Ben Brooks

Employer: Bishop Road Primary School / Bristol City Council
Job Title: ICT Technician
University: Open University
Programme Title: Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship
Start date: September 2018

Recommendation by Stuart Long, Practice Tutor, OU

Ben is the ICT Technician of the largest primary school in Bristol. The school has more than 840 Primary school pupils and Ben is the only on-site IT professional.

The period since March 2020 has been particularly challenging for the school and Ben has been front and focus in the delivery of the ICT estate of Bishop Road. The school has remained open throughout lockdown for vulnerable children and providing ICT resources at home. This has required major infrastructure and systems changes at the School This has all been Ben’s responsibility and achieved under his leadership.

Throughout this period of high intensity workload, Ben has been able to produce excellent results in his Open University modules across a variety of subject areas.

Juggling the challenges of study with vital day-job responsibilities has been a remarkable achievement. He should very proud of his work during the last year and the critical role he has played. On this basis, his Practice Tutor, Stewart Long is delighted to have the opportunity to put him forward to receive this very well deserved Certificate of Merit. The school would also like to add that Ben has shown the highest standards of professionalism and integrity whilst undertaking this apprenticeship.

In conversation with Ben

Please describe your current role.

My current role as ICT Technician involves supporting all school staff and teachers with any IT queries or issues, as well as managing and maintaining the school ICT estate and network. I also develop and manage the school’s website.

What do you do on a typical day at work?

I respond to any ICT issues that occur throughout the day, as well as repair any equipment that may need attention. I also apply updates and maintain the network and infrastructure.

What has been the best experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

The best experience has been the challenge of the modules and being given the opportunity to learn.

What has been the most challenging experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

Undertaking a course whilst working full time has been a challenge, but it has improved my time management skills.

What has your employer done to help with your degree apprenticeship that you particularly appreciate?

My employer has been very lenient and flexible with study time when needed, especially if there are modules imminently due.

What has your university done to help you with your degree apprenticeship that you particularly appreciate?

The Open University have been very supportive in providing meetings with my practice tutor Stewart Long, who has been really encouraging and supportive in my progress so far.

What advice would you give someone considering a Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

I would say that giving yourself the opportunity to learn with a degree apprenticeship is one of the best decisions you can make. In terms of managing the workload, the best advice I would give is to break up tasks into manageable chunks.

What are your career plans?

My plan is to continue to work in the education sector and further my knowledge before I look for more advanced roles.

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