ICT Project Management

June 18, 2010

ICT Projects

The United Church Schools Trust and the United Learning Trust have many years’ experience with major ICT projects in schools and academies, having managed the design of ICT for 17 academies since 2003, each project involving the installation of at least £1.1m worth of ICT resources.  ULT has highly experienced ICT projects executives based in the north, midlands and the south of England, all with  both educational and computing qualifications and holding Certified IT Professional status with the British Computer Society.

Their experience includes consultation with stakeholders, specification, design, procurement and project management of ICT which also covers procurement under European Law as ULT has its own OJEU framework. Our range of experience includes liaison with architects, quantity surveyors, builders, M&E and FF&E contractors as well as close liaison and consultation with staff in schools and academies to develop and implement an educational ICT vision and strategy.

We are experienced in enabling the provision of both dedicated and cross-curricular ICT facilities including suites, wireless provision and individual classroom facilities. We have considerable expertise in the use of interactive whiteboard technology and user response systems and employ experts on the provision of Local and Wide Area Network services to support both administration and teaching and learning.

Strategic direction can be provided for the provision of educational software and a full range of expertise is available to address the implementation of ICT in all curriculum areas.

Systems

As well as managing the Wide Area Network and its associated data centre, we provide technical support to its schools and academies before, during and after commissioning, ensuring both continuity and robustness of systems. Induction and technical accreditation of local technical ICT staff is also provided along with project management of the major ICT contractors.

E-Learning

A critical element of the design of new-build schools and academies is ensuring that the teaching and learning places are fit for purpose and this is achieved through a thorough involvement of the e-learning team during all stages of design and construction. A detailed audit of teachers’ needs is undertaken and a complete, ongoing professional plan is developed and implemented providing every teacher with a bespoke professional development programme that extends beyond basic technical specification into detailed pedagogical practice specific to each teacher area.

Lesson observations are undertaken in all new buildings to ensure that teachers are able to manage the ICT resources and to fine-tune the individual support for every teacher to ensure that they are best placed to exploit the resources to maximum educational effect.

The United Church Schools Trust and the United Learning Trust have formal accreditation in several areas and were the first national providers to receive accreditation through the NaaceMark Quality Assurance for Service Providers in e-learning. We are a British Computer Society Qualifications Approved Centre, accredited providers for the Framework for IT Technical Support (FITS) and employ ICTMark accredited assessors as well as accredited trainers for CEOP.

If you are planning to set up your own academies or free schools and would like to engage our services in ICT and e-Learning or indeed join us as partners then please visit www.ucst.org.uk for further details.

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FITS2 – Professionalising ICT Technical Support

April 16, 2010

 FITS2 is the Framework for ICT Technical Support – version 2. It is a formal NVQ Level 4 qualification, certificated through the Scottish Qualification Authority. Training takes two days with a 1.5 hour online exam in the afternoon of the second day. FITS2 is designed to provide ICT technical support in schools/academies with the training, guidance, processes and templates in order to deliver efficient and effective technical support in order to improve educational outcomes. FITS2 is based on BECTA’s national experience of ICT support in schools and borrows heavily on long term studies to identify and quantify best practice in technical support. FITS (first generation) has been deployed in over 1,000 schools nationally. FITS2 has been re-written to encompass the experience of FITS and the developments of ICT since its initial inception.

FITS2 will be the ULT/UCST quality standard for the delivery of ICT Support Services. Its value to our technical staff is through the professionalisation of ICT support services and for the individuals trained, a valued CPD outcome. To each school/academy FITS2 provides value through its contribution to the BECTA ICT Framework, its provision of evidence towards achieving the ICTMark and last but not least in its recognition by OFSTED as a quality standard in ICT management – hence a need to reference FITS within your SEF once staff have attained the qualification and started implementing FITS2 practices. It will also have an impact on improving ICT reliability through moving ICT support from reactive to proactive processes. FITS2 is a baseline qualification we expect all UCST and ULT ICT Technical Staff to attain (for new joiners this would take place within probation).

As an approved training provider of FITS2, we are deploying FITS2 in 3 phases over three academic years:

Phase 1: Central Office staff, Champions Programme & Intervention Programme – all by invitation only.

Phase 2: Development Programme –All schools/acad emies are eligible to apply for this phase. Running from September 2010-August 2011. Please see your regional ICT Project Executive and express your interest for engagement within this phase.

Phase 3: Development Programme – All remaining schools/academies will be engaged within this phase. Running from September 2011- August 2012.

 FITS2 Level 4 Certificate in ICT Support in Education: Practitioner Unit code: F81L 34 Audience: ICT Technical Staff in schools Duration: Two day course. This comprises one and a half days of teaching followed by the Level 4 certificate in ICT Support in Education: Practitioner examination.


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