From education to employment

Government issues independent review of professionalism in the FE and Skills sector

The government has announced its proposal to commission an independent review of professionalism in the FE and Skills sector.

Looking for ways to assist the professional development of college lecturers, the independent review will examine the issues regarding the Institute for Learning (Ifl ) membership that have caused a stir between the IfL and the University and College Union (UCU).

Only a few weeks ago, the majority of UCU members voted to stop paying membership fees to the IfL, which the union believes is currently ‘not fit for purpose’.

Skills Minister John Hayes: “My aim would be to commission this review as soon as possible. However, in order to go ahead, I am asking that all parties now refrain from further action. Once that is confirmed, my officials can facilitate a further discussion on the terms of reference for an independent review.”

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt welcomed the government’s proposal.

“Boycotting the IfL has not been a decision our members have taken lightly, but to be effective as a professional body it must enjoy the confidence of the majority of practitioners,” said Hunt

“This is something the IfL simply does not have.  It is essential that the forthcoming review does not shy away from asking awkward questions and that it hears directly from staff.”

IfL issued a press release stating that it “will engage positively with the proposed review, and continue working to promote the status and professional interests of teachers and trainers”.

Apostolos Kostoulas

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