Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 17th March 2011
Title of Item/Report
EIT Review of Devolved ICT, Outcome of Consultation
Record of the Decision
Members were reminded that in December 2010 Cabinet considered the finding of a task and finish EIT Review of devolved ICT and agreed that the Head of Support Services (CESC) should consult with Heads regarding the proposal to transfer the School ICT Unit (SICTU) function into Xentrall Shared Services. SICTU provided technical ICT support to primary and secondary schools mainly within the Borough but also to some schools in the Tees Valley. It did so within the arrangements that pertained to many services provided by the Council for schools in that there were Service Level Agreements and the Unit was entirely reliant on schools for its income.

The service was well regarded by schools and, in discussions with Heads about the present financial constraints within the Council and their impact on services provided to schools, the Heads had indicated their continued financial support for the service.

As indicated in December there were related issues to be resolved over the coming months. The loss of the Harnessing Technology Grant had placed pressure on the availability of resources to continue the scale of service presently provided through the Northern Grid for Learning. Those include the broadband network and curriculum support. How those services were commissioned or provided in the longer term, probably from 2012, was unresolved. It was however the firm view of Heads that the management and consideration of all such services should be within a single area of responsibility. They had therefore supported an alternative proposal that SICTU should be managed within the E Learning service under the Head of Children, Schools and Complex Needs. In that way all issues to do with ICT support to schools was concentrated in the one service and a new configuration of service delivery to schools could emerge from there.

Whilst the original proposal had envisaged placing SICTU within a service closely related technically to the SICTU service, it had not been envisaged that savings would accrue. The new proposal would not in itself generate savings but bring together the expertise to conclude the deliberations about the future service to be made available schools within the new reduced financial allocation.

RESOLVED that the School ICT Unit (SICTU) be subsumed into the newly established E Learning Service managed by the Head of Children, Schools and Complex Needs.
Reasons for the Decision
The alternative proposal was more in keeping with the emerging E Learning Agenda for schools and the way in which schools seek services from the Council.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on 25 March 2011

Date of Publication: 21 March 2011

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