These are exciting times for ICT in education. The explosion in take-up of ICT for curriculum delivery in schools and adult/community learning, the burden of legislation on schools management systems, the spiralling demand for bandwidth and service capacity – any of these would be challenging on its own. To these must be added the huge responsibility of making best use of Building Schools for the Future funding and pressure to investigate outsourcing.
Paradoxically, it's in times of greatest and most rapid change that the strategic, long-term view becomes most important. Even small decisions need to be informed by a strategic vision, to ensure that every step taken contributes to the emergence of the ICT service of the future as well as making incremental improvements to current provision.
Socitm Consulting can help you and your colleagues develop a robust strategy, develop effective partnerships, make informed choices at the tactical level, and monitor and improve performance in a positive way. We have a profound understanding of strategic planning and governance, in-depth technological expertise, broad experience (and appreciation of) the importance of partnership working, and a principled commitment to promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Building Schools for the Future - working with 11 Wave 1 and 2 authorities on establishing the ICT requirements of the BSF programme and the procurement process itself, including development of strategic business case, outline business case, gateway review process, risk assessment, soft market testing, options appraisal and production of ICT ITN. Also assisting with options for Local Education partnership and dealing with internal issues around current service delivery mechanisms. We have also recently been instrumental in setting up an ICT working group for BSF involving all pathfinder and Wave 1 and 2 authorities, NAACE and Partnerships for Schools.
- Strategy development - working with LEAs and schools to establish ICTiS strategies in line with DfES policy and local needs and ILT/e-Learning strategies in line with Learning Skills Council and NiACE requirements; developing effective responses to Every Child Matters and IRT/ISA; and helping to set up a pioneering Children, School and Families service which enables education, health and social services to take a single view of the child.
- Partnership development at local and regional levels. We were instrumental in the technical design and legal and incorporation aspects of several Regional Broadband Consortia including the London Grid for Learning, South West Grid for Learning, South East Grid for Learning and the East Midlands Broadband Consortium.
- Procurement support - we can help with requirement specification for hardware, software and services, market testing, running procurement processes in accordance with EU regulations, negotiation and partnership development, and interfacing between ICT service providers and Design and Build in the BSF environment.
- Technical and process reviews for several local authorities, ranging from discrete service delivery aspects to complete review of ICT service provision; implementation of a brokered service for ICT support to all schools in a London borough; design and implementation of network integration across the entire school estate for a metropolitan borough; review of a grouped schools PFI ICT provision (8 schools) for a London borough.
- Benchmarking - in association with Socitm Insight, we have established an Education ICT benchmarking and user satisfaction service, initially with eight LEAs. A further exercise is planned for 05/06 which aims at establishing a benchmarking group of 30 LEAs.
- Interim Management - we can provide experienced Interim Heads of IT for LEAs who can hit the ground running and assist in any of the above areas.
If you would like to discuss how we may be able to help you in this area, please call us on 0845 450 0904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.