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Initial results of Pearson Phoenix BETT 2009 survey reveal significant momentum towards joined-up services

Salisbury, UK – 28th January, 2009 – Pearson Phoenix, one of the UK’s leading providers of management information systems (MIS) for schools, today released initial findings from its annual BETT 2009 survey, revealing that system interoperability has become the key factor for schools when considering a new MIS. 45% of respondents felt interoperability was the most important factor, 37% chose reporting and just 18% deciding upon administration. The survey polled 100 teaching and school staff on hot topics surrounding technology.

Interoperability within education grew from initial developments made in the USA by Edustructures and has become standardised in the UK through the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). Championed by BECTA, SIF will become mandated as the defacto certification standard for interoperability by 2010, ensuring that integration between education systems will become much more straight forward.

Not only will interoperability serve to save time and money during the implementation and integration phase of any new technology rollout within schools or local authorities, but the efficiencies gained on an ongoing basis will further reduce unnecessary levels of manual information exchange, particularly in lengthy and time critical processes such as statutory reporting.

A further two-thirds of respondents to the Pearson Phoenix survey agreed or strongly agreed that the ability to share information between systems and, at a higher level, departments or agencies, will be important moving forward, thus demonstrating a willingness to embrace new opportunities and a demand for interoperable systems.

“Creating a network of systems that can talk to each other without manual intervention has been a goal within education for a number of years and SIF is certainly a good start to achieving this – the private sector has seen great success in similar initiatives such as SOA and education should be no different,” said Roger Plant, Education Systems Director, Pearson Phoenix. “As an MIS provider, we have worked hard to maintain open standards within e¹ and as a web-based application it is far easier to accomplish than many proprietary, on-site solutions. Many schools and local authorities are already well underway with running interoperable systems with e¹, not only alongside our sister company learning platform, Fronter, but also with systems such as cashless catering and biometric registration.”

As a company, Pearson Phoenix wholly endorses the ethos of system interoperability and dynamic exchange of information and has incorporated the concept of interoperability into many of its systems. e¹ already boasts interoperability with many leading learning platforms, text messaging services, financial and library systems. As an organisation, Pearson Education acquired Edustructures at the beginning of 2008.

About Pearson Phoenix

Founded in 1990, Pearson Phoenix, formerly known as Phoenix First Limited, is a specialist supplier of Management Information Systems (MIS) to schools and local education authorities throughout the UK. Its software is used to manage the administration of learning at almost 3,500 schools across a number of Education Authorities. In September 2001, Phoenix was acquired by the international media company Pearson Plc to strengthen its education portfolio in the UK and now operates as part of Pearson Education.

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James Kennedy
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