pay for it) or wait until the next day the IT people are due in. We're lucky that we have two IT staff (one full time, one part time), but it's unusual. Our principal is very IT obsessed though, so quite a bit of budget goes on it.

SallyMcgally Wed 05-Oct-16 12:48:30

Not in NE, no.
OK maybe IABU, but yes, would expect this sorted out within a month. They have one IT bloke. A month is a long time, I think, in that kind of environment for communications to be down.

Icequeen01 Wed 05-Oct-16 18:25:41

We outsource our IT and they will only come out if really necessary. I'm the school secretary and have no IT training apart from what I have picked up doing my job. I usually end up sitting with a laptop,wired into the server whilst someone at the end of the phone talks me through what needs to be done. Drives me nuts ....

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