Open letter to the A4L Systems Interoperability Framework community campaigning for a seat on their UK Management Board:

Dear Colleague,

My name is Mark Phillips from Software for Data Analysis Limited. Among other things we have published the DfE’s School Performance tables since 1993.

After a long period of absence, I’m back in the SIF saddle. Unexpectedly I’ve been urged to apply for a position on the UK Management Board. So I’m going to.
I do have some form in this respect. Rather than rehash what I’ve already said I’ll simply quote it here:
I was the first National Chair of the SIFA UK Management Board, presiding from 2006 to 2009. During that time, along with our committed and vibrant Board, I took SIF on the road – introducing the concept and the detail to Central and Local Government, schools and vendors around the country.

It was the first inflationary period as it were, where we moved from zero to max in a short but exciting burst of incredible energy, re-tooling the predominantly US standard to fit the requirements of the UK education system. The rationale, both economic and technical, was forged then and has remained compelling since: improved information available more quickly, more efficiently and more effectively – for less cost.

With that manifesto I got the movement onto the map.

Since those times I have moved from Government to the private sector, developing SDA as a force in Open Data, building on the tenets of interoperability across a wider stage and working alongside the Open Data Institute, TechUK and Government Digital Service to develop systems and processes fit for the 21st Century.

Now I’m delighted to see that my original intentions are on the cusp of realisation with the new movement towards Data Exchange at the DfE.

If I was to be elected to the A4L UK Management Board I would bring the longevity and consistency of my vision, now enhanced and improved by new perspectives and wider experience, to bear on the ultimate realisation of this long journey towards open standards and interoperability in UK education.

The final push, if you like.

 I would, of course, fulfil my obligations to the Board in terms of time, commitment and energy – as was ever the case!”

 If you were to distil my ambition into a single point it would be this; to ensure that we deliver a SIF model that leverages the global Specification wedded to a data model that embodies the principles of an open standard, specifically Due Process, Consensus, Transparency, Balance and, of course, Openness.
If you want to know more about me, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
All the best,
What goes around, comes around: Interoperability, Data Exchange and A4L

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