Using, choosing and using an educational consultant

Written by Terry Freedman


Using, Choosing and Using an educational consultant

Introduction

The aim of this document is to provide advice and guidance in choosing a consultant inrepparttar field of education. You may berepparttar 139091 headteacher or principal of a school or college, an officer in a local education authority (LEA) or school district, orrepparttar 139092 director of a private company wishing to undertake work inrepparttar 139093 educational sector. This article focuses mainly on information and communication technology (ICT), butrepparttar 139094 underlying principles also apply more generally.

Using a consultant

Consultants, at least inrepparttar 139095 UK, have a poor reputation as a species, and yet they are in greater demand than ever. Why? Why would any organisation elect to use a consultant rather than hiring someone? There are several reasons for this.

Short-term work

Some work is, by its very nature, short-term. If, for example, you are having a new computer suite installed, you might want some advice from an external person who has no axe to grind Ė and whom you can blame when halfrepparttar 139096 staff complain aboutrepparttar 139097 design,repparttar 139098 equipment and so on!

Expertise

In a specialist area, such as ICT, itís quite likely thatrepparttar 139099 school doesnít haverepparttar 139100 expertise in-house to do what it needs to do within a particular time scale.

Cost

Although consultants can be expensive, it is (or should be) a relatively short-term expense. And donít forget that you donít have allrepparttar 139101 on-costs, like pension contributions. These can add up to 20% ofrepparttar 139102 salary costs. Also, ifrepparttar 139103 consultant goes on holiday or falls ill, you donít incur any extra expense.

Choosing a consultant

When choosing a consultant or adviser to assist your school in ICT, whether for Hands-On Support, training, strategic development or any other aspect of ICT, itís important to getrepparttar 139104 right person or company forrepparttar 139105 job.

To help you do so, here is a list of questions you may wish to ask before hiring someone. You are unlikely to find any person or company who can answer ďyesĒ to all of these questions, so you will need to bring your own professional judgement to bear on your decision.

1.Isrepparttar 139106 consultancy independently accredited by a quality assurance scheme, such as by NaaceMark or similar scheme? If not, is it seeking accreditation? Note that an answer of ďNoĒ in either case is not necessarily a bad thing. In my own experience,repparttar 139107 work itself is so time-consuming that itís quite difficult to go throughrepparttar 139108 hoops required to prove that you can do what youíre doing! Thatís whyrepparttar 139109 next few questions are important too.

2.Isrepparttar 139110 consultant a member of a relevant organisation, such as (inrepparttar 139111 UK) Naace orrepparttar 139112 Society for Education Consultants? These types of organisation provide a certain degree of quality assurance inrepparttar 139113 sense that they wonít accept just anybody as members, although they will give no guarantees aboutrepparttar 139114 quality of work undertaken by their members. Also, they often provide useful information aboutrepparttar 139115 sector in whichrepparttar 139116 consultant works, which in theory at least keepsrepparttar 139117 consultant up-to-date on current developments inrepparttar 139118 field.

3.Ask for details of similar work undertaken byrepparttar 139119 consultancy, and for details of satisfied clients Ė but bear in mind that a reluctance to supply such details may be due to considerations of confidentiality.

The College-Bound Studentís Early Bird Menu

Written by Reecy Aresty


Many parents and students I counsel confuse Early Admission, Early Read, Early Decision, Early Action and Early Notification. How these andrepparttar other admission strategies listed below are used, will determinerepparttar 139060 course ofrepparttar 139061 studentís college years. Understanding them is an absolute must!

Early Admission: Typically,repparttar 139062 student applies to college atrepparttar 139063 beginning ofrepparttar 139064 junior year and simply goes throughrepparttar 139065 process earlier. However, Early Admission is seldom used as it only applies torepparttar 139066 most exceptional students who complete all high school requirements prior torepparttar 139067 12th grade, or even earlier. Although it is not binding, I strongly recommend thatrepparttar 139068 student demonstrate a college level of social and emotional maturity before implementing this strategy. Schools often get into a bidding contest to recruitrepparttar 139069 truly exceptional student, some offering full scholarships forrepparttar 139070 privilege of having such an accomplished student on their campus! Nonetheless, use with extreme caution!

Early Read: A number of colleges will offer to calculate a familyís EFC, (the expected family contribution;repparttar 139071 minimum amount determined byrepparttar 139072 federal government that a family will pay at any college for each student). This is done without obligatingrepparttar 139073 student to apply to their school. Simply send them all your financial information atrepparttar 139074 beginning ofrepparttar 139075 12th grade! Sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong! Wherever possible, keeprepparttar 139076 schools andrepparttar 139077 federal government out of your wallet! Ifrepparttar 139078 student eventually decides to apply to that school,repparttar 139079 aid offer has already been predetermined. Surely, you wouldnít feel comfortable havingrepparttar 139080 IRS calculate your taxes, so why would you have a college determine your EFC? Avoid this at all costs! Failure to heed this advice will result in paying thousands more than you had to for a college education!

Early Decision: This is a program with earlier deadlines and notification dates thanrepparttar 139081 regular decision process. Students who apply for an Early Decision program commit to attending that school and only that school. This is a binding contract restrictingrepparttar 139082 student to that one school. Once accepted,repparttar 139083 student must notify all other schools applied to and request that their application be withdrawn. There is however, an upside. If money is not an issue, andrepparttar 139084 family will not be applying for financial aid, Early Decision is highly recommended, because it will giverepparttar 139085 student a decisive advantage inrepparttar 139086 admissions process! Onrepparttar 139087 other hand, if financial aid is an issue,repparttar 139088 danger is thatrepparttar 139089 student must attend that college regardless ofrepparttar 139090 financial aid offered! While Early Decision adds some leverage to being accepted,repparttar 139091 financial consequences can be devastating becauserepparttar 139092 student must acceptrepparttar 139093 schoolís financial aid package no matter how inadequate it might be! I only recommend Early Decision under very specific circumstances. Also, if you change your mind, rescinding an Early Decision acceptance doesnít sit well withrepparttar 139094 schools. This option should only be used with extreme caution.

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