Com Connect Services

Com Connect Remote Support

Com Connect IT Services Brochure

Join Our Mailing List

DET Accreditation – Quality IT for Schools

Posted by on Aug 24, 2010 - 08:01 PM

I have recently completed DET accreditation by the Northern Sydney Regional team. This process gave contractors an opportunity to meet with the entire NSR team and learn a little bit more about the future of IT management in schools in NSW.

As an overview: We have been managing IT in schools for over 6 years. The schools we manage include:

  • The Forest High
  • Frenchs Forest Primary
  • Allambie Primary
  • Wakehurst Primary

One of our greatest school related achievements was developing a school-wide, multi-platform universal deployment system that allowed the entire school to be re-imaged in less than 1 day. That included:

  • OS Deployment
  • Application Deployment
  • Script Deployment
  • Naming
  • Domain Membership
  • Updates and Policies

All student/lab machines could be re-imaged/deployed at the same time with a single mouse-click.

No further human contact was required. This is an advanced system to have today, and back in 2005/2006 when it was developed, it was very much ahead of the curve.

The same universal image could handle every single different make and model of machine the school had. Just this fact helped reduce maintenance costs by more than half.

The DET now has a similar system and this is what the managed schools use. This system is built on Altiris.

DET and external contractors have access to the Altiris Console that controls deployment for the schools and this makes support very easy.


Back to Accreditation

The accreditation process was a great opportunity to see where the DET is headed with management of schools and the policies and standards that their approach is based on.

Since we have had a relationship with the DET through the schools for many years, it was interesting to see what has happened recently. This is the most “insider” look at the whole scheme that we have ever had.

It would appear that the DET of 2 or 3 years ago has died and a far more realistic and reasonable beast has emerged. I like this new DET, the North Sydney Region is shaping up to be an IT/Business manager and standard setter that we like.

The relationship between the contractor and DET has been strengthened, the reality that the DET and schools need the contractors has been established. The truth that most of the contractors do an amazing job for very little compensation, when compared to what a business would pay for their skills, has been realised.

When does a school need a contractor?

There are 2 types of schools: DET Managed and DET Unmanaged.

Both schools need a contractor. This is something that many managed schools don’t realise.


What are the 2 most overlooked jobs that a contractor should be doing?

  • Future planning and network evaluation.
  • Upholding the DET Standards

You need to work with the contractor to always have a plan for the network that stretches out over the next 24 months.

This plan should include:

  • Key infrastructure
  • Cabling and Switches
  • Server and Services
  • Workstation Management
  • Software Deployment and Library Management
  • Fleet Growth and Management
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery

What if your support doesn’t possess IT/Business Consultant level staff?

Many external support contractors are single man operations, or very small companies. Not many (at least on the Northern Beaches) have a team of high level BAs and Network Engineers available to assist in future planning and operational improvements.

I guess we have to blow our own trumpet here: We have a team of Technology professionals that is unique in the SME space.

Our team includes many very experienced staff that range from Business Consultants, Network Engineers, Infrastructure Architects, Web Developers and Designers.

Anything you could need in the IT space – we have that covered.