The Association for Free Software

Education Workgroups

Free Software is built upon the principles of sharing and community. These are ideals which we wish students to appreciate as part of their wider learning. We are also starting to hear anecdotal evidence that when computing becomes pervasive, large benefits start to occur, especially for life-long learning and professional development. Truly pervasive computing will only happen when licences don't restrict use and sharing.

Schools, FE, HE

Computer use in UK education is closely tied in with licensing proprietary products from overseas vendors, and has little to do with real education. Spurious arguments about "what business use" are placed ahead of the real needs of learners. is a not-for-profit project to provide a way of levelling up ICT skills. It is not dependent on any particular software, but includes a wide range of office-type applications, including free software. The International Grade in Office Technology (INGOT) certificates are awarded after direct observation by an accredited assessor. There is an entry level certificate with progression routes to advanced levels. Many primary schools are using the Bronze INGOT to provide an incentive for good practice that is not specified in the National Curriculum, but can be achieved in the course of normal NC activities. AFFS supports this initiative.

AFFS is a member of the Schoolforge and one of the AFFS executive is also on the Schoolforge-UK committee. These projects mainly develop tools for under-16 education, including free software. Please contact current workgroup members via the webmaster if you want to help.

Current Workgroup Contacts

  • Richard Smedley
  • Ian Lynch

Other organisations

AFFS does not endorse these groups, but thinks they could be important in supporting free software. We link them here so that readers can watch their sites for news more easily.

Professional Qualifications

Organisations looking to move to free software need to know that the support is out there if they need it. If they want to place support contracts or hire employees, they need a skilled group of applicants and a reliable way to identify people with appropriate skills. Professional qualifications are useful in encouraging people to learn and in recognising their skills.

The Association of Free Software Professionals is a membership organisation aimed at those contributing to free software development. AFSP will have different levels of membership, with a general associate membership, full membership for proven contributors and fellowship for distinguished supporters.

To join any of these efforts or suggest a new direction, contact the workgroup members via the webmaster link.

Current Workgroup Contacts

  • Neil Darlow (AFSP)
The Association For Free Software