Working with schools who want to take their ICT Services and resources to a different level.
Firstly: about me
I run a small School ICT Support firm with two employees and a network of associates. I’ve been working specifically in School ICT for 11 years, both full-time employed and in the latter 5 years as an independent consultant. My company provides regular IT Support to a handful of schools, and ad-hoc server or IT management consultancy to a larger number of schools.
We are available for one-off consultancy, ongoing project work, or regular ICT Support.
Read on for more detailed information about what’s on offer.
Geeks are usually pretty good at solving problems, but sometimes they get bogged-down with the small detail and forget about the bigger picture.
A “good geek” doesn’t just address the symptoms of an IT problem, but rather works tirelessly to understand and address the root. A “multi-tasking good geek” can also keep his door open to teachers and staff to make sure their needs continue to be addressed during the process. An “excellent geek” then stays hours after the end of the school day to ponder on the architecture of the system and make more fundamental improvements to benefit life in the classroom.
It’s this additional finesse which allows me to work with key contacts in your school to bring all of your staff on a positive journey of change.
How I work
Remote working has allowed us to become instantly connected. Some bemoan the “always-on” nature that our lives have become. I’m the opposite – I embrace it. This type of instant connection allows for successful management of the unexpected, as well as the routine. The business relationships that we form are therefore based on mutual respect and trust. In reality this “always available” attitude means that my work stretches beyond the “daily rate” but the efficiency gains to be had from remote working where possible make up for this.
When you choose to work with School Computer Geek, what you get is someone who can offer a high degree of flexibility in working style to suit you.
Regular support. That said, there’s often no substitute for turning up for a full day. School Computer Geek provides weekly and monthly support contracts to schools and because of this “network of associates” which I’ve built-up over time, there is good capacity for expansion.
Consulting on School Governor and Senior Management level
I write proposals for the adoption of best-practice and industry standards within schools. Bringing my experience in consulting at a school governor and management level – see testimonials – alongside my technical expertise and passion for harnessing technology, I will assist in constructing a strategy in accordance with your school’s wider vision that can set your school on the path to ICT success.
Although not affiliated with OFSTED in any official capacity, I can assist your school in hitting targets set by previous OFSTED reports. This may involve setting up an “ICT Working Group”, or “Steering Committee” if the school doesn’t already have one, setting 3 or 5 year plan objectives, or just forming a regular core of key people in the school who will oversee the progress of ICT.
Running Your School ICT Support
In addition to advising and consulting on all things strategic, I can manage existing systems & install new ones. Such as the below;
- Servers, server upgrades, new server installations, advanced system configuration
- Network switches, cabinets, cabling, wireless systems
- Suites and new commissions of desktop & laptop PCs, printers, iPads, audio-visual
- Websites, blogs, social media, and VLEs
- Your school’s MIS (e.g. SIMS) and other school software
- Regular support & staff training, workshops, teacher training sessions
Depending on exact school requirements it may be appropriate to go to tender with larger companies for some of the above. As a genuine independent consultant, School Computer Geek ensures you get everything you need and pay for nothing more. All too often so-called “solutions providers” are tuned into their own agendas rather than prioritising yours as a school.
Good procurement advice can cost you next to nothing, but save you potentially thousands.
- Best practice advice for ICT procurement in schools
- Detailed analysis of quotations given to your school by other providers
- Honest advice about where you should be spending money
It’s the same for schools as in business; there’s so often a disconnect between those in charge of technical operations (IT Network Manager) and those in charge of funding and school management.
Those schools that excel in ICT have done so by bridging this gap.
Most computer geeks speak their own language: “techie-talk”. Finding someone genuinely bilingual can be a challenge – that’s where I come in. All of my work is underpinned by the need to solve this disconnect, and turn your school into a thriving centre of excellence in ICT.
- Storage area networks
- Server, wiring, rack, and data centre installations
- Cisco wireless and network switch installations
- Music ICT and languages lab design and specification
- Project management
Assessing School Needs
One of the first things I do for any school’s ICT plan is to provide an audit of systems, support, and future needs. By talking with your staff and students, looking closely at your IT Systems, and scrutinising your IT Strategy I can help start the process of ICT growth in your school.
- Audit of computers, servers, printers, and other peripherals
- Strategic ICT Health Check
- Business Continuity recommendations, e.g. Disaster Recovery, backups, documentation
- Staff consultations
- Audit of existing school ICT support provision
Recruitment & Personnel
What use are technical developments and whizzy systems, if you haven’t taken your staff with you? I specialise in increasing confidence in ICT systems amongst teaching and technical staff. This is achieved through tailored training, staff feedback sessions, and enthusiastic advice in a coaching and mentoring style delivered with a uniformly positive tone. The broad scope of support for systems ranges from MIS (e.g. SIMS) to specialist graphics, music, and languages applications.
I can also help in the following areas:
- Advice to senior management on current and future ICT personnel
- Mentoring of existing ICT network managers and staff
- Bridging the gap during new recruitment
- Providing workshops and one-to-one training for teachers
- Advising on best practice for business continuity in schools
- Whole-school approach to data security best practices
- School data backup strategy
- Provide documentation pitched for different users (teachers, IT Support staff, future IT Support staff, senior management)
Getting Your School Online
- Parent communications
- Lesson registration
- Access to school files from home
- Internal email
- Intranet services
- Advising on social media best practice in schools
- … and more