SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — July 31, 2007 — Edustructures, the leading provider of Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) solutions for the pK-12 education market, today announced the company has successfully completed the United Kingdom?s first schools interoperability proof-of-concept (POC) project using the SIF standard. At the core of the POC SIF implementation is the SIFWorks Enterprise Zone Integration Server (ZIS) from Edustructures, currently the only ZIS available to support the UK SIF specification.
Chosen by the British Educational Communications and Technology Authority (Becta) to implement this strategic project, Edustructures worked with key suppliers and educators in the UK to architect the SIF UK data model based on the SIF 2 Specification and customized to address the unique data management needs of the UK. Initial work was based on the UK?s Common Basic Data Set (CBDS) and other specifications. Becta is the UK Government´s key partner in the strategic development and delivery of its information and communications technology (ICT) and e-learning initiatives.
The site for the SIF proof-of-concept implementation is the Birmingham Local Authority (LA), the UK?s second-largest school agency comprised of more than 450 schools. Edustructures, leveraging their considerable SIF expertise in successfully implementing SIF internationally, initially connected nine schools in the Birmingham LA in a horizontal SIF zone, performing data synchronization and demonstrating data interoperability between the applications and networks. Further supporting this project, Edustructures provided professional services?including implementation support, SIF training, and ongoing technical support and consultation?and presented SIF agent development workshops for MIS software vendors, partner-suppliers, and the national Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in building SIF-compliant agents for their software. All SIF agents built for and used in the proof-of-concept are built on the SIFWorks Agent Development Kit (ADK) from Edustructures.
The Birmingham POC SIF project successfully demonstrates both a horizontal and a vertical implementation of SIF. The horizontal implementation allows management information systems (MIS) at individual schools to seamlessly share information with the education data management applications, e-learning applications, and others at the Local Authority. The vertical implementation allows data collected at the schools and aggregated at the Local Authority level to then move, securely and upon request, to the national DfES. The POC proved bi-directional movement of data and near real-time movement of data between the school and the Local Authority. For example, SIF now results in the ability to move data from the individual school to the national education authority within one day, compared to existing data collection methods that require three-to-four months to complete.
Due to the success of the Birmingham POC, Edustructures and Becta are collaborating on additional SIF projects throughout the UK, including: the enhancement of the UK SIF data model; implementation of an assessments-focused POC for the Belfast Local Authority; and conducting a national pilot of SIF.
?Our customers in the US?from small school districts to state-wide implementations?have reported huge gains in efficiencies, data accuracy, and achievement accountability from their SIF implementations,? said Steve Curtis, CEO and president of Edustructures. ?We?re honored to be chosen to work with Becta and other stakeholders to demonstrate that SIF can successfully adapt and scale to the demands of the UK educational arena, affording education agencies throughout the UK dramatically-reduced administrative time and costs and significant efficiency gains.?
To read the full report on the Birmingham SIF POC, prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for Becta, please visit: http://uk.sifinfo.org/upload/news/C21EZ7_SIFPOCFINALREPORTv1%200.pdf.
About Edustructures: Edustructures is the recognized leader in SIF integration solutions for the pK?12 education market, making it possible for market?leading Student Information, Library, Transportation, Cafeteria and Directory solutions to reliably and securely share data in real?time. Through its SIFWorks® integration platform, comprehensive professional services, and business relationships with technology providers and educators, Edustructures connects the systems that power education. For more information about Edustructures, please visit www.edustructures.com.
Becta is a UK agency, which supports all four UK education departments in their strategic ICT developments. For more information about Becta, please visit www.becta.org.uk.