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IFL - No longer compulsory to be a member

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by cariadwch, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. After the celebration comes the inquest. IfL failed. Finally, it was beyond repair. It was arrogant and distant, and had negligible credibility with FE teachers. It was seen more or less as another layer of management. We need to work out what went wrong. The IfL didn't address the everyday realities of teaching life, that's for sure. Rather, they indulged in a very managerial and disconnected 'aspiration-alism', of the kind college managers indulge in. On the other hand, have FE teachers missed a trick here? The bigger agenda is deregulation, privatization and the further erosion of both teachers' terms and conditions and the best traditions of further education. In that context, an organised argument for and defence of teacher professionalism is essential. This goes beyond the role of the UCU (although it is clearly linked to a defence of terms and conditions). But somehow FE teachers need to raise the debate.
  2. Does no-one understand the direct link from boycotting the IFL (stupid beyond reason) through to de-professionalisation and then onto an all out assault on pay, conditions and jobs?

    The level of debate and awareness in this thread is disturbing and rather sad.
  3. You're right to draw attention to the 'level of debate'. However, the problem is that the IfL simply had no credibility. It become a sectoral 'whipping boy', taking the 'rap' for all kinds of discontents - but it also allowed itself to be put in that position because it was so top-down and detached. There was no way a compulsory body was going to work once the GTC was disbanded. But the connections (professional recognition - job control - deregulation - terms & conditions etc.) weren't made and the opposition to the IfL was often neither strategic nor sophisticated. Ad hominum attacks on individuals, and particularly taking the **** out of the IfL's Deputy Chief Executive didn't amount to a sustained critique - even tho' his mayoral chains made him a tempting & provocative target. Not sure quite where this leaves us.
  4. As long as you live in London!
    Mmmmmmmm! Nice aim as IfL had NOTHING to do with the training of the teachers that were to provide the service!
    Gives??? The IfL gave me nothing! Access to research evidence... really?? I suspect I already had all of the research it flagged up, in much more useful formats!
    And the only thing it had to do with my CPD was it recieved an uncertified email from me promising that I had done some!
    If you were a teacher/lecturer you would know that the great lack of useable somethings were always the bones of contention with IfL.
    If it had been the beast it said it was it would not have bowed to pressure and become a voluntary agency. If it had actually done something for us we might have been able to support it more. But as it is it was nothing more than an expensive playground for some hip educationalists....
  5. Sadly I doubt the IfL ever would have been able to really help us... put in context with the disbanding of the GTC etc.
    Awareness is quite high actually..... debate is, as usual, sardonic, or else we may actually have to reconsider our own intrinsic worth. So yes, we are sad, depressed, blue....
    I do not want to be a political animal, I want to do my job.... don't blame me, belittle me or ridicule my intellect. I really do just want to do what the rest of the world seems to be able to do... simply earn a living without being somebody's whipping boy!
  6. Most FE teachers share this view. Sadly, it's not going to happen. Like public-sector professional workers, FE teachers are already micro-managed and regulated by managers, consultants, policy makers and inspectors. A plaintive 'leave me alone' will not change this. As other people have said, the IfL was a convenient target for teachers' discontent - although it was never much more than this.

    Like most of my colleagues, I boycotted the IfL fee. However, the IfL's formal view of teacher professionalism was a strategically useful one - whatever its failings as a professional body.

    The IfL at least:

    1. had a broad definition of professional development that had statutory recognition;
    2. recognised that a teacher's professional identity (and by extension professional 'loyalty') went beyond the particular employing organisation.

    As other people have said, it's easy to see why college employers were also against the IfL.

    The real outcome of the review into teacher professionalism is deregulation. FE teachers will be even more exposed to micro-management and even less able to 'simply earn a living'.
  7. I am not entirely convinced by this argument. The IfL's remit was never about terms and conditions - that has always been the responsibility of the unions.
    I tend to the view that it was the ending of the national contract known as the Silver Book for FE staff in 1993 which started the gallop downwards for conditions, pay and so on. Prior to that there were national agreements on teaching hours, wages, holidays and so on. Employers and government wished to ‘modernise' working practices and they moved pretty quickly. None of those national agreements stand any more. Union research in 2008 into FE provided startling and compelling evidence of the worsening of working conditions since 1993. This was despite the fact that only a small minority - around 14% - of FE lecturers did not have professional qualifications. The research, comparing the situation in 1992 with the situation in 2008, showed too that FE teaching was the most casualized profession in the country.
    My own experience sheds some light on this. In 1992, working as a part-time lecturer in a local FE college, I earned £20 per direct contact hour. Twenty years later, people on this forum have been writing about part-time rates ranging from £9 to £18 an hour. Yet the IfL has been labouring heroically to raise professional status for some time now. One could hardly ask for more compelling evidence of its lack of impact in these matters.
    What would be interesting is to see whether pay, conditions and jobs improved after 2007, when membership of the IfL became obligatory. Without that evidence, I am not sure that anyone can claim with authority that ‘professionalisation' stopped the rot in any way or that it is the only thing that stands between us and Armageddon.
    I have no doubt that the current government will continue previous administrations' assault on the working conditions and status of FE staff. But whether that will be a direct consequence of the new voluntary membership status of the IfL will never be known.
    Of course, if anyone can provide concrete comparative evidence on working conditions of the ‘before IfL' and ‘after IfL' variety, I will be happy to stand corrected.
  8. Cardoon is right to stress the effects of incorporation on terms and conditions. However, the issue is not whether the existence of the IfL led to improvements in terms and conditions but whether we are better placed given the privatisation / deregulation agenda to defend our terms and conditions, including (some) control over our own professional development, if we can mobilise around a coherent idea of 'professionalism'. Despite its huge (and fatal) inadequacies, there is a view that the IfL offered some resources here. These included a view of teacher professionalism that stressed trust in teachers; recognition of professional autonomy; and that teachers' professional identities are not limited to their employing organisations. Most teachers want to be recogised as professionals but few are interested in developing / pushing a coherent defence of this professionalism (in or out of the IfL). This is unsurprising. Judging by the turn-out in the pension ballot, most aren't that keen on defending their pension rights either. Will the critics of the IfL be taking up these issues? Or, now the IfL is down is it job done.
  9. I suppose the answer to that might be to see how many join the IfL voluntarily. However, given recent history I doubt very much whether the notion of 'professionalism' will mobilise the masses. On the other hand, I fear there is no evidence that the idea of professionalism, coherent or otherwise, will render us more able to withstand the slings and arrows of the downgrading agenda. Only bankers, doctors and CEOs of assorted bodies, public and private, seem unaffected by these assaults.
    <font size="3" face="Times New Roman">
    It has always been a puzzle to me to understand why people didn't think of themselves as teachers if they were working in the trade but needed 'a coherent idea of professionalism' to assure them that they were such.

    Undoubtedly. It would be churlish to deny it.

    Which is why we had to compulsorily declare our CPD and accept the right of the IfL to sample our portfolios, I suppose. And why it offered to give lists to the employers of the staff who hadn't renewed their membership or declared their CPD.

    And yet, the last few years have seen a 'template' approach to what good teaching is and I rather fear that the IfL has been part of that movement. Perhaps this is unfair - but I have looked at their publications quite carefully and that is the impression I came away with.

    I am sorry to say that I really don't understand what this means.

    I have always found the notion of professionalism a very slippery concept.

    I am sorry to hear that there was a low turn-out in the pension ballot. I did respond to it myself. The argument that we are all living too long and the country can't afford it has been a persuasive one, even though we seem to be able to pay bankers trillions of pounds. We live in very strange times.

  10. I've no idea why my fonts went haywire. Apologies!
  11. QTLS = QTS
    From 1 April 2012, members of the Institute for Learning (IfL) with
    Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status are recognised as
    qualified to teach in schools. Statutory instrument 2012 No. 431, which
    was laid in parliament on 9 March 2012, amends the 2003 Regulations so
    that holders of QTLS who are IfL members have Qualified Teacher Status
    (QTS) and may be appointed to permanent positions as qualified teachers,
    without any further induction requirements.
    QTLS is brought to you by IfL
  12. Not everyone in FE teaches subjects to be found on the school curriculum. IfL has been of no help to them.
  13. If you have schools that offer agriculture, agricultural engineering, motor sports, hair and beauty, horticulture, gamekeeping, countryside management, construction, electrical and plumbing, travel and tourism etc then I can see that it was useful for you to have QTLS lisbeth.
    For those that do not , IfL was of very limited use. It is not being negative - it is being realistic.
  14. This year has seen local schools starting to tell their students that they have to stay at school unti they are 18 - that is at the school they are currently attending!
    We had one mum at a recent Open Day who only came to ask that one question as her son wanted to do an aggie course (which obviously his school did not do). She was flabbergasted when we confirmed she could choose..... I suspec that HT got an earful the following week. That and the grapevine wouldn't have been kind!
    Schools are trying to provide 16 - 19 but have yet to experience the financial cuts in full. FE colleges have never had the level of funding schools have and so should be better placed to continue. Our local feeder schools are still in a bit of a quandary over this... how to provide more on less money!
    Other schools have started offering 16 - 19 between them and we are gaining students we would never have had before. They and their parents view the time wasted in travelling and the lack of continuity with horror.
    So it is swings and roundabouts. The proposed changes could be as good for FE as not! All I know is I don't think the students will necessarily benefit!
  15. If QTLS can help FE lecturers and students, and FE lecturers are willing to pay annually for their status whereas all other teachers only have to gain it once and then retain it for life, then there's no reason why QTLS shouldn't continue.
    Similarly, if people are willing to pay a fee to remain members of the IfL, without compulsion and without the threat of sacking to back up the IfL's demands, that's fine. The rest of us will up and off and continue to be professional without the help of what we consider to be a greedy, useless and arrogant organisation.
    IfL's income, when provided by the hapless taxpayer, was between &pound;5 million and &pound;6 million a year. Now let's suppose that, with the compulsion removed, IfL membership reverts to something in the region of 4,000, as it was before the last govt. made membership compulsory. To maintain the IfL in the style to which it has become accustomed, each member will have to pay a fee of &pound;1250 per annum.
    By golly, if you think the IfL is worth that, you must be a real devotee. And by golly are Fazaeli and the rest going to love you, as they continue to draw their enormous salaries at your expense.
    If you wish to go on benefiting from their golden stores of wisdom, though, you better pay up quick. How long do you think these mini-mandarins will stay with the IfL once the blackmmail money stops coming in?
  16. Blimey, redrag, and I thought my view of the IfL might have been a bit jaundiced.
    Just to update your info on the mini-mandarins, the former Deputy CEO left the IfL a few weeks ago. How's that for timing?

  17. IfL will support members to be known to become brilliant dual professionals &ndash; both teachers and trainers and up?to?date ubject experts for learners in further education and skills. Their top priority is to work to serve members. fL will continue to support members with their quest to be brilliant practitioners, from wherever ndividual teachers or trainers are on the journey towards this. They are committed to supporting professional practice as challenges arise and to do what they can.
    How can this be of limited us Cosmos? Realistic or archaic? Go visit www.ifl.ac uk again.
  18. Or the extra money coming in from privatising FE could help the HE sector with recruitment, leaving the FE colleges to collect the available funding that would have gone to the Sixth Forms and Academies with the QTLS/QTS parity problem now resolved. There's your swings and roundabouts, Pob.
  19. Or the extra money coming in from privatising FE could help the HE
    sector with recruitment, leaving the FE colleges to collect the
    available funding that would have gone to the Sixth Forms and Academies
    with the QTLS/QTS parity problem now resolved. There's your swings and
    roundabouts, Pob.
  20. I'll have to rethink my views then.

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