We have been involved in several BSF projects over recent times. Unfortunately, most of them from the point of helping to recover these projects, rather than being involved during the procurement cycle to help avoid problems in the first place.
Whilst the buildings and infrastructure side of the programmes were really excellent (Headmasters were over the moon with their new schools), the ICT service provision from the Managed Services Providers has been nothing short of dreadful. We were asked to get involved in helping to recover these relationships and ensure the managed service to the schools achieved what it was supposed to.
We then found through the course of these projects, that in fact many of the local authorities operating managed ICT services through the BSF initiative were also dreadful.
This is ironic because one of the key goals of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative was ICT transformation for schools.
Having looked at a number of the BSF managed ICT services for schools, we are finding that, regrettably, most schools’ ICT managed services are just not making the grade. Everyone seems to be suffering… head-teachers, teachers, students and the Council. Surely competent service; speedy problem resolution; efficient channels of communication and, most importantly, value for money are not unreasonable requests?