What SALTIS stands for

In short, SALTIS aims to improve the interoperability of learning technology—thereby improving the effectiveness of ICT as a means of raising standards of teaching and learning in UK schools.

A fuller explanation of why we believe this objective to so important is given in our e-strategy report, Supporting Interoperable Learning Technology.

But our objectives and principles can be summed up in the following eleven points:

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The use of ICT to raise standards of teaching and learning in schools cannot be achieved merely by the application of generic technologies such as email, web-browsing and office applications, but depends on the development of new, education-specific hardware and software.

Bullet The development of appropriate and effective new technologies for teaching and learning will only occur in an open market, driven by the needs of teachers and learners.
Bullet Robust, appropriate interoperability standards are a necessary prerequisite of an efficient and flexible market.
Bullet Because education is very largely funded and managed by the state as a public good, appropriate interoperability standards cannot be introduced without the government's active involvement.
Bullet Because interoperability standards are nothing if not implemented, they cannot be introduced without an active partnership with the industry.
Bullet Interoperability standards which are developed on the basis of industry consensus do not need to be mandated: if they serve a need, in a competitive market they will be adopted; and if they do not serve a need, mandation will generally be counter-productive.
Bullet Unlike quality standards (which do not concern SALTIS directly) standards for interoperability do not seek to impose conformity in any substantive sense—on the contrary, their core purpose is to enable diversity and innovation.
Bullet Standards for UK education cannot be developed in isolation but must be integrated as far as possible with the work of global standards and specifications bodies.
Bullet In order to ensure that they are robust and transparent to the market, it is desirable that interoperability standards should be backed by conformance testing and kitemarking.
Bullet The technical specifications for interoperability standards should be available to all, free of charge. Supporting services, such as conformance testing, kitemarking and the provision of infrastructure, may require payment.
Bullet Open source and other new models of software distribution should be supported by being given access on equal terms to open and fair markets, where end-users can choose the products and services which suit them best.
 
Last updated: December 31, 2010