24/7 access to accurate school and learning information is now essential.


What is the reality when you travel and need electricity… you do what most of us do, we buy an international power adaptor! 

Now imagine each country is a school application.  Now you quickly know the need for a technical standard for all these apps to “interoperate” with each other letting them use their own language and functionality.   We need an “adaptor” that can let these apps talk to one another!

The effective and secure development, management and exchange of education data requires 24/7 access to accurate school and learning information is essential. 

Interoperability (the ability to share data between different systems on different machines) solves these issues and should be a major component of your planning. 

Selecting the “adaptor blueprint” SIF standard gives you a solution that is:  

Open Standard

freely accessible

Vendor Neutral

can be used with any products

Platform Independent

not dependent on your infrastructure

Many products promise these advantages through their own proprietary API.  While many can be realized in the short term this way, they can neither simply be unplugged and another system readily swapped in or readily configured to play their needed role, as the data ecosystem inevitably changes and undoubtably grows. 

Add to this the inherent dangers of leaving APIs in the hands of those passionate about creating the best educational and administrative experiences possible and you are often left with: scalability, privacy, and even sometimes security issues.  Just like electrical codes help keep buildings from catching on fire, open standards provide the blueprints to raise the API bar.

This diagram illustrates a high-level example of the benefits of using SIF, based on actual figures provided by a School District in the United States.   The School District calculated the total time taken to perform regular daily tasks before and after implementing SIF.

Based on these figures, a School District could save over 40% of their time allocated to these tasks every week using SIF alone.

Additional benefits of using SIF include:

Future Proofing

A SIF infrastructure allows 'best of breed' applications to connect to each other. This gives schools, free schools, academies, districts, higher & further education establishments, local authorities, LEAs, and SEAs greater choice in choosing software to meet their current and future needs.

Improve Management

By utilizing SIF, accurate, timely and up-to-date information is shared with all appropriate applications, within the learning establishment and its partners. 'Write once, use many times' is the mantra for good system design, which greatly reduces the burden on schools by eliminating data entry into disparate systems, helping to save time and money.

Improve Learner Attainment

SIF provides the ability to record and exchange learners' marks for attainment between your software applications. By providing real time learner attainment both teachers and parents can use the information to positively influence the learner's outcome and progression.

Safeguard your Learners

With the advent of mobile learning, more and more learners are no longer educated in a single establishment. With a SIF enabled application for recording learner attendance, schools are informed as soon as a learner's attendance is recorded at their 'off-site' learning venue.

Single Sign-On

Use SIF to link the student/management information and identity management systems to automatically generate accounts. Accounts are synchronized and updated without further staff intervention.

Reduce Admin Costs

With SIF you have the ability to transmit data that is required by external agencies. The same infrastructure is used many times to get data where it needs to be, reducing the reporting burden for learning establishments and external agencies.


Increased interoperability without the inclusion of privacy requirements = increased RISK

The A4L Community is leading the way to help school districts manage their data privacy agreements.   FIND OUT MORE >>