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The A4L Community is delighted to be attending BETT 2017 again.  Although we are not exhibiting, we will be making appointments and visiting several stands and exhibitors during the four day event. 


If you would like to arrange an appointment with one of our UK Community members, please email Penny Murray, or call 07791 872 776.



For those of you who are not familiar with the A4L Community (formerly the SIF Association), let's start at the beginning....


About SIF and the A4L Community

The Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community (formerly the SIF Association UK) was founded by a group of like-minded individuals including suppliers, schools, Local Authorities and RBC’s, who are passionate about improving education.  Initially led by Becta, we set about adapting an open standard (used extensively in the United States) for the UK education marketplace.  Using the Common Basic Data Set (CBDS) - used for data transfer in the education sector - the A4L Community in the UK successfully developed a UK ‘data model’ which, coupled to proven infrastructure, seamlessly moves data within and between schools, colleges and local authorities.
The UK Community have successfully proved that the SIF standard works in our current education marketplace, with several Local Authorities choosing it as the preferred method for data transfer – Norfolk County Council, Warwickshire County Council and C2k (Northern Ireland).
For those of you who are completely new to the SIF standard, you might wish to review our SIF (UK) video and accompanying interoperability hand-out.
Interoperability vs no interoperability - hour differential on a daily basisUK developments
Most recently the A4L Community have been working with the Department for Education, helping to identify an interoperable solution for their Data Exchange project.  Slides from the previous Data Exchange Forum events can be found in the Presentation Archive.
 The A4L Community UK are also working on enhancements to the SIF Specification (UK) release, which utilises the SIF 3.0 infrastructure.  The last release is the first – and only - open interoperability standard to have the capability of using the Information Standards Board (ISB) Business Data Standard (BDS). 
To review the SIF Implementation Specification (UK) 3.0.0, please click here.
To find out more about these developments, please contact Penny Murray.

Useful links:

 For more information, please email: