From education to employment

IfL responds to critics

The continuous dedication of the Institute for Learning (IfL) in delivering the best possible services to teachers and trainers in the diverse FE and Skills sector was stressed by its chief executive, Toni Fazaeli, four weeks before the lapse date for the renewal of the IfL membership.

The assurance of IfL’s commitment to its members follows the results of last week’s ballot held by The University and College London (UCU) where the majority of votes rejected the proposed new fees for obtaining the IfL membership.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of UCU, argued that a £38 annual bill is quite high for lecturers in the present difficult economic climate and said that some members of the union had started to question IfL’s effectiveness.

Ms Fazaeli responded by emphasizing the important role that the IfL members play in the decision –making process:

“IfL sees it as central that we continue to focus on listening to our members and delivering and further developing our services. When members renew, we ask about their ideas for their professional body, and we are listening hard to feedback and suggestions and will respond,” she said.

Ms Fazaeli said that she understands the teachers’ and trainers’ concerns about the possible deteriorations in pensions, pay and terms and conditions as well as their need for a higher-quality continuing professional development (CPD).

“Everyone agrees that learners deserve excellence. In partnership with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), IfL is developing more CPD for members. IfL is working to influence the government and employers to support conditions that enable professional excellence to thrive and support all learners to succeed,” she pointed out.

She declared that nearly a third of IfL members have already renewed with the proportion growing day by day and hopes that, despite the UCU ballot result, the two organisations will continue to work together in the future. However, UCU has started making preparations to ballot its members on industrial action in the form of a collective boycott of the IfL.

Apostolos Kostoulas

(Pictured: IfL CEO Toni Fazaeli)

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