SALTIS to support BECTA interoperability project

14th August 2009

The Suppliers Association for Learning Technology and Interoperability in Schools (SALTIS) is to play a key role in a new project being managed by BECTA for the UK government’s Information Standards Board for UK education (ESCS ISB). The project will improve interoperability between Learning Platforms and Digital Learning Content in UK schools.

SALTIS will support a team led by independent consultants EdICTs to establish the project’s detailed requirements. A second team, led by industry supplier RM and including technical consultants from the IMS Global Learning Consortium, will produce the main technical outputs, while EdICTs, working through SALTIS, will ensure that these outputs command sufficient levels of support both from industry and end-user groups. The project’s final stage, managed again by the EdICTs team, will make recommendations for the governance and sustainability of any new interoperability standards which are to be used in UK schools.

The BECTA/ISB project will draw on a number of globally recognised standards to ensure that software for teaching and learning can easily “plug in” to any conformant school or classroom management system. It is expected that this “plug-and-play” flexibility will stimulate a more dynamic market for innovative new educational software.

SALTIS Chairman Crispin Weston commented, “Better technical interoperability is critical if we are to realise the true potential of technology in raising standards of teaching and learning in schools. The announcement of this project represents for SALTIS the culmination of two years work. We are excited to be working with BECTA and the other project teams on what we see as an important first step towards a comprehensive framework for interoperable learning technology in schools.

“We particularly value our role in ensuring that project outputs are driven by genuine educational requirements. As well as industry, we shall be working actively to involve teachers and educational leaders in our consultations”.

Notes to editors

SALTIS (Suppliers Association for Learning Technology and Interoperability in Schools) was established in October 2007 by its current Chairman as a working group of the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA), specifically to address issues around technical interoperability in schools. Over 100 companies and organisations have jointed SALTIS as members or partners.

The critical importance of better interoperability was highlighted by BESA’s Policy Commission, chaired by Charles Clarke, which reported on 5th November 2008. Becta welcomed the commission’s recommendation that it should lead the development of robust standards, in close consultation with industry.

View the report of the BESA policy commission at http://www.besa.org.uk/besa/documents/view.jsp?item=1170 and announcements of the project by BECTA at http://industry.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?resID=40523 and by the DCSF’s Information Standards Board at http://www.escs-isb.org.uk/news/news/Newsletter-May-2009.htm.

For further information on SALTIS, see http://www.saltis.org or contact its Chairman, Crispin Weston, at crispin.weston@alphalearning.co.uk or on his mobile on 07780 811 806.

Last updated: December 31, 2010