A week in the life of a Trust IT Manager

And just like that’s it’s Friday. It’s been another busy week where it feels like my feet haven’t quite touched the ground. So let’s try something new, a weekly recap from the life of a Trust IT Manager.

🕛 Starting off the week saw a strategic day alongside Craig Van Aswegen and the team from Breathe Technology. Looking over our current infrastructure and thinking about our overall cyber security standpoint. Lots of ideas and thought sharing which will hopefully build some strong foundations for us as a MAT in terms of cyber security. It was also great to catch up with Craig to discuss our wider strategic piece and to understand emerging technologies that are coming through.

🕐 Tuesday started off with an opportunity to reflect from Monday’s strategic day and to catch up with each member of the team. One of the things I enjoy doing is having conversations with my team, understanding any problems/challenges they are currently facing and how we can resolve it. After my catchup I jumped onto a meeting call with a potential customer to go through a procurement project and to gain some further understanding. Joined my some of the technical team we discussed the requirements of the school and then looked into some possible solutions. More brains are always better than one.

From that meeting it was back to back into my weekly strategic & operations meeting (Strat/Ops) with my deputy service manager. We reviewed the previous week, looking into helpdesk cases, network problems and then moved on to future project planning. Having this dedicated time is key for me, being able to gain a deeper understanding of the trust, learn from his 30+ years experience and have a sounding board for ideas is crucial.

After Strat/ops it was back to catchup and some strategic work for the MAT.

🕔 Wednesday was a split day for me with the morning working on our new strategic development package which looks at supporting schools to understand their vision and how technology can play a part in that. Spending time to build custom tools in order to gain the most out of discussions and projects can be beneficial but so can pre-made templates and using industry standard frameworks.

After a morning on strategic it was time to jump in the car and head to meet with the rest of the directors for our board meeting at Innovate Multi Academy Trust . One of the best decisions I’ve made in the last year or so was to take up a director/trustee roll. Being able to see an organisation from the other side of the table to what I normally see and to hopefully use my knowledge and skills to benefit more staff and pupils. I do admit I currently spend more time listening and understanding how the organisation operates, people’s accountability and acronym’s but with the small input I currently add, hopefully there are some take aways that can change how technology is used for the better.

🕖 We’re now at Thursday and I know what your thinking, time to slow down? Well not quite, Thursday morning saw me visit All Saints’ CofE Primary School in Peterborough to roll out our new strategic development package meet with leadership to start building their new technical vision. After a long meeting filled with innovative and exciting ideas we came up with our starting plan of action. Whilst a lot of our strategic support is technical based filled with audits, checklists and compliance, we are also careful to ensure that we focus on the pedagogical side of schools and how we can empower staff and blend technology into the curriculum. One of the common conversation I’m having currently is around the correct way to start the journey and actually the journey starts with reviewing where we are currently but also having it in the back of our minds where we want to get to. I’ll be doing another post about strategic development and understanding EdTech visions soon.

After my morning at All Saints it was back to the trust for some lunch before meeting with our CEO and CFOO to talk about our upcoming EdTech learning project, ai usage and a few other bits. Being able to share and collaborate ideas with trust leadership is key to the overall development and personal learning. After my meeting it was back to answer emails, resolving a few technical tickets on our service desk and catching up with orders and procurement across our service.

🕚 And just like that it’s Friday! The final stretch before the bank holiday weekend. With some members of the team off today it was all hands on deck to support with service desk cases and answering the phone for the normal morning rush. Then it was time for a quick cup of tea before jumping on a meeting call with our DPO to start our annual GDPR audit for the academy. Going through the key areas of our GDPR policies and procedures to ensure we remain fully compliant and have dedicated processes in place to respond to any situation.

After this it was time to support with some overall technical issues that we experienced overnight along with supporting our apprentice who was running our help desk for the day. I then I spent sometime writing up the meeting notes from the strategic meeting on Thursday with All Saints and started to write up their digital standards report.  It was then time for some lunch which came with the normal random lunch time conversations in the office, before working through our procurement proposal for a new client site.

This briefly had to pause before whilst I joined another virtual meeting to discuss the Google Classroom platform and its pros/cons for academies using the platform. Getting a better understanding around the platform and how it works in a trust environment. It was good to hear the point of view from a current academy and working together to provide some key insights to another trust who is currently sitting in the hybrid situation before Google and Microsoft. Once this meeting was finished it was time to finish up our procurement proposal and send this across to our new client site before supporting with packing up equipment from the year13 final assembly and guard of honour.

⏰ I think it goes without saying that there is so much more going on throughout my week that I can’t share due to the line of work within a trust but glad that it’s time for the weekend! 3 days off before back to it to action some key projects and refreshes across our academy next week before everyone returns on the 3rd.

If you like this week in the life insight please do let me know. If you want to collaborate or want to discuss EdTech infrastructure, training and much more please feel free to reach out via email to info@jordansmithson.com

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