Becta: Save SIF Standards

Filed under: Education,Standards,Technology — lenand @ 9:26 am

The letter from Niel McLean, Executive Director about the demise of Becta showed that there is hope for continuing a number of well respected activities.  Namely, Policy; Procurement, incorporating ICT Service frameworks; E-safety / safeguarding online; and Technical, accessibility and environmental standards for ICT in schools. Other areas are in discussion.

Interoperability standards should be high up the list for salvation.  It is an area with high potential to deliver administration efficiency, information accuracy and student satisfaction.  Assuming that the ISB survives, and I have no information to think otherwise, then they could take on the role of championing the SIF (Systems Interoperability Framework) standards.  Suppliers and software are here today. The SIF standards could be delivering benefits to 27,000 schools within 5 years – plus 160 local authorities and 1 department.  This is is bottom up Big Society, not top down totalitarianism.

My lone voice won’t help much, but SIF members should start a public campaign for the Department of Education to continue the existing initiative for school based interoperability.  The longer term objective of developing a business data model should continue, but in harmony with SIF, not in opposition.

Because of continued membership support, without Becta funding, the SIF Association is holding a conference in November and has dates for 2011.  Bottom up pressure should demonstrate that practical solutions are what educational ICT needs.

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