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Lecturers may boycott IfL in fee backlash

FE news | Published in TES Newspaper on 11 February, 2011 | By: Joseph Lee

‘Extreme option’ would mean breaking the law requiring FE teachers to register

Lecturers’ leaders are considering a boycott as an “extreme option” in response to fees for compulsory registration with their professional body more than doubling in a year.

The Institute for Learning (IfL) maintains the fee increase from £30 to £68 a year is necessary as it moves from the Government covering members’ costs to the more uncertain and expensive process of charging individuals.

But lecturers have questioned whether they receive significant benefits beyond an annual form-filling exercise to demonstrate their completion of the compulsory 30 hours of professional development.

Barry Lovejoy, head of FE at the University and College Union (UCU), said complaints about the decision had flooded in and the union would consider measures including boycotting the IfL - a move that would mean lecturers breaking the law passed in 2007 requiring all FE teachers to register.

Mr Lovejoy said: “We will consider all options. That might mean a boycott, that’s the most extreme option. At a time when FE lecturers’ income is under pressure to say the least - with a pay rise of just 0.2 per cent and the prospect of imposing pension contribution increases on them - they are now faced with a bill for a body they are required to join. But it’s a widespread view among our members that they don’t benefit from it.

“The cost isn’t negligible for lecturers, but it wouldn’t be so bad if they felt they were getting benefits from it.”

The IfL’s own survey of members shows that 61 per cent believe the value of benefits is good or excellent, but it was taken when the cost of membership was met by the Government. The UCU is carrying out its own research.

IfL chief executive Toni Fazaeli said the organisation was trying to make the fees affordable through tax relief, which reduces costs by a fifth for most members, and with a transitional deal with the Government that stretches the first payment to cover 18 months’ membership rather than a year.

Ms Fazaeli said: “The government’s Skills for Growth white paper, published in November 2009, indicated that IfL would be expected to become self-financing. The subsidy received from public funds in the last three years has helped IfL to establish an efficient infrastructure to support the provision of member benefits and regulatory functions. We can now look forward to fulfilling our role as a strong, independent professional body, capable of being a critical friend to the Government.”

The fee hike implies a budget rise for the IfL from £4.6 million when it was funded by the Government to over £10 million in future years when it is directly funded by members.

The IfL said that collection fees and late payers would reduce its income, but members are sceptical that these expenses warrant adding millions to their bills.

  • Original headline: Lecturers may boycott IfL in fee hike backlash

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Comment (78)

  • £36.50 is our limit, same as for teachers and the GTC (soon to be abolished).

    Parity is the IFL's watchword, now they need to prove it.

    If they admit they have miscalculated (literally) and reduce the fee they will go some way to showing their members they do actually listen to them.

    If they don't they will alienate themselves even further!!!

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    12:02
    11 February, 2011

    ifhellraiser

  • The IfL is not wanted or any use. It does nothing for FE lecturers. When we tried to report someone for unprofessional conduct they did not know what to do. - Will not pay

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    12:34
    11 February, 2011

    breteh

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-disagree-with-the-forced-L68-membership-for-the-Institute-For-Learning/167307803316593


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    14:31
    11 February, 2011

    brownglow

  • This is a comment off the facebook page. Not mine but valid.

    A "closed shop" exists if an employer and a trade union have agreed that only members of that union will be employed.
    Closed shop agreements, often called "union membership agreements" or "UMAs", are not unlawful. However, the cost of enforcing them has been made impossibly high by the Employment Act 1988 and the Employment Act 1989. ...Under the present law an individual who loses his job, or cannot get a job, because of a closed shop agreement will be entitled to substantial compensation.

    Could this not apply to enforced membership of a professional body?

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    15:19
    11 February, 2011

    brownglow

  • According to the IfL website, they have 195,000 members.

    According to the IfL website, 61% of their survey responses rated them as 'good' or 'excellent'

    According to the IfL website, the number of responses was 6,500 for the first survey and 8,000 for the next one.

    If that was a clinical study, it wouldn't have a snowball in hell's chance of being accepted as a serious study.

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    16:08
    11 February, 2011

    knobbystiles

  • The problem with referring to the surveys that the IfL conducts is that the results give a misleading impression of the levels of satisfaction of its members. It is not that 61% of IfL members think it offers good or excellent value. The 2009 survey only elicited responses from just over 4% of the IfL's members (see Toni Fazaeli's report on the IfL website), or 8,256 members. So it's actually 61% of 4% of members. Not so good looking now.

    From these figures, we can see that around 5,036 IfL members think it offers good or excellent value. If we assume that membership is about 197,000, this means that about 2.5% of members have recorded a high opinion of its offer. A splendid figure!

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    16:14
    11 February, 2011

    cardoon

  • Also think about the timing. Members were asked if they thought is was good value at a time when it was effectively free to members.

    Personally I don't believe it was good value even when it was free. It was more lke a cost in time and effort for absolutely no benefit. It certainly isn't worth paying for.

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    18:44
    11 February, 2011

    ScraptheIFL

  • Remember, folks, that the membership fee the IFL want to charge will increase their level of income from £5m when they were being publically funded, to around £13m of funding from our pockets.
    What can account for this huge increase? The IFL claim collection costs are the reason but would collection costs really require an additional £8m?
    Surely the more likely reason is that the IFL have factored a significant proportion of non-payment from aggrieved members into their costs. Might they have raised the fee to ensure they generate enough income to stay afloat? Those who pay will be subsidising those who refuse to. Could the IFL be charging members an artificially high fee because they acknowledge that the measure is likely to be unpopular? And if so, can we expect the fee to go down once everyone coughs up? (What do you think?)
    Assuming this to be the case, what can we infer from it? Essentially, it is a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the IFL that the introduction of fees is unfair. If the IFL really believed its own propaganda about how much it does for teachers, why would they anticipate a loss of income through non-payment of fees? Surely they would be expecting every teacher to jump at the chance to hand over £68 for the fantastic benefits they offer? So they are either acknowledging the unfairness of their own measures or inadequacy of what they have to offer us – or perhaps both?

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    18:47
    11 February, 2011

    patrickwilliams

  • http://www.ifl.ac.uk/membership/why-join2/ifl-subscriptions-and-payment-options

    The IFL has taken into account our entitlement to tax relief when calculating their fee. In considering how much they can get away with charging, they have actually considered tax relief in order to say to us “It’s not really £68 quid, it’s a little bit less if you claim it against your tax bill”. How cynical is that? Tax relief in these circumstances are our right – it has nothing to do with them and they shouldn’t have taken any account of it when dreaming up how much cash they intend to sting us for. Does such behaviour make you inclined to stump up your £68?

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    18:48
    11 February, 2011

    patrickwilliams

  • What happened to one of the the IFL facebook pages? Too many negative comments so the page was taken down. It's nice that this organisation wants to listen to the members. Draw your own conclusions.

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    18:48
    11 February, 2011

    ScraptheIFL

  • This imposition is virtual robbery and all lecturers should boycott this payment. Why do we train and at the end of it join a valueless organisation to give us a licence to teach. Who assembled this quango? What service do they actually provide? Why should we finance them with hard-earned money in difficult times? If someone from IfL could tell us what justifies 1. their existence and 2. why we should pay them £68 I would be delighted to know. Don't pay!

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    19:29
    11 February, 2011

    joshua50

  • Their remaining Facebook page has just had the discussions and wall posts option closed down and a whole host of critical posts deleted, which were made today. The IFL is trying to set the agenda. Lee Davies is claiming that social media aren't suitable for discussion. Funny, they were fine up until yesterday when people started being critical about the imposition of fees. I think they might be just the tiniest bit scared and are trying to shut down the debate. However, I don't think even Lee Davies can shut down this thread, or the facebook page "I disagree with the £68 membership fee".

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    20:41
    11 February, 2011

    patrickwilliams

  • How odd that Lee Davies thinks the social media aren't suitable for discussion. He posts regularly on the IfL FB site (or he did until he shut it down) and responds to comments. He also hosts his own blog, on which one can comment. So some discussion is fine, clearly. Mind you, he also comments on his blog that "personality bereft corporate communication bores me senseless". We know how he feels.

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    21:05
    11 February, 2011

    cardoon

  • He must have had a sudden change of heart. I wonder what could have brought that on.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    21:11
    11 February, 2011

    patrickwilliams

  • This is effectively a practice of demanding money with menaces. ‘If you don’t pay you can’t teach’. The IfL purports to work on our behalf to promote the professional status of lecturers. This, they have manifestly failed to do, given the continued growing disparity of pay and conditions between lecturers and teachers. The letter that many of us have already received claims that other professions have to pay professional membership fees. The examples given of accountants and lawyers are laughable given the comparative remuneration given to workers in these sectors. At any rate we already have a body to represent and protect our professional interests. That is the UCU- and the point here is that we have joined by choice rather than coercion.

    As a point of comparison, it is more useful to compare like with like, so teachers and University lecturers would be a handy benchmark. There is no compulsory requirement for HE lecturers to pay into a similar body.

    Schoolteachers are required to pay an annual fee of £36 to the General Teaching Council, but crucially this is reimbursed through their salary. Furthermore, the GTC is one of the quangos due to be abolished in the coming year.

    Is it necessary to add that schoolteachers received a pay offer way above the paltry 0.2% offered to lecturers?

    The IfL also claims to co-ordinate and encourage professional development. This is a function that has always been done by the profession independently and willingly. There are many other structures that ensure that lecturers are professionally on top of their game such as ofsted, and internal institutional monitoring of CPD. This function of the IfL is seen as irrelevant.

    This development has come as a complete surprise to all. The HR department and the principal of the college at which I work were not aware of it through the AoC, and they assure me that neither were their colleagues in other local colleges. I assume that the UCU were also not consulted. Yet a q&A paper published by the ifL states that consultation has occurred. The organisation is either duplicitious or incompetent- another reason not to trust them with our money.

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    21:37
    11 February, 2011

    ffitz

  • As a minister I feel I cannot stand by and allow this to continue. The resultant backlash of previous government ineptitude has allowed an 'invisible' quango to have been shown up as a attempt to extort money by immoral means. There will be a full inquiry of this I have no doubt.
    V.C.

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    21:46
    11 February, 2011

    Vincecable1

  • When and if IFL can gain parity between QTS and QTLS I might consider paying. At the moment IFT has no clout and zero recognition outside the sector.
    And I hate reflect....

    I'm not paying.

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    21:53
    11 February, 2011

    clairemf

  • I want NOTHING to do with imposed quango and it's dubious agenda. I and others do not need to join a "club" in order to be a true professional when we clearly perform as such on a daily basis.

    Vince Cable - Well done sir! At last someone with a brain and some integrity appears to be listening.



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    22:37
    11 February, 2011

    winlinuser

  • The IfL is an absolute disgrace. I want nothing to do with them, I get NO benefits whatsoever from being a member and now they are demanding that I pay for the 'benefit'. This is morally wrong and the IfL are morally bankrupt in demanding this payment.

    I was under the impression that 'closed shops' were a thing of the past and I cannot believe the government are allowing this to happen.

    We have seen in recent days and hours, in Egypt that a government can be overthrown by direct action, using the internet as a medium, and I hope teachers the length and breadth of the country will follow the lead of our Egyptian brothers and sisters and oppose such a demand from a body we are mandated to be a member of.

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    22:44
    11 February, 2011

    rdwilk10

  • I am a dance teacher and I already pay my dance specific organisation a yearly membership, but this brings me lots of benefits so I m happy to pay the fee. However i can truthfully say that in the years I have been a member of the IFL there has not been one benefit to me. I totally disagree with having no choice on membership and charging a fee of £68 for basically nothing is an absolute disgrace.
    shout loud and clear Mr.Cable this must not be allowed.
    I won't pay

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    0:06
    12 February, 2011

    Taggi123

  • My God
    You read some of the absolute drivel here and think to yourself the sector needs more regulation not less. I am ashamed to be considered in the same breath as some of you juveniles who think it is fun to make up user names and come here and post absolute dross. Call yourselves FE teachers, I doubt many of you are.

    For example, a quote from the FE forum: "A true professional body would be created and controlled by the members. IfL was created by the government on a whim, is NOT representative of the members, and ordinary members actually get no say in its running as they cannot be elected to any panel or stand for office."

    That is so untrue as to be almost a deliberate falsehood. Even I know IfL was created largely out of Natfhe over ten years ago. Even I can read the history and see that this claim is clearly untrue. As I understand it IfL was created by teachers in reaction to a lack of an equivalent to the GTC or HEA, both of which were created by government. If this is not the case, can a union official come on here and tell us, please.

    If ordinary members get no say in its running, why was someone in my college, an 'ordinary teacher' elected to its Council. An election which we were all able to vote in and, indeed, were able to stand in.

    This government has said publicly that it is committed to the idea of a licence to practice in industry to drive up standards. Surely there is no better example of the 'big society' than a profession regulating itself. With regulation comes accountability - it seems more this that people are protesting about, and how can you protest about being professionally accountable if you want to be seen as professional. Just because schoolies are being forced to become nothing more than civil servants there is no reason why we should want to be the same - can FE teachers really want that?

    There is something everyone is missing. If IfL achieves the recognition of QTLS in schools (and it seems to be far closer than UCU has ever got with its cracked record on pay) surely the unions then have, for the first time, a real lever for terms and conditions. I think people on here need to get there heads out of the knee-jerk sand (or other dark holes) they have shoved them in and think about the long term consequences. Trouble is, it will be the same old union lags who have resisted teachers even needing a teaching qualification (yes we still have some pre-2001ers in our place proud that they aren't qualified) that complain about IfL. Professional is as professional does.

    Surely if there are regulations and professional criteria covering FE teaching, then it is difficult for colleges to employ any old numpty as a 'teacher'. Or do unions really want colleges to sack all their teachers because they are no longer required to employ them by regulation. Seems to me to be a case of be very careful what you wish for. It could even be the case that the unions are worried, worried that a professional body makes them less important in the eyes of members. Perhaps IfL should offer to represent members on pay and conditions - after all, it's about a third of the cost of union membership.

    I'm sure Turkeys wouldn't vote in favour of Christmas, but if they won the day all they would achieve is a much swifter visit to the slaughter-house when they became surplus to requirements. Think on colleagues, think on!

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    10:58
    12 February, 2011

    cheflecturer

  • Dear Chef Lecturer

    Why do we need this organisatin when our qualifications seem to suggest that we are qualified,

    I am a manager in FE and I employ staff onthe basis of

    1. Their qualifcations
    2. Their experience
    3. Their interview
    4. Their perfomance with students.

    What do I need IfL for?

    IfL is a total waste of time and should be abolished.

    Don't pay!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    17:20
    12 February, 2011

    joshua50

  • I have just joined the facebook page "I disagree with the forced £68 membership for the Institute For Learning" and I AM NOT PAYING THE FEE! Not when I was made redundant last year and now work 4 hrs a week in my new job that took me nearly 8 months to find!
    Just keeping my kids fed and a roof over their heads is enough pressure for me without having the idiots from IFL trying to dip into the little bit of cash that I earn!

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    20:14
    13 February, 2011

    Marushka 123

  • I think it is a shame that most of its members seem to be unaware of the huge amount of work IfL is doing for them nationally. Take securing and administering the ITT grant: no small achievement as without it it we almost certainly would have seen the end of initial teacher training, or at least as we know it. Where UCU takes an oppositional position to government (in this case strong messages about importance of ITT), IfL offers pragmatic solutions. There is a lot to be said for a strong professional voice. We do not have one in HE and the GTC never provided this for schools.

    Read IfL's response to the Wolf Review before you judge them. A well-crafted, evidence based critique of vocational education and training and the only response to include wide practitioner consultation. I'm not sure if UCU even responded, if they did it was without member consultation.

    I hope people can be a little less reactionary and actually look at the current and future potential of IfL. Take Reflect, it has revolutionised technology within ITT and really raised the profile of technology in learning. I'd take with a pinch of salt those who complain about it, as they tend to be the same individuals who refuse to accept the importance of technology full stop.

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    9:34
    14 February, 2011

    teachered

  • The IfL is completely and utterly useless. Dispense with this bauble immediately.

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    10:36
    14 February, 2011

    BrianCringe

  • I give you my offer now senator "Nothing, and that includes the £68 IFL gaming licence which I would appreciate you putting up yourself."
    Michael Corleone

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    10:43
    14 February, 2011

    davinci13

  • The IFL adds no value to me as a lecturer.

    This compulsory charge is really a charge made on poorly paid and over worked sessional staff who earn so little; particularly if the only do a few hours a week.

    I thought we were getting rid of quangos like this - I have to say the IFL is parasitic,

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    16:33
    14 February, 2011

    fenester

  • The IfL and GTC were both good ideas that as usual forgot their remit and became bureaucratic monsters.

    Firstly, for sixth form teachers, you don't need to join the IfL at all whatever your college says. The law is clear, you can join either the GTC or the IfL (now the membership fee is announced the GTC is cheaper!). All you are required to do is record your CPD during the year and make it available to your employer if requested, and to inform the IfL your GTC number in August each year.

    Secondly, the history of the IfL does indeed date back to Nathe's attempts to make the profession on par with teachers in schools - but this does not mean that there is any justification in having a massive organisation devoted to recording CPD especially as much of the CPD that seems to be record is trivial. A professional body should be doing more that this - and as many of its members are saying - here in these forums and many others related to teaching - that the IfL contributes absolutely nothing to their profession. And for some to dismiss the huge amount of anger and disappointment felt for the IfL is really missing the point. I have yet to meet a day to day teacher/lecturer who is still teaching a full class on a full timetable and thinks the IfL has been of any use at all. I have however read comments on forums like this from those complaining about the negative attitude of some to the IfL, yet seem to be in management or the gravy train of teacher training who don't come face to face with the great British public and have to make their experience positive and rewarding with limited time and resources, part of which comes fromt he wasted time and resource filling in pointless CPD evaluations, feedback and action plans.

    This is an ideal time to make the profession a real profession by giving back control to those that actually teach.

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    17:57
    14 February, 2011

    aliali

  • For me IFL is a pointless organisation, Cheflecturer is welcome to his view but it seems to be in a minority one. His arguments do not sway my opinion or it would appear the view of others. By calling colleagues juveniles and assuming those who have submitted comments are not FE lecturers based on nothing more than guesswork, does call into question their own professionalism and judgement! I am a real FE lecturer, as is obviously everyone else who has submitted comments, and certainly in my college the general feeling reflects mine. I won't be paying.

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    19:25
    14 February, 2011

    tabemeister

  • Colleagues may be reminded of my article some years ago. I asked whether the IfL would lead to professional recognition. My verdict is that it has done nothing to promote the professional status of lecturers. In fact over the last few years our autonomy, judgement, pay and voice have been further undermined. The only hope for us is a revived union or lecturers taking over colleges as cooperative entities. The IfL should go. I'd rather the cuts went here than elsewhere!
    http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=2261918

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    22:34
    14 February, 2011

    NNewton

  • What about part time lecturers and those who only do a few hours a week? Would they also be expected to pay the full £68.00? In fact this whole IFL charge is like an extra pay cut or tax!

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    22:41
    14 February, 2011

    jakeeboy

  • I am somewhat distressed that now I have to pay an agency, that I would not necessarily choose to be a member of a fee to increase my workload. The blanket fee does not take into account the differential in earnings of individuals within FE and HE provision and as a consequence is grossly unfair for those at the lower end of the already dismal pay scales.

    I see being a member of the IFL provides me with no tangible benefits whatsoever. QTLS is completely meaningless in the real world, and does not bestow any form of parity with main stream education. Other than receiving committee derived drivel via e-mail and occasionally to my home address.


    A collective national boycott, if possible would certainly demonstrate what I consider to be many lecturers dissatisfaction with IFL

    I am effectively paying £68:00 extra tax for nothing in return.

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    8:43
    15 February, 2011

    KTSEngineer

  • I wwonder if the £68 fee will be used towards a re-vamp of the very poor interface/design of the Professional Formation Pebble Pad website. I teach HE in FE entirely, and have been forced to undertake QTLS using this site to present my case, to prove I am worthy. Had one of my design students submitted this as project work then it would have failed.

    My professional status is recognised by the work I do, the students who I teach, my feedback, my status in the community who I serve and specifically by others in my specific area of expertise and practice within the arts (my discipline).

    I never request to be a member of such an organisation, nor do I want to be part of. In all the emails and literature sent to me I have never read anything of interest whatsoever. If IFL was really interested in professional status and improving teaching an learning then how about advancing the idea of a 1 year paid teaching sabbatical for every teacher and lecturer in the land every 10 years. Subject specific, no there's a way to inspire, create innovation etc etc.

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    10:39
    15 February, 2011

    asurfer asurfer

  • If everyone decided NOT to pay this ridiculous fee what would really happen to the world of FE? would it all come grinding to a halt? Of course not. Would the IfL come to the end of the road? hopefully.

    As with so much about this spurious organisation, when you look closely, there's nothing there; but £13.26 million goes a long way shared between 15 or so employees.

    Institute for Learning? This is the Institute for £earning more like.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    11:28
    15 February, 2011

    simonwestcott

  • Andy Hughes

    If you teach only HE in FE you do not have to be a member of IfL or have QTLS, indeed you don't even need to have a teaching qualification in this mad world where to teach in HE all you need to do is turn up.

    You are wrong about professional formation though. Having had recently qualified teachers go through it, it couldn't be simpler and is, in my opinion, the very best type of eportfolio. Pebble Learning do not win international awards for learning through technology lightly and you shouldn't confuse any lack of confidence or competence in using technology with the efficacy of the tool itself.

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    13:38
    15 February, 2011

    teachered

  • I really agree with Simon Westcott's comment. I will not be paying the £68 fee. Over the forthcoming months this sum of money will be spent on the necessary requirement for my kitten's litter tray. I consider this far more important than supporting a quango which serves only to increase my paperwork.

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    14:04
    15 February, 2011

    maggiewalker

  • Just think how revitalised FE will be when all the old lagards are sacked and fresh blood comes in - fantastic!! Long overdue

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    15:17
    15 February, 2011

    cheflecturer

  • To cheflecturer - I am the 'fresh blood'. The IfL has little to do with the praticalities of working in FE, so your comment is null and void.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    15:45
    15 February, 2011

    jilly_mc

  • Our FE institute requires us to log CPD on a college-based system, which was an unpopular decision at first, but also demonstrated that the IfL is actually truly useless.

    I have searched the IfL website and my emails from them to look for evidence of this quango working 'for me' and I can safely say: it doesn't.

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    15:45
    15 February, 2011

    jilly_mc

  • Unfortunately the IFL is a complete and utter waste of time and money. Each year I try to use the CPD portal - but it locks up or does not record anything - so I resort to doing it in word, its esier. And that about sums up the IFL, it would be easier without it.

    Everything the IFL does couls be done within the colleges/centres.

    Also could someone tell me (and the rest) how much the IFL chief exec gets paid. a LOT more than me i'm sure.

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    16:26
    15 February, 2011

    Algi

  • How great it will be when all those who stand alone in spite of overwheming opinon and choose to rant on regardless are sacked - fantastic. Long overdue

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    17:46
    15 February, 2011

    tabemeister

  • The £68 fee covers 18 months membership, will I still have a job in 18 months?

    I agree with so amny of your commnets and am not paying

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    19:39
    15 February, 2011

    benice

  • teachered

    Mmmh - award winning pebble pad, I think you should not make assumptions about users. Your comments show your lack of judgment and prejudice regarding Higher Education. For the record 'I do not just turn up'.

    My comments still remain, I have worked with and still have continuing relationships with some of leading designers and publishers across the world. I am confident using many forms of technology I can assure you, using the professional formation at Reflect will not be on my list of award winning experiences.

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    20:58
    15 February, 2011

    asurfer asurfer

  • This is a disgrace - paying something for something that basically wastes our time! Redundancies are rife in FE right now, and I'm not even sure I'll have a job in September!

    Due to studying for a Masters, I completed in excees of a 100 hours of CPD last year.

    I won't pay!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    21:47
    15 February, 2011

    Floydette99

  • This is daylight robbery. The IFL have not been of any benefit to myself or my colleagues, who are also furious about this ridiculous increase in fees. The only thing the IFL has done is to bring in Reflect to replace my previous, easy to use, comprehensive record of CPD. Not worth £68! I would just like to say Thanks IFL , but No Thanks!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    22:20
    15 February, 2011

    RedEthel

  • The IfL is nothing more than a con. We were all blackmailed with the threat of dismissal if we didn't join and I certainly am not aware of anyone who has benefitted from being in it since we were forced to join. The truth is, if it wasn't compulsory today, nobody would be in it tomorrow and it would be dead in the water!

    And any organisation which tries to gain credibility by massaging data (taken from a 2009 survey on satisfaction levels), from a figure of 2.5% up to a whopping 61% would leave even the most accomplished spin doctor miles behind in the 'extravagant claims' category. The IfL is frankly not worth being a part of for free, let alone paying £68 for the 'privilege'.

    I won't be paying.

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    22:44
    15 February, 2011

    Ifl Piffle

  • Dear colleagues,

    In case you are too busy to compile a suitable response to these proposals.. I suggest a copy and paste of the following comment with suitable amendments, as deemed necessary, to expedite your response at the following link...

    http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5273&articleaction=addcomment



    Mr Jason Colgan | February 15, 2011 22:33

    Dear Institute for Learning (IfL)

    There is no way i am paying a system, organisation or institution any remuneration, charge or payment when they have not once, arrived in my classroom to assist me in the learning process/dynamic or have assisted my students in anyway whatsoever or otherwise made my job easier, less stressful, more enjoyable, rewarding or fulfilling. You have simply increased the content of my 'deleted items' mail folder and nothing else.

    Dream on. I will absolutely NOT capitulate to what I consider a professional ransom. You must be joking.... wake up and smell the coffee. No way, Jose!

    You are absolutely the educational equivalent of a loan shark or pedagogical Mafia. Phonetically speaking, you can kiss my academic Alpha in the hairy Charlie....

    Yours disrespectfully,

    Jason Colgan BSc.(Hons) Cert.Ed

    South Downs College (Though I would like to make the point that mine is a personal view and in no way should be taken as SDC college policy or ageneric statement of the view of my colleagues and/or corporation/management team).

    (Please accept my unreserved apologies if I have distracted you from more pressing matters and have a pleasant and refreshing half-term break).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    23:02
    15 February, 2011

    jasoncolgan

  • Teachered

    you said
    'I'd take with a pinch of salt those who complain about it, as they tend to be the same individuals who refuse to accept the importance of technology full stop'.

    As a person who is nicknamed 'gadget man' and likes nothing better than new technology and who writes software for many different technical actions, you comment above is like the ifl absolute rubbish. The pebble pad is and must be the most ill conceived, poorly written and tested program available. How much it cost initially would probably pay for a lecturer post in most colleges.

    I pay into three major professional bodies who DO give value for money, the ifl plainly does not!

    If you like so much stay in it a pay, but dont blackmail me to saty in and pay, what about my 'human rights'

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:31
    16 February, 2011

    Algi

  • Sorry about last line above (getting incensed) it should read

    If you like the ifl so much stay in it and pay, but don’t blackmail me to stay in and pay, what about my 'human rights'

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:38
    16 February, 2011

    Algi

  • Take it from me, If you don't 'renew', nothing bad will happen...

    I am a full time lecturer with equal hours spread over two large colleges.

    I refused to renew my membership with IFL over 12 months ago, as unlike most here I am as equally horrified by the taxpayer fronting the bill for this pointless organisation as I am by footing it myself... I was doing my bit to save the country some money!

    I was telephoned by a pleasant ILF representative shortly after (on my personal mobile number, at work!) trying to get me to renew. I explained all the reasons why I would not (the same ones we've all listed here...) and gave the IFL 18 months of survival at best. She thanked me and I have never heard anything more from them since.

    I continue to be employed by both colleges, who are none the wiser. In the last six weeks I have been observed at both colleges and achieved grade 1 outstanding decisions each time. Like most decent teachers, I easily do more CPD in any given month than the IFL require in a year.

    I'm happy, my bosses are happy - and it seems my learners are too.

    Ignore IFL completely and they will go away.

    Just remember, it wasn't the rioting protesters that smashed the Poll Tax in the end - it was the millions of sensible people who just ignored those letters through the door. Made the whole thing seem a bit silly.

    People who do very nicely out of complicity (like Toni Fazaeli) HATE apathy - they are powerless (and jobless) in its wake...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    15:41
    16 February, 2011

    bachelorofbeats

  • A group has been set up to support people who wish to boycott the IFL fee on Facebook called..

    We won't pay IFL

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_153789048010230&ap=1

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    18:18
    16 February, 2011

    wontpay

  • I was so angry when I got my letter. The government first FORCES us to join this bogus quango without consultation...I played along with it and found the IFL to be a joke and a half, of absolute pointless reason. There is nothing in the IFL that helps me or aids me or informs me, it's an organisation for the sake of it and now we know that all along the intention was to make us pay and turn it into another revenue stream. I was so disappointed when I saw it wasn't in the list of Quangos being dropped...of course not and all this at a time when I personally have not had a pay rise in line with inflation (in my post as and FE lecturer, teaching solidly 4 days per week on a 3.5day week contract) for the last few years. I'm paid less than a new starting Primary School teacher friend of mine. Where I work we are all facing a 2year pay freeze....and they want US to pay for this joke? I'm not laughing and I have no intention of paying or further having anything to do with this complete and utter waste of my time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:36
    17 February, 2011

    hoonerbabe

  • Hmm, me thinks some contributers may work for IFL?? I say, IFL does nothing for me, lets get rid of it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    12:45
    17 February, 2011

    gilllunn

  • Four hours teaching.Five hours preparation and travelling and now mugged by the IFL.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    15:48
    17 February, 2011

    WoodfieldSG

  • At least, in the old days, highwaymen who robbed inoffensive citizens ran the risk of hanging. Nowadays, the law appears to be on the side of the highwayman. Allow yourself to be robbed, or we'll take away your whole livelihood and watch you starve.

    Be damned to them. I shall not submit to robbery, and if I starve I'll starve a free woman. Not to mention a highly qualified teacher with a first-class Cambridge degree, a PhD from Cambridge, and a good reputation among WEA students, whose opinions I value a trillion times more highly than those of the robber barons in the IfL.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    19:08
    17 February, 2011

    rosemarywilliams

  • Hi all.
    After a stressful week having to jump through the hoops for OFSTED, I thought I would put pen to paper.

    If all members, sorry I forgot.... to be a member you usually can leave an organisation/club.....
    What we are, are conscripts that have been press-ganged by some 18th century navy called the IFL.

    If the vast majority of my colleagues boycott this autocracy, as they say they will, what will happen?
    Will all the 195000 members who are dissatisfied with this undemocratic dictatorship likened to a 1970’s factory that is blighted by a closed shop union be sacked....I think not.

    Toni Fazaeli and the IFL, remind me of Miss Trunchbull from the film Matilda:

    "I'm right and you're wrong,
    I'm big and you're small,
    and there's nothing you can do about it."
    But I am afraid we can.

    PS I’ve heard the IFL is thinking of having a range of bumper stickers made...only one saying though...

    ‘The IFL...CRAPPING ON THE LITTLE GUY SINCE 2007’

    All the best

    Paul :-)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    22:43
    17 February, 2011

    PDent

  • As a manager of an adult education service with over 70 sessional teaching staff I believe the current strategy to ask staff to pay £68 is an unfair approach. Sessional teaching staff are often paid less than full time FE lectures and in most cases if a lecturer teaches only 2 hours a week they would have to give up 3.5 of their 30 hours just to remain a 'professional'
    I echo the points made about their being little benefit to members other than having to engage with a complex software system to upload their CPD which was managed very adequately by our organisation and still is. Having been recently visited by Ofsted they too didn’t seem interested by our IFL membership. I appreciate we are in hard times but I would rather have Becta as a qaungo that did support the sector than IFL that just adds yet more barriers.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    7:57
    18 February, 2011

    diddlydee

  • If you don't have face book, check this out.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B82lad3Oc4FFM2JmYjhkMjItOTQ3ZS00NmQ1LThjMGItMzlmNDdhZDU4NTNj&hl=en_GB&authkey=CITsvYYN

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:06
    18 February, 2011

    brownglow

  • I have never submiited any CPD to the IFL and nothing has happened, I am still teaching etc. I will not be paying the new fee.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    16:31
    18 February, 2011

    Braque

  • Scam. Lecturers now have to pay for membership to a worthless quango or we can't get jobs. Extortion in a word. As an agency lecturer I already have to pay for a CRB just about every year and now this. In what other professions do you have to pay to work for your employer once qualified?? And to think we actually put up with this B******t. Hell, the employer should pay for the CRB checks. The IFL is run by bureaucrats who need to justify their existence. Lecturers know what they need and we don't need the IFL. A voice for members? B******t. We just need a union and members that stand up en masse against this self-serving, corrupt govt and nothing else. Fazaeli and the IFL, go to hell. I’m not paying. Comrades, don’t you either.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    20:54
    18 February, 2011

    bufon

  • To raise something here I mentioned in a posting to another discussion about this, how many of us would be breaking the law if we were not ifl members? According to information from the City and Guilds at:

    http://www.cityandguilds.com/documents/ind_education_teaching/qtls-faqs.pdf

    licensed practitioner status is only mandatory for entrants into FE teaching from 1 September 2007. Prior to this the only mandatory requirement seems to be the production of a CPD. Surely that can be done without the ifl. Especially as ifl members do not need to submit a CPD to the ifl, only declare that they have produced one.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    11:47
    20 February, 2011

    professeng

  • I am a DTLLS qualified lecturer and have been teaching in FE for four years, the last two full-time. The only 'benefit' which the IFL seem to provide is their 'Reflect' system for recording and reflecting on my 30hrs annual CPD. The IFL say they support lecturers in CPD, when actually this is a euphemism - what they really mean is 'forcing to do', not 'supporting'! I find the process of reflecting on my CPD highly futile. It is precious time wasted that I could be doing any number of other useful tasks relating to my lecturing work. I can only say this because I am conscientious and actual do bother to sit and trawl through this awful task every summer.

    I am slightly concerned because I submitted my Professional Formation earlier this year and it is still pending. I would normally boycott this ridiculous payment, but in doing so might forfeit my QTLS.

    I did not mind being a member so much when it was paid for (although to be honest I consider the IFL a nuisance, not a benefit). However being asked to pay this extortionate fee is frankly laughable.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    12:03
    20 February, 2011

    Olymp

  • Following on from the comments concerning logging CPD. I'm an IT tutor in FE who, due to what I teach, frequently logs more hours CPD per month than the IFL require for a year.

    In 2009 I recorded 20x the required CPD to see if anyone would notice. This passed without a comment.

    In 2010 I didn't bother logging any CPD by the August deadline and still haven't done this. This hasn't attracted any notice either.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    13:18
    21 February, 2011

    IT_Tutor

  • When the new government bartered their way into power we were promised an end to quangos, not the bill! What’s next, a charge for expenses from Ofsted?


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    8:12
    24 February, 2011

    moderntoss

  • I am a part-time lecturer with a gross (I use the word advisedly) annual income of less than £10k - yet I am expected to pay the 'full' £68. So much for an organisation which claims to champion parity.

    Also, I have absolutely no guarantee of any work from September - so it could easily be a double whammy of paying £68 in return for my P45.

    It is cynical in the extreme to refer to 'standard tax relief'; this is a matter between each individual employee and the Inland Revenue. It should be of no concern to anyone else and should not be factored into to calculation of fees or used in any way to justify them.

    What this comes down to is a blackmail demand of £68 for the possibility of keeping my job.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:06
    24 February, 2011

    JoBo51

  • I will not pay I can not afford it. The reduction for anyone with earnings below the tax threshold is ridiculous, the reason given was that lecturers could have two careers? If I had another career I would not be doing this one!



    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    20:56
    24 February, 2011

    Mikeh14

  • What to do? My employer, a large LA, is insisting we (re)join - saying that they will reimburse membership fees this year only - and half if a tutor works for another provider. Most of as adult education tutors work a mere few hours a week - higher course fees, need for larger classes etc.
    We need to provide evidence that we've rejoined and each year we have to put our IfL membership number on our contracts or else no work.
    Few belong to UCU (a handful, I believe) although the adult education manager has let it be known that the bosses have been approached by many anxious tutos - hence the offer to reimburse tutors' fees this year.
    I am not only appalled by the significant hike in fees but, like so many other posts, by the ineptitude of this self-serving quango.
    The pressure in on at work - anyone else in a similar position?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    11:08
    26 February, 2011

    IsabellaPeach

  • The IFL cannot even make themselves sound useful when they are trying to put spin on their reasons for existing.

    Cheflecturer- which member of your family is employed by IFL? You talk utter nonsense, more sense spoken at the mad hatters tea party.

    Most posts on here are preaching to the converted. It is up to all of us to write to our MPs and put pressure on them to boot this parasitic virus into obscurity. If the government deem them unworthy of funding what gives them the right to tell us we should think otherwise?

    Don't pay, we can't all be sacked

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    22:33
    28 February, 2011

    ajayg

  • I will not be paying the IfL £68. The IfL seem to be ignorant of the European Law on Human Rights with respect to Article 11 on the Right of Freedom of Association. This has recently been used against the FSA who, like the IfL, tried to force advisers to join 'professional standards bodies'.

    The law states quite clearly that anyone in Europe has a basic human right to belong to an association or NOT belong to an association without threats to your employment. See below

    FSA admits human rights law stopped it forcing advisers to join professional bodies. Human rights legislation has prevented the Financial Services Authority from compelling investment advisers to be members of professional standards bodies from 2012, Sheila Nicoll, the FSA’s director of conduct policy, has confirmed.
    Nicoll said: 'We received legal advice that we couldn't mandate membership of professional bodies.'

    The right to freedom of association guarantees the capacity of all persons to join with others to attain a particular objective. Freedom of association also implies a negative right for individuals who may not be compelled to join an association.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:44
    1 March, 2011

    JClott99

  • IIFL claims to be improving the professional status of teachers in FE. It isnt doing much for this teacher. In fact I find it quite laughable that we call ourselves professional at all because we get treated worse than factory line workers at times.
    How many unpaid hours have I spent writing courses that never started?
    As a sessional teacher with no guarantee of work, I can often go for weeks with no hours. I've been on sessional contracts for virtually all my teaching life, having to grub each year for work., writing courses that managers decide not to run after I've put in the hours? Is that professional ? I dont think so You ask a lawyer or accountant to undertake work for you and you will pay for each quarter hour of their time, even if you subsequently decide not to continue with their services.
    Neither union nor IFL membership has improved my status or given me any sort of job security or recognition, but at least I had the choice of paying the former. Like CRB this is just another tax on my capacity to work.
    Unrelated I know, but I object to paying that too. Every employer wants their own - at my expense!!
    IFL spouts all sort of guff about benefits etc and improving my career prospects. I disagree. I've had nothng at all for previous fees.
    Surely this contravenes contract law? We pay for benefits which we dont receive.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    14:35
    2 March, 2011

    themuppet

  • FE teachers are the poor relations in education and vocational teachers are the poor relations in FE. A good case for some representation but the IFL has not provided this. They resemble the do gooder who collects for the needy only to break open the charity tin for the money. They pretend to be there for us, but, just like most quangos, are in it for themselves. When the government paid them to appear to be representing FE we weren't bothered by them too much.
    Now the golden goose has died and our "representative body" has turned nasty and is demanding money with menaces!

    The UCU are not a lot more efficient in getting things done but at least membership is optional.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    22:21
    2 March, 2011

    ajayg

  • More to the point, this is a protection racket; Pay up or loose your job!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    12:27
    10 March, 2011

    MitchThompson

  • Getting back to the main thread of this article i.e. UCU's opposition to IfL, it's now been over a month since Barry Lovejoy threatened a union boycott. Apart from collecting 15,000 signatories to a petition there's been little or no sign of further actions and I've noticed precious little from Barry, in the media or anywhere else, on this matter. It all seems to have gone very, very quiet in UCU head office.

    Do UCU plan to actually do anything about this apalling situation or were their threats really an exercise in powerless posturing - all just so much hot air?

    There's only two weeks left till implementation? Why don't they take out an injunction to prevent this IfL extortion?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    13:12
    12 March, 2011

    Ifl Piffle

  • I have just been told by 2 unqualified teachers in the pupil referral unit I work at that QTS has been abandoned (i.e. for teachers teaching in the compulsory education sector i.e. up to age 16). They had it in writing - think it was their union who told them. It is connected with the abolishment of the GTS. Anyone else able to shine a light on this please? If it is true, there is no point to getting QTLS or the quest to get parity with QTS ...!

    I have DTLLS and an Add. Dip in teaching English (Literacy) in the lifelong learning sector, but no degree. Was recently told by my manager in my prison teaching job that to get QTLS I need to have level 2 in ICT (I already have level 2 in Lit and Num). I am still beavering away taking my ecdl (European Computer Driving Licence) stage 2, having achieved stage 1.
    Still cannot see that a school would take me on without the degree though...

    This is all a confusing mess.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    3:07
    15 March, 2011

    foxHelen

  • Just adding my voice to the din. I teach one class a week, and the fee would take up 3 weeks' worth of pay. I AM NOT PAYING!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    9:37
    30 March, 2011

    Imatutor

  • Why pay for membership of an in effectual organisation? It's simply ridiculous; just shape up and stand your ground, this isn't your job at stake, it's the IFL that's at stake, and good riddance to it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    1:37
    13 June, 2011

    billbellart

  • To add to this, I am currently doing my PGDE and have done my History degree but I have looked into gaining my QTLS and now the IFL want £485 for the privilege of giving me my QTLS. I can't afford that and apparently without this I have been told I cannot get a job.

    I feel like I have done my teaching qualification for nothing yet I went into do this to help people learn. I am also doing the teaching learners with additional needs part of the course.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    20:29
    1 March, 2013

    jennilh

  • I wonder those who successfully boycotted the IfL - are you enjoying your pyrrhic victory? FE teachers are no longer professionals, anyone can teach - with or without qualifications or membership, and so of course there is no need for a professional body. You won! But surely there are now more important battles to fight.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

    21:35
    23 June, 2013

    azumah

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