The Information Standards Board (ISB) for education, skills and children’s services in England (escs) is the system-wide authority for all information and data standards. Its mission is to facilitate information sharing across the system; agree information standards to aid front line delivery; improve efficiency, reduce costs and minimise bureaucracy. The ISB is designated as an Internal Advisory Committee, but has Ministerial authority to make recommendations and approve decisions on behalf of the system.
In January 2006 the Secretary of State announced an intention to set up a Board to provide governance around standards, making it clear that the then DfES (now DfE) should develop the idea with its partners in the system. It would cover standards for both “data” (information about learners and others) and for e-learning though it might build its remit in stages. It would set priorities, co-ordinate work around the system and provide quality assurance, formal approval and change control.
The ISB met for the first time, as a Working Group, in April 2006.
The ISB structure is designed to facilitate informed decision making. The ISB is part of a wider Information Governance structure and reports to the DCSF/DIUS Group CIO Council. Within the ISB, governance will be provided through a number of groups providing a balance of independent decision making, technical input and consultation.
The Board operates a two-tier system, with the first tier comprising a Board of seven members drawn from key areas from across the escs system and an Independent Chair. The second tier is a Stakeholder Panel with a membership similar to the ISB Working Group. A Secretariat will support the ISB and act as the planning and project management function. A Technical Support Service (TSS) is being delivered as a managed service by an external provider to be a “one stop shop” for advice and information on standards.
The TSS will be responsible for co-ordinating the activities of Standard Champions, Standard Working Groups and Special Interest Groups to support the standards adoption process of the ISB.